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Qantas Super has delivered bumper returns for members in the 2020/21 financial year, with each of our investment options performing exceptionally well.

While the onset of the pandemic caused short-term volatility in global markets in early 2020, markets began to rebound in the June 2020 quarter and continued their gains through the 2020/21 financial year, buoyed by factors including government stimulus, lower interest rates, and the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

This led to some record returns for Qantas Super: both our Aggressive and Growth options realised the highest returns for a Qantas Super option since 1987, with Aggressive returning 26.8% and Growth returning 22.0% over the 2020/21 financial year.

This strong performance saw our Growth option ranked the top balanced option for the 2020/21 financial year by leading independent research house, SuperRatings.

Our Aggressive and Balanced options were also ranked the top options in their respective surveys by SuperRatings, while our Conservative option was ranked second for the 2020/21 financial year.

Performance for super accounts

As at 30 June 2021 – all returns are per annum and after investment fees.

Investment option
1 year
3 years
5 years
6 years
7 years
10 years
Glidepath: Take-off
Glidepath: Altitude
Glidepath: Cruising
Glidepath: Destination

As Glidepath was established on 1 October 2015, only five year returns are available for these options. Since 1 October 2015, Qantas Super’s retirement solution for members has been offered in our Gateway division (previously offered in Divisions 9 and 14). Returns shown are based on the returns of the corresponding investment options previously available through Division 9. Returns do not include administration fees, insurance premiums, and other fees that may be applied directly to your account. Returns for super and TTR accounts are also net of taxes. The actual return for your account depends on the period of time you were invested in an investment option, the timing of transactions in and out of your account, and the impacts of compounding. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

How your investment options are performing against their objectives

As at 30 June 2021 – all returns and objectives are per annum and after investment fees.

Investment optonReturn objectiveActual returnReturn objectiveDifference
Glidepath: Take-offCPI +4.5% p.a. over 10 years10.8% (5 year return)6.5%+4.3%
Glidepath: AltitudeCPI +3.5% p.a. over 7 years9.4% (5 year return)5.5%+3.9%
Glidepath: CruisingCPI +3.0% p.a. over 6 years8.4% (5 year return)5.0%+3.4%
Glidepath: DestinationCPI +2.5% p.a. over 5 years7.2% (5 year return)4.5%+2.7%
AggressiveCPI +4.5% p.a. over 10 years9.3% (10 year return)6.6%+2.7%
GrowthCPI +3.5% p.a. over 7 years7.9% (7 year return)5.6%+2.3%
BalancedCPI +2.5% p.a. over 5 years7.2% (5 year return)4.7%+2.5%
ConservativeCPI +1.5% p.a. over 3 years5.1% (3 year return)3.5%+1.6%
CashBloomberg AusBond Bank Bill over 1 year0.7% (1 year return)0.1%+0.6%

As Glidepath was established on 1 October 2015, only five year returns are shown for these options. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.

Each of our investment options are meeting their stated return objectives.

These objectives are linked to the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation. We aim to achieve these objectives so your super account delivers a return higher than the rate of inflation over the long term, as your superannuation will support your income and lifestyle in retirement.

What's behind the numbers?

Want to know the stories behind the numbers? We had Qantas Super investment manager Chris Grogan talk us through the latest market activity and what’s on the horizon:

The benefits of focusing on the long term strategy

These record results were delivered by strong performance across the whole portfolio, with Qantas Super outperforming the benchmarks across all asset classes.

Our Australian equities portfolio returned 31.0% for the financial year, while global equities returned 30.7%. Our alternative investments, meanwhile, returned 40.0%, and our private equity portfolio saw a return of 72.8% over the financial year.

Among the standouts from our private equity portfolio were biomedical company IMEIK Technology Development Co, a leading producer of injectable hyaluronic acid products for aesthetic medical application in China; our US venture capital investments; and a number of the Australasian companies in our portfolio.

Chris explained the year’s returns are the result of our Investment team remaining committed and focussed on our long-term strategy.

“Despite the volatility of the market when the pandemic first began to spread, we chose to stick with our strategy rather than selling private market assets,” he said.

Instead of selling, the team was instead able to increase exposure to certain assets, like listed equities, after adjusting its asset allocation ranges in May 2020, enabling Qantas Super to be more competitive.

The results once again highlight one of the key tenets of investing: that it’s important to focus on the long term.

While it may be tempting to change your strategy when you see share markets falling, in the long run it can make more sense to either stay invested or consider investing more. By changing to a lower risk option in a downturn, you risk selling out at a time when prices are low, rather than taking advantage of falls when markets recover, as they did through 2020/21.

A Super Adviser can help you figure out the right investment strategy for you – book a one-on-one chat now.

Interest rates kept on hold again

While some economists had predicted an increase to the cash rate, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held steady at its August meeting, keeping it on hold at 0.1 percent.

RBA Governor Philip Lowe explained that while Australia’s economic recovery has been stronger than first expected, recent outbreaks across the country have interrupted this recovery.

In turn, Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline in the September quarter – however, Lowe said this doesn’t need to be cause for concern.

“The experience to date has been that once virus outbreaks are contained, the economy bounces back quickly. Prior to the current virus outbreaks, the Australian economy had considerable momentum and it is still expected to grow strongly again next year,” he said.

“The economy is benefiting from significant additional policy support and the vaccination program will also assist with the recovery.”

Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index – a measure of inflation – rose 3.8 percent over the 2020/21 financial year, with petrol prices, health care, and fresh food among the biggest contributors.

However, Chris said it’s important to look at the CPI in the context of where it was a year ago: the CPI had seen a record quarterly fall of 1.9 percent in the June 2020 quarter, pushed down by things like free childcare.

Chris explained that, as CPI is a rate of change, there’s a ‘base effect’ which makes current inflation appear high compared to recent history. However, forward looking, investors are expecting inflation to remain at the lower end of the RBA’s target.

“Looking at the wider picture, our returns are driven by the overall environment we’re currently in and expected to be in looking forward, which the RBA sees as broadly positive,” he said.

What do we need to know about cryptocurrency?

After steadily gaining traction in various corners of the internet over the last decade or so, the term ‘cryptocurrency’ and the myriad things it entails, from Bitcoin to Dogecoin, are slowly moving further into the mainstream.

In turn, some central banks are looking at how to manage and regulate the digital currency space to ensure investors and consumers are protected.

The US Federal Reserve announced it’s working on a research paper examining the potential of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). While central bank money usually takes the form of either cash and reserves held at the central bank, the Federal Reserve explained, a CBDC is defined as a “generic term for a third version of currency that could use an electronic record or digital token to represent the digital form of a nation’s currency”.

CBDC would be issued and managed directly by the central bank, and used for various purposes by individuals, businesses, and financial institutions.

With the research paper to be delivered in September, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said CBDC could help eliminate the need of other digital currencies.

Speaking at a hearing before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee in July 2021, he said, “You wouldn’t need stablecoins, you wouldn’t need cryptocurrencies, if you had a digital US currency. I think that’s one of the stronger arguments in its favour.”

The RBA, too, is working to explore the potential use of CBDC. It announced in late 2020 that it would collaborate with organisations including the Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank to develop a proof of concept for the issuing of a tokenised form of CBDC.

So what do we need to know?

As Chris explained, given the central banks are still working on research papers and projects, it will be some time before they get to the point of issuing digital currencies. In the meantime, if you’re exploring cryptocurrency as an investment, it’s important to look beyond the hype and do your research.

“A common phrase you hear in investments is, ‘if you don’t understand it, don’t invest in it’,” Chris said.

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