11 March, 2024

The choice is yours: understanding your investment options

We all know that super’s intended to grow and give us more in retirement, but did you know you have a choice when it comes to how your super’s invested? 

Unlike a traditional bank account, the money in your super account is invested in one investment option or a mix of investment options with the goal of growing your savings through investment returns over your working life. Because the money is invested, the balance fluctuates over time.

Unless you choose your investment options yourself, your super will automatically be invested in your fund’s default option (Spirit Super's default option for accumulation members is called Balanced (MySuper)).


What are investment options?

To help achieve your retirement goals, super funds offer a variety of different investment options to reflect how you want your super invested.

Each investment option is a specific investment portfolio made up of different types of assets. You can invest in a single option or spread your money across multiple options. You can also change your investment options anytime.

Which investment option (or mix of options) you choose will impact how your super grows and how much super you'll have when it comes time to retire.


What's the difference between each investment option?

The main difference between investment options is the type of assets your super is invested in.

Investment options that aim to grow your super as much as possible over the long term will generally invest heavily in growth assets.

Growth assets include things like shares, and some infrastructure and property assets. These assets earn returns through rent or dividends or by being sold for more than they were bought (known as capital gains).

While growth assets generally offer the greatest potential for long-term growth compared with other types of assets, they're also considered 'riskier' assets as their value can often fluctuate more.

So, while they have the potential for the biggest gains, they can also lose more value from time to time.

Investment options that aim to preserve your super balance will generally invest a higher proportion of their portfolio in more defensive assets, such as fixed interest and cash. These assets earn returns mainly through interest.

Defensive assets generally offer less potential for long-term growth than growth assets, but their returns are usually more stable with a relatively lower level of risk.

There are also pre-mixed investment options that invest in different mixes of growth and defensive assets.

These options aim to strike a balance between growing your super when markets are strong and protecting your funds when they lose value, depending on your preferences.


Explore investment options

Our range of pre-mixed and asset class options let you invest your way.

Learn more


Which options are best for me?  

Super is a long-term investment. How you approach that investment will likely change as you get older and your retirement goals change.  

When you’re young, you typically won’t be accessing your super for 20 or 30 years, so your focus will likely be on growing your super as much as possible.  

In this case, a more aggressive approach might be suitable as your super will likely have plenty of time to ride out any short-term losses it might encounter along the way.  


What about risk?  

All investments come with some amount of risk. The level of risk you’re comfortable with will have a big impact on which investment option you choose for your super.  

If you’re the kind of person who worries about market movements and short-term volatility, then a less risky investment option might help you sleep better at night.  

However, if you’re happy to let your super take a few short-term hits in the hopes of getting bigger long-term gains, then a more aggressive approach may be beneficial.  

Again, this all depends on your risk appetite and your specific goals.  


Switching your investment options is easy  

Changing is easy, and there’s no fee to switch.

Flexibility and choice are essential when it comes to investing and you can change your investment options any time to suit your investment goals and needs.

To change your investment options, simply go to our app or log into Member Online and navigate to Investments. You can also change your options by calling us on 1800 005 166.


More information

To dive deeper into investment options and find out more about switching them to suit your needs, read our Investment guide.


We're here to help.

Being in the right investment option at the right time can significantly impact your overall super balance, so you might want to get some advice first. We provide advice on your Spirit Super account at no extra cost. To chat with a Superannuation Adviser, call us on 1800 005 166 or click below.

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