#1 fund for weathering market ups and downs3
SuperRatings' Pension of the Year three years in a row4
Charles Woodhouse has been QSuper’s Chief Investment Officer (CIO) for the past 12 months. In his Annual Investment Update to members, he provided insights into how QSuper’s unique ‘risk-balanced’ strategy had been successful during such a tumultuous year.
Coming into the CIO role in July 2019, Mr Woodhouse said he aimed to maintain a stable approach to QSuper’s investments and reputation for delivering for members.
What played out was a year of two halves, as the coronavirus pandemic emerged around January 2020, sweeping the world and impacting people, families, livelihoods and the global economy.
In a conventional year, the QSuper Investment team travels around the state in a roadshow to share the Annual Investment Update with hundreds of members at each location and provide you with a chance to delve inside the minds that manage your investments.
However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Annual Investment Update was broadcast online for the first time this year. You can watch the presentation below.
The update still gave members the opportunity to hear directly from senior members of the Investments team on the fund’s investment strategy and future opportunities.
It aimed to provide members the chance to gain a better understanding of how your funds are invested, what the past year has meant for your super savings, as well as ask questions.
This year the Annual Investment Update included information on:
With an investment strategy that positioned QSuper for stormy weather and was designed to deliver members a smoother ride, Mr Woodhouse said QSuper’s Investments team dealt with the unusual circumstances of 2020 to nimbly execute a well-rehearsed plan for times of uncertainty.
“I am proud of my Investments team and that we have been able, through this tumultuous year, to maintain that reputation of excellence.”
Mr Woodhouse said QSuper continued to put members at the heart of everything we do, with our ongoing focus to take care of the financial wellbeing of members.
“While past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance, the investment results that we have achieved are evidence that our risk-balanced approach works through the ups and the downs of markets. We have delivered strong long-term returns in the Balanced, Moderate, Aggressive and Lifetime options with less volatility.
Mr Woodhouse said while QSuper never had a pandemic specifically in mind as a risk when setting the strategy, the risk-balanced strategy continued to work and there was a view underway to incorporating more diversified assets.
“Whilst risks remain elevated, we are confident the strategy remains appropriate,” he said.
Mr Woodhouse said the road ahead was likely to be volatile and, while COVID-19 had reinforced old lessons about times of uncertainty, it also provided new ones.
Greater uncertainty around COVID-19 and other risks emphasised the need for diversification, with QSuper well positioned to take up potential opportunities in new sectors and assets, he said.
"We have the funds in cash, and the interest in finding the opportunities that fit our risk-balanced strategic approach and will add value over the long term."
“We are never standing still and always looking for ways to further improve outcomes.”
QSuper will continue to innovate, deliver new products and initiatives that meet members’ needs.
Through in-depth surveys about what is important to you when it comes to investing, QSuper is listening to members and making changes.
One of these changes is doing better with our Socially Responsible investment option, which was taken in-house for QSuper to manage from 1 July 2020.
“You told us that it needs to make a positive impact in the world,” Mr Woodhouse said.
Unlike many other super funds that simply replicate their existing portfolio and use a negative screen to omit those equities in companies that don’t fit the “socially responsible” bill, the QSuper Socially Responsible option would be different.
We know how important it is to hear about the performance of your investments. You can:
Book a financial advice appointment
Register for a webinar
Read our articles
1. Roy Morgan, Superannuation Satisfaction: Satisfaction with Financial Performance of Superannuation in Australia. 6 months to April 2020, n=5,532, Base: Australians aged 14+ with work-based or personal superannuation. 14 largest super funds based on customer numbers.
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