What’s happening to my super?

Shocked man with beard putting his two hand on his head while in front of the laptop

Most financial conversations that are currently underway, whether in the news or a social environment, are plagued by some reference to an increase – and not necessarily the good kind. Although property prices seem to be levelling out after a significant amount of time at the top of the price increase pile, inflation and cost of living increases have crept into the top spot.

As Australians watch prices rise, some may become concerned as they watch their superannuation balances decrease and they are asking themselves, “What’s happening to my super?” Step Up shares some advice on how to view your super fund balance and offers some observations and considerations to make.

Serious senior man reading the newspaper while sitting at a sidewalk cafe.

It’s NOT cash in the bank

The media headlines have dominated financial segments with visuals of smashed piggy banks leaking coins. This picture can often lead to incorrect assumptions about your super balance. While contributions are made in cash (super guarantee and salary sacrifice etc), they don’t remain in cash. They are invested in shares and property, with usually very little held in cash.

Your superannuation investments are made up of shares in companies and businesses both in Australia and abroad. The shares are either purchased directly as individual shares or as units held in managed funds.

The value of those shares or units fluctuates with the market, which is then given a performance measure – showing a growth in value, or reduction in value, depending on what is impacting the market at that particular point in time.

Recently, the performance hasn’t been great, with the market reacting to the war in Ukraine, supply chain issues post the COVID 19 pandemic, rising inflation and the corresponding rise in interest rates. However, this is not a true reflection of the entire portfolio’s performance.

How should I be measuring the performance of my super fund?

businesswoman hand point on dashboard screen tablet device for ask and consulting with businessman partner

When evaluating your portfolio’s performance, the true measure is to look at the overall increase of your underlying assets. While your employer continues to make super guarantee contributions and you make additional contributions through salary sacrifice strategies, the number of shares or units you hold continues to increase.

In fact, the best time to invest is when markets are down, as you are able to purchase a greater number of shares/units for a lower price. When the market goes up, this means that the value of the investments you hold has increased.

Money bag and a green arrow up

How do I strengthen my portfolio?

The savvy investor diversifies their portfolio, investing more into the market in times of downturn, taking advantage of cheaper-priced investments. This strategic financial approach spreads the risk over various asset classes and investment options, optimising the return over longer periods of time.

Investing in a superannuation fund is a long-term proposition, as the assets mature over time. Market fluctuations – ups and downs – are a normal part of any financial or investment environment.

What is critical is to know that you are investing in good quality companies and with good quality fund managers. With your continued efforts to hold and grow these assets, your portfolio will grow over time.

Are you ready to supercharge your super?

If you’re ready to get serious about supercharging your super and understanding how it works, why not get in touch with the team at Step Up Financial?

As fully qualified, experienced financial planners, we can provide you with expert financial services, including advice on:

Need more information? Get in touch with Step Up Financial

    • 107 Moulder Street,
      Orange, NSW 2800

      PO Box 2499
      Orange, NSW 2800

    • (02) 6362 5445