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Super is a marathon, not a sprint

Author: Stefan Strano CEO, Club Plus Super

Over the last financial year, the average Australian super fund returned 9.20%* for their members in the balanced investment option. However, members in Club Plus Super’s MySuper or Balanced investment option did even better, receiving a 10.82% return. This places Club Plus Super in the top five out all super funds for 2017/18*.

This is a great result in the short-term but it’s even more satisfying to see that Club Plus Super is delivering more than the average fund over long periods of time. When we look over 10 years, for example, our MySuper investment option return of 6.55% places us ahead of the average fund, according to independent ratings agency, SuperRatings*.

Being in the top five funds for the second year running is nothing to be scoffed at, yet if you walked into our office you wouldn’t find the team boasting about it. That’s because we don’t invest our member’s money just to maximise an annual result. We invest our member’s money to maximise their long-term retirement results. Superannuation is generally one of the biggest long-term investments that most people will make in their life. Our objective is to ensure that we are delivering the best possible outcome over that whole length of time, not just when times are good.

Club Plus Super has a very thorough approach to investing. Our Head of Investments, Gemma Dooley, works closely with our Asset Consultant and Investment Committee to have a diversified range of asset class managers and strategic investments to steer us through the long term, which we know will contain both boom and bust times.

Super is a marathon, not a sprint. Just as a marathon runner might have 40, 30, or 20 kilometres to go, at Club Plus Super we know that the finishing line for most of our members is 40, 30, or 20 years off.

So, an outstanding annual result is a bit like a long-distance runner clocking a really quick kilometre: it’s only useful if it contributes toward the desired result at the finish line.

In fact, just like a marathon, putting too much focus on the short term can actually damage your chance of hitting your long-term super goal. This is because markets are, by their very nature, unpredictable beasts. Anyone who scans the global environment today and assumes endless calm is not looking properly.

Our investment team are not just looking for opportunities to grow our members super but also constantly reviewing where the risks are also, and we do our best to diversify (or spread) across many different types of investments.

We want to be a constant reliable partner in the lives of our members who might often start their working lives in clubs but go on to work in many different industries throughout their careers. Just like the Clubs industry that created us, our ethos is to create a lifelong relationship with our members.

All this is not to say I don’t take satisfaction in this year’s result – obviously I do. But what pleases me infinitely more is when I see our members living the lifestyle they have worked so hard for and being able to retire on their own terms.


As seen in Club Life.
*Kirby Rappell. 2018. Super members can expect a better second half to 2018. Available at: