Types of investments for superannuation

Types of investments for superannuation funds is a topic that covers nearly all investments that an individual or investment vehicle could invest in outside of the superannuation system. Note that investments within a superannuation fund are often subject to an extra layer of super rules.

The types of investments that a super fund can invest in include nearly an unlimited range of assets and asset classes including shares – both Australian shares and international shares. Australian shares often pay franked dividends and generate franking credits. International shares can be hedged or unhedged, which means that movements in the Australian dollar when investing overseas can be taken into account (hedged) or not taken into account (unhedged).

Other types of investments in super include cash, term deposits and other fixed interest investments such as Australian bonds and international bonds (including corporate bonds). Super funds can invest in infrastructure investments both in Australia and internationally, private equity and also invest via hedge funds.

Super funds can invest in listed property investment and direct property. Specific property articles are listed elsewhere but super funds can invest in Australian real estate investment trusts (A-REITs) and international REITs (global listed property trusts), and direct property. For more information on property and superannuation click here.

Non-traditional assets and investment are also permitted as investments within a super fund including contracts-for-differences, options and  collectibles – for more information on collectibles (collectables) and personal use assets, click here.

Super funds, including SMSFs, use different investment strategies to maximise investment returns for fund members – for more information on investment strategies for super funds click here.

Set out below are all SuperGuide articles explaining Types of investments for superannuation.

Listed or unlisted investments? Why it matters for your super fund’s performance

With volatility returning to global share markets, most commentators are busy trying to work out where listed markets are headed. But before you check your investment crystal ball, it’s worth taking a moment to consider exactly what these investments are, and how superannuation funds blend a variety … [Read more...]

Infrastructure assets: why your super fund loves it when you fly

The types of assets that large super funds select to generate investment returns for their members are often a bit mysterious – just ask our Treasurer, Scott Morrison. He recently argued super funds should use their members’ money to buy key pieces of Australian infrastructure, like NSW’s … [Read more...]

Age Pension income test: Deeming rates and deeming thresholds

Note: This article explains the latest deeming rates and the deeming thresholds for the Age Pension income test. If you are seeking information about the latest increases in the thresholds for the Age Pension income test and Age Pension assets test see SuperGuide article Age Pension: More … [Read more...]

Super for beginners, part 20: Comparing your super fund’s performance

Q: The investment return on my super fund account doesn’t seem to compare with the investment returns that I read about in the newspapers. Are the newspapers wrong, or am I in a rubbish super fund?A: Every month or two, the general media reports the latest returns from Australia’s largest super … [Read more...]

Want investments that help you sleep? Understand your risk profile

Everyone is different and when it comes to investing, some people find themselves tossing and turning in bed, while others sleep easy. As an investor or super fund member, the key to getting a good night’s rest is to pick the investments (or investment options in your super fund) that match your … [Read more...]

Top 10 performing super funds for 2015/2016 financial year, and for past 10 years

The investment performance result for the 2015/2016 financial year (1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016), for the median growth superannuation fund, has delivered the seventh straight positive calendar year return, according to figures from rating company, Chant West.The median return for a growth … [Read more...]

Asset classes: Naming the investment winners for the 2015/2016 financial year

Australian property (both listed and unlisted), global listed property and infrastructure investments were the stand-out performers for the 2015/2016 financial year (1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016), according to rating company, Chant West.In the table appearing later in the article, … [Read more...]

Super pensions: choosing an investment option in retirement

Most people think all the hard work is over once they hit retirement, but decisions still need to be made about how to invest your hard-earned super savings.Although people often choose to take their super account balance and invest it themselves during their retirement, super funds are keen to … [Read more...]

Low investment returns on your super: what can you do?

With Australian superannuation funds expected to just fall over the line into positive territory this financial year, the heady days of double-digit investment returns seem a distant memory. This financial year’s poor 1% return (approximately) is likely to have many members questioning how well … [Read more...]

Government’s green light on SMSF borrowing, with conditions

On 20 October 2015, the Liberal government confirmed that SMSF borrowing, through the use of limited recourse borrowing arrangements, continues to remain a legitimate financing option for SMSFs. Note that in April 2016 however, the ATO released guidelines flagging the expected demise of LRBAs … [Read more...]

SMSF investment: Borrowing to invest can be the means, not the end

As a property and share investor for nearly 30 years, I believe the use of borrowing can be a legitimate means to purchase assets, but gearing is not an investment in itself: it is simply a means to invest with associated costs and extra risk.Over the years, I have spoken to thousands of … [Read more...]

Investment performance: We’re the best super fund. No, we’re the best…

Note: Every 6 months, we update this article with the latest performance data on superannuation funds and pension funds, released by 3 rating agencies. This article contains the investment results for the best performing super funds up to 31 December 2015. For performance data relating to later … [Read more...]