Case study 2: Investing in growth assets
Helen and Christian each want to invest $100,000 into superannuation. Helen chooses a conservative option with a projected earning rate of 6% pa. Christian is a bit more relaxed and opts for a growth-oriented option, which contains specific growth assets such as shares and property and has a projected return of 8% pa. While his projected return is higher than that of the conservative portfolio Helen has chosen, which invests mostly in cash and fixed interest, Christian’s choice involves more risk.
Because super is a long-term investment, Christian thinks he has plenty of time to ride out any ups and downs in the markets. He believes that growth assets are likely to be more effective in building a decent retirement nest egg and while there are some risks involved, he’s willing to accept short-term volatility in return for higher returns over the long term.
Helen and Christian ask their financial adviser to compare the two options. The adviser’s comparison shows that after 20 years Christian’s $100,000 investment would grow to $466,096 while Helen’s balance would be $320,714 . A difference of just 2% pa in performance resulted in Christian’s growth portfolio accumulating $145,382 more than Helen’s conservative portfolio.
Source: Colonial First State. This chart is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or expected returns for any particular funds. A change in one or more of the variables or assumptions listed will produce different results. Generally, the higher the potential return, the greater the risk of investment loss. This chart compares assumed returns of 6% pa and 8% pa (after fees and taxes) over 20 years on a starting balance of $100,000. Results are not adjusted for inflation. Please note that over long periods of time, inflation can substantially reduce the purchasing power of your money.
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