At this time of year people are starting to receive their annual super statements. Many will simply open their statement, not understand what they are looking at and file it under “S” for super. Some will leave their statement unopened in its envelope whilst few will bin theirs!
If you are one of those that reads your statement but doesn’t quite understand it, let me address one of the biggest areas I receive questions about:
Earnings: If this figure is positive, then you’ve made money. Yay! If this figure is negative, it means you’ve lost money. For most people, losing money hurts and as you get older, the pain intensifies. If you are under 40, you probably don’t notice or don’t care, and that’s great, because it means you take a long term view of your investments or you simply don’t care!
If however you are closer to retirement or don’t like fluctuations in your account balance, then you’ll feel a little sick in the stomach when you read your statement. The trick here is not to panic. Markets move up and down all the time however lately the movements have been big!
If you don’t like the way your account balance jumps around, then DO something. You should speak to a financial planner about your appetite for risk because you can take some risk out of your portfolio by reducing your exposure to shares.
Yes, that’s right, YOU HAVE CONTROL over your super. It’s not the super fund that decides where your money is invested, it’s YOU.
So if you are feeling a little anxious about your super or investments don’t throw your statement on the counter and yell “That’s crap, I’ve lost money!”contact your financial planner to discuss.