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How did your super fund rate?

Independent superannuation research consultancy Chant West has released its finding on the performance of Australian super funds for the year ending June 2013. Over the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013 the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) gained 17.3%; Chant West’s study has shown that a number of funds managed to outperform this index.

The median growth fund – defined as having between 61% and 80% invested in growth assets and with over $500 million in investable assets – returned 15.6% for the year. This was the best return in the past 16 years with even the worst performing fund in Chant West’s growth category returning a respectable 10.2%.

Chant West director, Warren Chant pointed out in the release that it takes the scorecard to “four consecutive positive financial year returns averaging about 8.8% per annum. From the low point in early 2009, the median fund has not only recovered all its post-GFC losses but is now sitting about 10.5% above its pre-GFC high, which was achieved in October 2007.”

Amongst the top 10 performing growth funds for the year were a number of super funds administered by listed wealth management companies. Coming in at number 1 was the BT Super for Life 1960s Lifestage Fund, run by BT Financial Group (ASX: BTT) with a return of 18.6%.

In fourth place was the AMP RIL Balanced Fund, managed by AMP (ASX: AMP), followed closely behind in fifth place by CFS FirstChoice Growth Fund, managed by a division of Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) which both returned 17.8%.

Coming in at the ninth spot was the IOOF (ASX: IFL) managed IOOF MultiMix Balanced Growth Fund which returned 16.8% for members.

Foolish takeaway

The diversity of results not just between funds in the same category but across categories shows the benefit of identifying outperforming managers. As investors whether you are identifying an outperforming money manager to invest on your behalf or identifying an outperforming management team at a company you wish to invest in directly, the value add from high quality managers is evident.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in BT Financial Group.

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