Strong returns saw CFS outpace other super providers despite challenging market conditions this financial year.  


  • Members received double-digit returns that exceeded the industry median 
  • This was testament to the depth and capability of our new investment team 
  • We’re positioned to capitalise on opportunities to continue delivering outstanding value  
  • Additionally, we offer one of the lowest admin fees in the market^. 

Strong investment results for the year ending 30 June 2023 demonstrated the revitalisation of our investment approach after bolstering our team of industry-leading talent and adding new capability.


Headlining our performance, the FirstChoice Employer Super (Lifestage 1965-69) balanced investment option returned 10.5%, with the growth option (Lifestage 1975-79) delivering 12.2%.  


Both options outperformed, according to SuperRatings, which found the median balanced super option delivered an annual return of 9.05% to 30 June 2023, with growth delivering an annual return of 11.16%.*


The good news extended across all members between the ages of 28 and 57, invested in FirstChoice Employer Super Lifestage investment options, with all receiving double-digit returns.


We’re pleased to deliver these results to members to help them towards achieving financial freedom. Additionally, we offer one of the lowest admin fees in the market as independently verified by Chant West^.


CFS Chief Investment Officer, Jonathan Armitage, said:


“Our commitment to members is to provide better investment outcomes into the future. We’ve delivered to this in 2023 through our enhanced investment capabilities and reinvigorated investment approach.” 



What contributed to the positive results?


Part of our investment philosophy is to actively manage the money members entrust us with. This means we track the performance of investments and adjust to take advantage of opportunities and steer away from potential obstacles.


A major driver of our returns for this year was global equities (or shares). We actively chose to invest in global equities which delivered significant results to boost our overall returns.


Jonathan said the rally in global equities had a lot to do with artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on NASDAQ (US stock exchange) stocks like Nvidia and Microsoft, adding the NASDAQ was up around 35% year to date, signalling how important the AI story had been for performance. 


“The evolution of AI, its integration into workplaces and how it will be regulated are all variables that markets will be watching closely over the year ahead,” he said. 


Australian shares also performed well, with Jonathan acknowledging partnerships with BlackRock and international bond managers as a contributing factor to our performance.  


“We have also seen good relative returns from fixed income in what has been a very challenging market, which has helped us achieve a strong result,” Jonathan said.  


Also contributing to our results is we have limited investment in unlisted assets in comparison to some other super providers who have significant holdings. Unlisted assets are property, infrastructure and other investments that are not traded on a stock market.  


In recent weeks, a number of funds have undertaken new valuations of these investments which has seen a drop in the price and impacted returns. Learn more about unlisted assets



Where to from here?


We’re seeing unprecedented global events and situations we haven’t experienced for decades. All of which impact investments. Events such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine drove changes such as increasing interest rates, supply chain disruption, and inflation – plus, unpredictable fluctuations in markets. And conditions will continue to change. 


In response, Jonathan said:


“We recognise how we’ve managed members’ money for the last 30 years is going to be different going forward because things are changing, past methods won’t work as well”.


As we’ve built out our expertise and capability, we’re in a position to continue delivering good performance for our members even in unpredictable times. 


Moving into this new financial year, CFS is in the enviable position of having liquidity to be nimble and take advantage of the opportunities the market is presenting.


As far as what this year holds, Jonathan said volatility is creating exciting investment opportunities, specifically in fixed-income, unlisted infrastructure, and unlisted real estate. 


Read the media release.



^ Chant West Super Fund Fee Survey as at 31 March 2023 for MySuper products based on $50,000 account balance. 

* SuperRatings Fund Crediting Rate Survey – June 2023. Past performance is no indication of future performance.

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Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL) is the trustee of the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557 and issuer of FirstChoice range of super and pension products. Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the responsible entity and issuer of products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments.


Information on this webpage is provided by AIL and CFSIL. It may include general advice but does not consider your individual objectives, financial situation, needs or tax circumstances. You can find the target market determinations (TMD) for our financial products at which include a description of who a financial product might suit. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. You can get the PDS and FSG at or by calling us on 13 13 36.


Tax considerations are general and based on present tax laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information. 


AIL and CFSIL are not registered tax (financial) advisers under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 and you should seek tax advice from a registered tax agent or a registered tax (financial) adviser if you intend to rely on this information to satisfy the liabilities or obligations or claim entitlements that arise under a tax law.