2019 Fat Cat Funds Report

Best superannuation funds for your 40s and 50s

The best type of balanced superannuation fund for your 40’s and 50’s, and our tips to get the most out of your super.

In your 40s and 50s most people are well established in their career and family. If you haven’t started thinking about your superannuation balance, now is the time. 

Don’t worry – it’s not too late to get your superannuation sorted. It’s still possible to make the most of your hard earned money going into super. This will help guide you on what matters in your super.



What’s the best type of super fund for your 40s and 50s?

Growth and balanced funds are suited to most people in their 40s and 50s. At this age you may be looking to protect the superannuation you’ve accumulated in your 20s and 30s. If so, you want a super fund with some more defensive investments mixed with some growth investments.

Growth and balanced funds have a mix of growth assets – like shares – with a higher potential for returns, mixed with defensive assets like bonds and cash to reduce the potential for large losses.

Check out our annual research uncovering the best performing growth and balanced super funds in Australia this year.

Why super fees matter

A typical Fat Cat Fund charges 2% per year in fees. This doesn’t sound like a huge sum, but it is over a lifetime of superannuation that the devastating impact of high fees can be seen. 

By switching out of a fund charging 2% per year to one charging less than 1% per year, you could increase the super you have by $180,000. Too many Australians are unaware of the impact that compounding high fees have on their long term savings.

3 tips to get the best superannuation fund

  • Check your super is in a growth or balanced fund. These are suited to most people in their 40s and 50s. Both have a mix of growth assets like shares,  bonds and cash. At this age you want to reduce the chance for large losses in your super.

  • Pay less than 1% in fees. Find a fund with low fees. Remember you could save over $180,000 simply by paying less for your superannuation

  • Consolidate your funds. If you have more than one super fund you’re paying double or triple in super fees. If you’ve had a few jobs and started a new super fund each time you need to consolidate them. Most super funds will help you consolidate your funds. This will also help ensure that you’re not paying double for insurance premiums.

Effects of super fees in your 40s and 50s

Super Fund CategoryExpected super balance at retirement before feesFee AmountExpected super balance at retirement age after feesHow much of your return is lost in fees
High fee fund (2% p.a. fee) $853,049.52 $167,822.32 $685,227.2020%
Low fee fund (>1% p.a. fee) $914,768.30 $49,424.07 $865,344.235%

Feeling inspired? Here are two questions to ask your super fund

What’s the total investment fees I’m paying? 

If the answer is more than 1% per annum you could be in a Fat Cat Super Fund. Super funds can be a tricky bunch and some make it willfully difficult to understand how much you pay them to manage your money.

Fee disclosure varies greatly between funds: many don’t show fees on their website and hide them deep in downloadable documents. 

Don’t give up! Keep asking. They have to tell you. Investment performance comes and goes but fees are with you every year. It’s important you know how much you pay your super fund, it could mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement.

Do you use ETFs or index funds?

Our research shows that 89%^ of balanced super funds did worse than Stockspot’s low-cost index strategy after fees and taxes.

Index funds are easy to access for superannuation managers, all the research shows index funds do better than standard super funds, yet many choose not to because of the conflicts of interest in the industry. 

Historically you would have done better than 89% of the other super funds if you were simply in an indexed option that followed the market.

Find out how Stockspot makes it easy to grow your wealth and invest in your future.

^ These findings are consistent with research from Finalytiq which found similar results in the UK: Finalytic, The Multi-Asset Fund Guide, S&P Dow Jones whose SPIVA research shows that 80% of active Australian share fund managers have underperformed the index over 15 years. S&P Dow Jones SPIVA Australia Mid-Year 2018


Founder and CEO

Chris has been vocal in calling out the industry 'Fat Cats' and is known for telling it as it is. He sits on two Advisory Committees for the industry regulator ASIC, and was previously a fund manager at UBS. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting/Finance Co-op Scholarship) from UNSW.

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