WA Super News

WA Super’s Investment Approach

10/04/2017

WA Super’s primary investment goal is to grow member’s retirement savings by delivering net returns greater than the cost living over the long term. We take great care in selecting where we invest our member’s money. We focus on the long term and take into consideration many factors including both qualitative and quantitative research before making any investment decisions.

To help us achieve this goal, our primary focus is protecting our member’s retirement savings by prioritising risk over return objectives. Due to our risk-focussed approach, WA Super’s portfolio may look different from that of its peers and although we remain cognisant of peer practice, we do not define success by our performance relative to other funds. Instead, we strive to meet our return objectives while also providing thorough downside protection to our members. This translates into a portfolio that is designed to deliver reasonably stable and consistent returns.  That means performing relatively well during downturns, but not shooting the lights out when things are going well.

WA Super’s investment approach is supported by our core beliefs:

  • Diversification is the primary tool for managing investment risk. We believe that asset allocation decisions are expected to have the greatest impact on investment outcomes. We believe that equities will generally be the driver of returns, but our member’s portfolios can benefit from other return sources that are uncorrelated with equities. This means that WA Super has less reliance on equities for performance than other funds, and generally a higher allocation to return-seeking alternative investments as well as truly defensive assets like bonds and cash.
  • Simplicity. It is easy for good ideas to get lost in complexity and never implemented. WA Super focuses on doing a few things well, getting big ideas implemented and getting the broad picture right. To make things easy for our members, we offer six sector-specific options, and three pre-built investment options where we have determined the risk and return objectives and associated asset allocation.
  • Costs. WA Super seeks to avoid unnecessary complexity and costs in investment arrangements. Our primary tool in this regard is to engage with a relatively small number of high quality investment managers. Having fewer managers results in lower fees for members, and a portfolio that is allocated to carefully selected managers who are each expected to have a meaningful role in the overall portfolio. 

Our investment approach was recognised last year in the Australian Financial Review Blue Ribbon Awards where we won the 'Best capital stable super fund'.

The judges at Lonsec Fiscal said "The winner of the Blue Ribbon Award for best capital stable super fund is WA Super's Diversified Conservative Fund. WA Super's offering performed the best across more than 100 conservative options assessed." 

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