On the Canstar website, our story New Zealand’s Top 10 KiwiSaver Funds is one of the most popular reads. However, there is a flipside: the top 10 worst performing KiwiSaver funds!
At the beginning of this year, to March, all of the top 10 biggest funds by number of members had recorded positive growth during the past 12 months, net charges and tax. And nearly half had posted double-digit returns.
But a lot has happened to markets since then. According to the latest quarterly KiwiSaver fund tracker statistics, over the 12 months to the end of June, the biggest funds by number of members have all posted losses of between -6% and -12%. And the worst performing KiwiSaver funds have dropped even further.
Worst Performing KiwiSaver Funds: the Upside
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, because there are still positives to be taken from the news of diminishing returns. One of the biggest is that long-term KiwiSaver performance is more important than short-term market volatility.
Of the ten poorly performing (mostly growth) funds listed below, only four have made negative returns since their inception. And those four funds were only established within the past two years.
Delving deeper into the latest KiwiSaver numbers, of the 352 listed KiwiSaver funds, only 47 have posted negative returns since inception. And of those 47, just two were established before 2019.
The rest were established over the past three years, during times of market turbulence. And for a fund’s long-term performance, here at Canstar, we recommend looking at five years of returns, at least.
Ultimately, it’s easy to single out a fund and look at its recent losses. But always remember that as a KiwiSaver member you should be in it for the long-haul, and that some funds are inherently more risky than others.
The Nikko AM ARK Disruptive Innovation Fund does exactly what it says on the tin. It invests in disruptive innovation, which is always going to be a far risker bet than conservative cash funds, which have fared far better over the past 12 months.
Always carefully pick your fund and provider on a range of criteria, including:
- Your age
- Whether you intend to use KiwiSaver as a means for a first home deposit
- Your appetite for risk
- Your retirement lifestyle aspirations
- Fees and value for money
To this end, Canstar has a free comparison tool that can help you make the right personal choice: just click on this button…
But, just as a big, black hairy spider is always an enjoyably grotesque sight, here is a list of the worst performing KiwiSaver funds over the 12 months to the end of June 2022:
Worst Performing KiwiSaver Funds
1 NIKKO AM ARK DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION FUND
No. Members: 1230
Growth in Past Year: -63.07% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2020): -39.18%
The fund provides access to a global share portfolio that offers thematic exposure to disruptive innovation across a number of sectors, and geographies.
2 JUNO GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 14,845
Growth in Past Year: -27.09% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2018): 4.77%
Fund seeks to maximise capital growth over periods exceeding 10 years. The Fund invests primarily in international equities, and can also invest in ETFs, derivatives and fixed interest.
3 INVESTNOW HARBOUR T. ROWE PRICE GLOBAL EQUITY FUND
No. Members: 343
Growth in Past Year: -23.88% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2020): -3.87%
Provides exposure to an actively managed global shares fund.
4 NZ FUNDS GROWTH STRATEGY
No. Members: 17,863
Growth in Past Year: -19.2% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2010): 9.07%
Aims to grow investments over the long term. Holds mainly New Zealand, Australian and international shares, and/or hedge funds.
5 JUNO BALANCED FUND
No. Members: 1897
Growth in Past Year: -19% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2018): 2.21%
Invests in equities with a reasonable allocation towards fixed interest. Seeks to provide investors with steady capital growth over a five to 10-year period.
6 SUMMER GLOBAL EQUITIES
No. Members: 915
Growth in Past Year: -17.56% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2016): 6.42%
The fund invests in selected international shares.
7 INVESTNOW CASTLE POINT TRANS-TASMAN FUND
No. Members: 51
Growth in Past Year: -17.38% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2020): -7.05%
Provides exposure to an actively managed portfolio that typically invests in New Zealand and Australian listed companies.
8 NZ FUNDS LIFE CYCLE: AGE 0-54
No. Members: 11,459
Growth in Past Year: -16.92% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2010): 8.49%
Investment allocation: 5% income strategy, 10% inflation and 85% growth.
9 INVESTNOW MINT AUSTRALASIAN EQUITY FUND
No. Members: 48
Growth in Past Year: -16.75% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2020): -8.65%
Provides exposure to an actively managed portfolio that typically invests in New Zealand and Australian listed equities.
10 GENERATE FOCUSED GROWTH FUND
No. Members: 68,887
Growth in Past Year: -16.46% net charges and tax
Net returns since fund started (2013): 7.18%
Aims to provide a higher growth investment return over the long-term through investment in a portfolio of actively managed cash, fixed interest, property and infrastructure assets, Australasian equities and international equities.
Compare KiwiSaver Providers with Canstar
If you’re comparing superannuation funds, the comparison table below displays some of the products currently available on Canstar’s database for a KiwiSaver member with a balance of $50,000 in an Aggressive fund, sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest), followed by company name (alphabetical) – some products may have links to providers’ websites. Use Canstar’s KiwiSaver comparison selector to view a wider range of super funds. Canstar may earn a fee for referrals.
To read more about our latest KiwiSaver Awards click this link or to compare KiwiSaver providers, click on the button below.
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.
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