Considering your investment options

When considering which investment options to choose, it is important that you understand the relationship between risk and return and how it is affected by time.

  • Risk refers to the variability or fluctuation of returns (including a negative return).
  • Return refers to how much you earn on your investment, expressed as a percentage per annum.

Achieving higher returns requires the acceptance of higher levels of risk. This generally requires a higher allocation to growth assets such as equities. A growth asset is an asset that provides investment returns primarily in the form of capital growth (an increase in the dollar value of the asset over time).

For example the Equity Growth Option with 86% allocation to equities would be expected to provide higher average returns over the long term than the Capital Stable Option (which has a 24.2% allocation to equities) but the variability of returns, that is risk, would be expected to be greater.

 

Investment options graph

Note: This is a stylised diagram and is not based on actual returns.

The length of time you expect your superannuation assets to be invested is also an important consideration. The longer your investment time horizon, the lower the impact that risk may have on your final benefit and the more time you have to ride out the variability of returns in the short term.

Investments made by superannuation funds are long-term investments, so short-term fluctuations do not necessarily have a big impact on the balance of your superannuation account over the long term.

Considering your investment options

When considering which investment options to choose, it is important that you understand the relationship between risk and return and how it is affected by time.

  • Risk refers to the variability or fluctuation of returns (including a negative return).
  • Return refers to how much you earn on your investment, expressed as a percentage per annum.

Achieving higher returns requires the acceptance of higher levels of risk. This generally requires a higher allocation to growth assets such as equities. A growth asset is an asset that provides investment returns primarily in the form of capital growth (an increase in the dollar value of the asset over time).

For example the Equity Growth Option with 86% allocation to equities would be expected to provide higher average returns over the long term than the Capital Stable Option (which has a 24.2% allocation to equities) but the variability of returns, that is risk, would be expected to be greater.

 

Investment options graph

Note: This is a stylised diagram and is not based on actual returns.

The length of time you expect your superannuation assets to be invested is also an important consideration. The longer your investment time horizon, the lower the impact that risk may have on your final benefit and the more time you have to ride out the variability of returns in the short term.

Investments made by superannuation funds are long-term investments, so short-term fluctuations do not necessarily have a big impact on the balance of your superannuation account over the long term.