Managing investment risk

Like all investment products, there are some risks associated with super.

 

The level of risk that’s right for you depends on factors such as your age, investment timeframe, personal risk tolerance and any other investments you have. You should consider your own circumstances and goals in decisions about your financial future.

For example, there’s no guarantee of investment returns. Returns will vary and can be positive or negative, so there’s a risk that the value of your super may rise or fall at any time.

 

Some of the ways you can manage investment risk

  • Diversification is key!
    • Different types of assets classes have different levels of investment risk. Being invested in a range of assets is one of the best ways to help manage investment risk.

      If one type of asset isn’t performing well at a particular time, others may be performing better, which may reduce your overall risk exposure. Our diversified investment options do this automatically by investing across a pre-mixed range of asset classes, but still giving you some flexibility to choose an overall level of risk that suits your needs.

      We also offer investment options that invest in only a single asset class. If you choose to invest in these options, it’s important to consider the overall level of risk that your super may be exposed to. We recommend you seek financial advice if considering these options.

  • Surprises aren't always good when planning for the future
    • Being able to predict investment returns for you would be great - impossible, but great!

      Returns always depend on what’s going on in the investment environment at any given time. But what we can try to do is to inform you as best we can about likely return outcomes so that you can plan accordingly.

      Your super will likely be one of the biggest contributors to your income in a post-working future. Just like the preparedness of knowing what salary an employer pays you, it’s important for you to have a level of comfort around the sort of income your super is likely to pay you.

      Investing your super is not really too much different. While we can’t predict exactly what returns you’ll get for your super, we can try to inform you the best that we can about likely returns in the current environment.This is reflected in the investment objective we set for each investment option you can choose for your super. This in turn helps you have more realistic expectations when choosing how to invest your super and understand what your likely outcomes might be at retirement.

 

Some of the ways we manage risk

  • Inflation risk
    • In some cases, there may be a risk that the rate of inflation (measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI)) exceeds the level of investment returns. One way we help to manage this risk in each of diversified investment options is to include an allocation (or varying degrees for each option) to growth assets, with the aim of providing some capital growth over the longer term.

  • Investment manager risk
    • Investment managers may have different investment styles and philosophies that suit certain market and economic conditions better than others. As well as investing in different types of asset classes, we appoint a range of professional investment managers to manage the money. Find out more about who our investment managers are or read the most recent Annual Report to see the allocation of funds that they manage.

  • Market risk
    • Economic, technological, political or legal conditions, and even market sentiment, can affect investment markets and therefore the performance if different investment options. In some cases, the trustee has appointed a number of investment managers for their specialist skills and research to reduce this risk.

  • Currency risk
    • If an overseas currency changes in value relative to the Australian dollar, the value of international investments can change. This in turn influences the performance of investment options with an allocation to international investments. Some asset classes may incorporate currency hedging, which is a management strategy that involves reducing or removing the impact of currency movements on the value of the investment.

Looking for help or advice about choosing investment options?

If you have questions about choosing investment options for your account, you may want to talk with our Advice team over the phone. There is generally no additional cost to you to use this service for advice relating to your account in the fund.

Find out more

Other useful resources

    How does the market impact my super?

    In this short video, we explore how markets can affect super investments. (Source: Commonwealth Bank Group Super)

    Fast facts about share market volatility and super

    Understanding the highs and lows of a volatile share market. (Source: CommBank)

    Investing in volatile markets

    In this short video, we explore the pros and cons of investment in volatile markets, and potential outcomes. (Source: Commonwealth Bank Group Super)