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Equities boost KiwiSaver returns in March quarter

Increasing optimism about the world economy led to a lift in global sharemarkets in the March quarter and boosted some local KiwiSaver funds, Morningstar says in its latest update.

Monday, May 1st 2017, 8:21PM

Its survey for the first quarter of this year shows that KiwiSaver schemes with a bias to shares out-performed, while those with strong cash and fixed interest holdings performed comparatively poorly.

The average multisector category returns ranged from 5% for aggressive funds to 1.8% for conservative options.

Morningstar noted that the local sharemarket was up 4.6% in total returns over the quarter, which buoyed funds with a New Zealand equity exposure.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 was up 4.8% over the same period.

"Increased optimism about the wider outlook for the world economy, partly US-related and partly based on evidence of stronger performance in China and elsewhere - led to strong rises in world equity prices up to March," Morningstar said.

"The MSCI World index was up 6.1% in NZD. The US did well, with a likely economic boost from the Trump administration fiscal policy, the S&P 500 index was up 5.9%. European shares also rose on evidence of a firming eurozone economy."

KiwiSaver schemes in the aggressive and growth categories were the top performers, posting mid-single digit returns for the quarter.

KiwiSaver schemes in the conservative, moderate and balanced categories posted returns in the low-single digits.

Over the March quarter Booster KiwiSaver Geared Growth, OneAnswer KiwiSaver-Growth, Aon KiwiSaver Russell Lifepoints Balanced, Aon KiwiSaver Russell Lifepoints Moderate, and Milford KiwiSaver Conservative were the top performers across their respective categories.

Morningstar said Aon Russell Lifepoints was a notable performer over a longer term.

"Other KiwiSaver Schemes that deserve a mention include, ANZ KiwiSaver and OneAnswer KiwiSaver, ASB KiwiSaver, and Milford KiwiSaver Balanced. The best performing KiwiSaver Schemes since inception is Milford KiwiSaver Active Growth."

Morningstar noted that the six biggest KiwiSaver funds continue to hold the vast majority of all KiwiSaver money  – now a 84.9% of the Morningstar database.

Tags: KiwiSaver

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