Kiwisaver grows to $32 billion


The latest KiwiSaver results are in for the first three months of the year. It was a volatile start to the year with global share prices falling sharply until the middle of February and then rebounding.

Morningstar says the defensive KiwiSaver funds did better than the growth funds. In other words, funds with lots of fixed-interest investments (bonds) did better than shares.

The best performing category of fund was "Moderate", rising 2.65 percent in the March quarter.

But even the "Aggressive" funds eked out a 0.79 percent return over three months.

Morningstar says: "The New Zealand equity market was a shining light among global volatility in the March quarter. The S&P/NXZ50 rose 6.77 percent. The gains were fairly broad-based, with a smaller drawdown in January compared to global markets followed by a sharp rise from mid-February onwards."

The New Zealand market has gained 15 percent over twelve months.

Morningstar says people now have over $32 billion invested in KiwiSaver. That compares to $954 million in June 2008.

It has crunched the numbers for how each fund category performed over the past year.

Contrast that with the average three year returns:

Here are the five year returns for the various fund categories.

Conservative = 6.5 percent

The results show that it is important to look beyond the short term volatility in the markets and focus on your longer term investment goals. If you start saving in your 20s you will be in KiwiSaver for decades.

The Financial Markets Authority says it is a good idea to check your KiwiSaver fund every year, just like your car would receive a warrant of fitness.