Strong market performance and some timely moves by our investments team has resulted in excellent returns through the first two months of the year. Our Growth investment option returned 3.41% in February, beating the median return of comparable options (2.78%), putting us among the top 25%!

February was a strong month for global equity markets. The Australian market, as measured by the S&P/ASX 200 Index, was up nearly 6% in February, bringing the return since the beginning of the calendar year up to 10.1%. Similarly, the US market returned 3% in February and 11.1% in 2019.

After a nervous end to 2018, the first two months of 2019 have been particularly impressive for equity markets given that the economic circumstances have not changed. Markets have been boosted by apparent progress between the US and China in ending the ongoing trade disputes, with each side appearing likely to reduce tariffs on imported goods. This has reduced negative investor sentiment and allowed focus on a stronger-than-expected earnings season.

Investors are optimistic in the short-term because of the belief that the Chinese government is providing stimulus into the local economy to give a boost to economic growth. The Chinese equity markets have outperformed its global peers, with the broader Chinese market up 15.7% since the beginning of the year.

The risk-on tone of the market has seen more defensive investments like government bonds underperforming equities with the S&P/ASX Government Bond Index returning a little over 1%, lagging the equity market by nearly 5% for the month.

At Australian Catholic Superannuation, we monitor short-term movements and make adjustments to support our long-term investment strategy. To this end, over the last year we have reduced some risk in the portfolio following the recent market strength while enabling us to capitalise on upwards movements in risk assets.

The final returns for the month of February were released on 18 March.

Take a look at our February performance here:

Investment Options 10 yrs
(% pa)
7 yrs
(% pa)
5 yrs
(% pa)
3 yrs
(% pa)
1 yr
(% pa)
FYTD
Feb 19
Feb 19
High Growth N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1.41% 3.62%
Growth 8.39% 8.13% 6.38% 8.35% 5.01% 2.33% 3.41%
Balanced 7.42% 7.21% 5.72% 7.11% 4.56% 2.37% 2.54%
Socially Responsible Balanced 7.94% 7.98% 5.90% 7.65% 6.97% 4.70% 3.61%
Conservative Balanced N/A 5.99% 4.69% 5.53% 4.66% 2.69% 1.80%
Conservative 5.49% 4.71% 3.70% 4.04% 3.70% 2.42% 1.01%
Shares 9.60% 9.48% 7.36% 11.08% 4.28% 1.37% 5.46%
Australian Shares 9.39% 8.00% 5.75% 10.84% 2.89% -1.43% 6.96%
International Shares 9.59% 10.69% 8.69% 11.11% 5.63% 3.88% 4.23%
Property 9.93% 8.84% 8.63% 8.17% 8.81% 5.29% 0.82%
Bonds 4.62% 3.85% 3.30% 3.72% 5.36% 4.01% 1.08%
Cash & Term Deposits 3.01% 2.49% 1.99% 1.76% 1.77% 1.17% 0.14%
Credit Income N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.24% 1.90% 0.44%
Lifetime Start N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.19% 4.15%
Lifetime Grow N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.29% 3.39%
Lifetime Build N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.30% 2.51%
Lifetime Prime N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 2.66% 1.77%