Investment returns (before tax and fees) for the quarter ending 31 March 2024 are:

Fund 3 months 1 Year (p.a.) 3 years (p.a.) 5 years (p.a.) 10 years (p.a.)
Growth Fund 5.0% 14.3% 8.4% 9.4% 8.9%
Balanced Fund 3.7% 11.5% 5.8% 6.8% 7.1%
Income Fund 0.9% 5.1% 0.9% 1.9% 2.9%

All our funds performed well in the quarter ended 31 March 2024.

The investment markets had a positive quarter thanks to strong economic data, especially from the US, and signs of slowing inflation. This boosted hopes for a “soft landing,” where the economy grows slowly without falling into a recession. Both the stock and bond markets saw gains.

However, not all developed markets are the same. During the COVID pandemic, economies shrank and central banks lowered interest rates in a similar way worldwide. Now, as time passes, economies and central banks are starting to go their separate ways. In Europe, for example, rate cuts are expected by mid-year due to weak industrial production, low retail sales, and low consumer confidence.

Investment markets are expecting a cycle of rate cuts to begin later this year, though the timing will vary by region. They also expect companies to continue showing positive earnings growth. Despite this, we remain cautious about the investment return outlook. We believe the market might be underestimating the economic risks from recent interest rate hikes.

Geopolitical uncertainty, such as tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East, and between the US and China, continues to cause market ups and downs. This has become a bigger factor in the global market compared to a decade ago.

In this environment, we remain cautious about asset prices. We stay diversified and keep higher-than-normal amounts in cash to manage risk effectively.