Finally, super that’s on your wavelength

Just because super is serious business doesn’t mean it has to be old-fashioned, complicated and not all about you.

It’s not surprising that for most people, super is something that’s often relegated to the too-hard basket. Not only does it seem complicated, but chances are you’re too busy living now to think about what you’ll be doing in 20 or 30 years’ time.

Because super isn’t a priority, it’s no wonder the vast majority of Australians don’t take the time to think about where their super is going, but instead rely on their employer’s default fund and the standard level of contributions. Which is rookie error number one!

That’s because making an active choice about how you’re going to invest your money and how much you contribute can be the single most important decision you make about your super, and something that can make a significant difference to your final super balance. In short, being engaged with your super can have a dramatic effect on whether the future is full of fun, or full or financial stress.

So what’s the best fund for you?

There seems to be lots of change, lobbying and scare-mongering in relation to the major super funds at the moment – industry funds vs. retail funds, greedy banks vs. not for profits. It can all be pretty confusing and daunting.

Rather then feeling put off by what you hear, a positive way to look at super is to decide that you’re in it for the long haul and you want to do it right.

So start thinking about what’s important to you in relation to your super. Do you want to be hands-on with your investments or leave it to others? Do you want to invest in what’s important to you – like sustainable investing, technology or community? Do want to own shares in your super fund? Does the super fund make it easy for you to deal with them with a great app and website? Does what they say actually make sense? Do they make an effort to get you engaged or is it all about them?

Many super funds bank on your inaction. That’s why a lot of people are in their employer’s default fund. For the super provider, these funds are easy money that they don’t have to fight for, and they don’t have to justify their actions. Some funds are sub-standard and offer little by way of features and some have high fees, but if you don’t get engaged, you might never know.

The good news is, if you thought all super was the same – traditional, technical and tedious, think again.

Introducing the new breed of super funds

With so many super funds being stuck in the past, it’s refreshing to see the emergence of a new generation of super funds with a different take on helping you create your financial destiny your way. Progressive, relatable and far from old-school, they provide a whole range of benefits that are more in line with the expectations of younger, more discerning investors. These include:

  • More choice – We’re all individuals with different needs and wants, so why should we be lumped with the masses when it comes to one of our biggest investments? Today’s more innovative funds give you greater choice in how you invest you money, and can include emerging industries such as tech, health and sustainability, so you can select what suits you.
  • More control – If you really want to be the boss of your super, you might want to look for a fund that lets you be more hands on with your investments, which some of the newer funds do. It’s also crucial that your super is easy to keep an eye on and manage – including on your device when you’re on the go, which is another way more modern funds have the edge.
  • More transparency – Unlike old-fashioned super, which makes it hard for investors to stay on top of their investments and fees, the new breed of funds are more upfront about every aspect of your super. You can often track your investment performance in real time, and thanks to simpler, more competitive fee structures, you’ll know exactly where you stand.
  • More personalisation – As well as letting you tailor your investments, some of the more innovative funds give you individual tax benefits. This means that you don’t have to pay the average tax across all the other investors in the fund, which is the way it’s often calculated.
  • More simplicity – If you really want to get on top of your super, look for a product you can understand. That means a fund that talks the way you do – with no jargon or scary-sounding technicalities, just information that’s simple, smart and switched on.
  • More of a conscience – If you’d prefer something that’s more aligned to your values and beliefs, a newer fund will most likely offer you investments that are enhancing the world rather than depleting it. This includes greener, more sustainable investment options.

At the end of the day, you’re only going to stay motivated about your super if, firstly you can understand it, secondly, you can relate to it, and thirdly, you can manage it.

It’s your future, so make sure you choose wisely to find the perfect super fund for you.