Double-digit returns despite decline

Returns for median super funds declined for the first time in nine months in March, as local shares and property securities declined, but still look likely to report double-digit returns this financial year.

Returns for median super funds declined for the first time in nine months in March, as local shares and property securities declined, but still look likely to report double-digit returns this financial year.

The average growth fund - the most common super category, with growth assets of about 77 per cent - fell by 0.4 per cent in March, according to Morningstar's 24-fund survey.

Peter Gee, research products manager at Morningstar Australasia, said the 2.2 per cent decline in the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index and 2.7 per cent decline in Australian property securities last month drove down the result, which followed a run of positive returns in early 2013 and throughout 2012.

The average return for the three months to March 31 was 5 per cent for multi-sector growth funds and returns for the financial year to date averaged 14.6 per cent. The year-to-date return was 12.3 per cent.

Alex Dunnin, chief researcher at financial services research group Rainmaker, said returns of between 12 and 14 per cent looked likely for the financial year.

The Legg Mason Growth fund was the strongest performer across three months (up 8.7 per cent), the financial year to date (24.4 per cent) and one year (19.1 per cent).

Over the longer term, REST Core led the pack with its three-year return of 8 per cent, and it had the second best performance for five and 10-year returns, at 5.8 and 8.4 per cent.

Schroders had the strongest five-year return at 6 per cent and 8.6 per cent over 10 years.

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