Financial year 2017 was a good year for Qantas Super members, with your fund delivering strong returns across the board.

The Qantas Super headlines

For super accounts, the Aggressive, Growth and Balanced investment options delivered strong returns for the year, returning 10.9%, 9.3% and 7.1% respectively – their strongest performance in three years.

On the Glidepath front, Take-Off and Altitude performed well in their first full year, returning 10.9% and 9.3% respectively, Cruising stage returned 8.4%, and Destination returned 7.1%. For income accounts, returns were slightly higher due to tax concessions.

The key contributors to these strong returns were listed equity market returns. Our Australian equities portfolio was up 13% and global equities (unhedged) up by 15.4%.

Our infrastructure and property holdings also did well, with the real assets portfolio returning 8.4%. These assets can play a valuable role in your super portfolio, potentially providing a stable income when markets are turbulent and interest rates are low.

We have also paid careful attention to costs, working to keep portfolio turnover low. That’s important, because it helps make sure your money isn’t frittered away in unnecessary transaction costs.

What happened in investment markets in FY2017

It’s been a busy 12 months in global financial markets. From the unexpected presidential victory of Donald Trump in the US, to the near-defeat of the incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May in the UK, political events have shocked investors, sometimes leading to a rocky ride.

But through all the noise, the global economy has continued to improve, generating healthy returns. In this environment, our ‘safety first’ investment strategy has paid dividends, helping us successfully navigate the turbulence while protecting and growing your savings.

See our latest performance figures.

The good news you may not have noticed

While bad news makes good headlines, there were plenty of positives for investors this year. Overall, despite the political turmoil, things didn’t turn out nearly as badly as markets feared earlier in the year:

  • the Eurozone didn’t implode after the French and Italian elections;
  • the US economy continued to recover, with better growth and jobs numbers;
  • the oil price bounced back from its lows, and
  • new Chinese government stimulus helped to boost global economic growth.

What lies ahead?

Having been a bit too pessimistic early in FY2017, it now looks like investment markets may have become overly optimistic. Unfortunately, returns like the 15.4% gain we saw in global equities last year aren’t sustainable in the long term, even though we may wish they were.

There are also other risks closer to home — like the high level of debt held by Australian households, together with a possibly overheating residential property market.

That’s why Qantas Super will stay firmly focused on the fundamentals of good investing, reducing risk by diversifying your super across a wide range of assets, and employing ‘best in class’ investment partners.

After all, while this year’s results are pleasing, your super is a long-term investment — and we’re here to help you maximise your chances of success over time.