How to choose your investment options
Some of the things to consider when choosing the right investment mix for your investment goals and risk appetite.
Risk and return
Investing is about balancing risk and return to grow your account over the long term.
When it comes to investing, you may have heard the terms ‘return’ and ‘risk’. Let’s look at what they mean and why it’s important to understand how they affect your investment choices.
What is return?
Return is the change in value of an investment. Returns can be positive (an increase in value) or negative (a decrease in value). Positive returns help your super grow. Negative returns reduce your account balance.
What is risk?
Investment risk is the likelihood of losses relative to the expected return on any particular investment. The higher the investment risk, the higher the likelihood of negative annual returns. All investments have some risk.
How we measure risk
To help you choose the most suitable investment option or mix of options for your goals, all of our investment options are assigned a standard risk measure.
The standard risk measure of each investment option tells you the number of years you could expect a negative return over a 20-year period. For example, a ‘Medium’ risk measure means you should expect a negative return in two to three years in any given 20-year period.
Read more about the standard risk measure in the Investment guide.
Balancing risk and return
Generally, investment options that aim for higher returns carry higher levels of risk. For example, the risk of shares is higher because the value of shares can dramatically rise and fall in value.
Investment options that aim for lower but more consistent returns generally have a lower level of risk. For example, cash in a bank account doesn't change much in value, so it's a low-risk investment.
When choosing investment options for your super, you may want to consider:
- your investment goals (the returns you hope to achieve)
- how long you’ll be invested
- how much risk you’re comfortable with.
Your comfort level with risk will depend on your preferences and circumstances. Your attitude towards risk may depend on your:
- investment time frame
- other investments
- feeling about the possibility of fluctuating returns.
It may be tempting to stick with lower risk options, but you miss out on the potential for long-term growth that higher-risk options may provide.
It’s all about finding a balance that works for you.
Investment options are divided into units and each unit represents the share.
What are unit prices?
When you invest in super, you’re buying units in an investment option (or several options). The unit price is the value of each of those units.
The value of your super is calculated based on how many units you own and the price of those units.
Value of your super = number of units x daily unit price
When you switch investment options, you sell units in one option and buy units in another option.
How are unit prices calculated?
Unit prices are calculated at the end of each business day. We do this by dividing the net value of assets in the option by the number of units issued for the option.
As the value of the assets in our investment options go up or down, so do the unit prices for that option.
Investment earnings (or losses) are included in the unit price of each investment option. We also deduct any relevant fees from the daily unit price.
How many units do you get?
Each dollar you invest buys units in an investment option. For example, if you invest $100 in the Growth option, and the price is $1 for each unit, you get 100 Growth units.
Find out more
For information about unit prices and how they work, read the Investment guide.
How to switch investment options
It’s your money and you can choose how it’s invested.
Flexibility and choice are essential when it comes to investing. You can change your investment options anytime to suit your investment goals and needs.
Investing your super
If you don’t tell us where you’d like your super invested when you join, we will automatically invest your super in our default Balanced (MySuper) option. However, you can change your investment options anytime.
You can choose a single investment option or a mix of options. You can also choose to have your current super balance and your future contributions invested in different investment options. It’s all up to you.
Investing your pension account
When you open a pension account, you choose which investment option or mix of options to invest in. You can also choose which option/s your pension payments are made from. Find information about options for pensions in our Pension guide.
You can change how your account balance is invested at any time.
Change your investment options
To change investment options:
- log in to Member Online
- call us on 1800 005 166 or
- complete the Change your investments or Change your pension investments form.
Tip: if you submit more than one switch request on the same day (whether written or online), we’ll apply the request we received last.
What happens next?
You can submit switch requests until 4pm (AEST/AEDT) each business day and we’ll apply the change to your account the next business day. If you submit a request after 4pm (AEST/AEDT) or on a public holiday or weekend, we’ll process it effective the following business day.
Need to cancel your request?
To find out more about changing your investment options, read the Investment guide.