Best superannuation funds for your 20s and 30s

The tips to choose the best growth super fund in your 20s and 30s, and avoid losing over $200k of your hard earned super.

Your superannuation matters. Yes, it can be complicated and frustratingly slow, but the sooner you get it sorted, the less you need to think about it.

Superannuation is the single-most important source of savings most Australians will have over their lifetime. This is why it’s important to get it right at your different life stages.

At this age, anything is possible. You’re working life out, planting roots or tearing them up and making changes. We know the last thing you want to worry about is superannuation.

But it’s at this time that getting into a good super fund can have the biggest impact on your financial future – and the ability to do all those amazing things you want when you stop working.

What’s the best type of super fund for your 20s and 30s?

Ideally you want to be in a ‘high growth’ or ‘growth’ fund. Growth funds should have a higher percentage of shares in them, about 70% – 80%.

The more shares you have in your superannuation means you have a better chance at higher returns. The good news is you’re young and can afford to take on more risk to aim for those high returns because you have a long time until you retire.

Why fees matter in your 20s and 30s

A typical Fat Cat Fund charges 2% per year in fees. Two percent doesn’t sound like much, so let’s look at how much that is over a lifetime of work.

The average 20 – 30 year old in a Fat Cat Fund can expect to lose $225,000 (27%) of their potential super savings to fees over their lifetime. Imagine what you could do with that money – you could retire years earlier and travel the globe.

Find out who are the best aggressive growth and growth superannuation funds in Australia in 2021. 

3 top super tips in your 20s and 30s

  • Make sure you’re in a growth or high growth super fund. You have time on your side and can afford to take more risk. These funds have the potential for higher returns. This means more money for you in the future!
  • Pay less than 1% in fees. Find a fund with low fees. Remember you could have an extra $225,000 when you retire (how many round-the-world-trips is that?) simply by paying less in super fees.
  • Consolidate your funds. No doubt you’ve heard it before. Having more than one super fund is paying double fees. Most super funds will help you consolidate your funds.  This will also help ensure you don’t pay double for insurance premiums.

Effect of fees in your 20s and 30s

High fee fund (2% p.a. fee)$1,243,916.18$334,826.36$909,089.8227%
Low fee fund (<1% p.a. fee)$1,373,612.72$108,565.31$1,265,047.418%

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% p.a. your superannuation fund could be a Fat Cat Fund.

Super funds can be a tricky bunch and some make it 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 cost 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 97%^ of growth super funds did worse than Stockspot’s low-cost index portfolios after fees and taxes.

Index funds are easy to access for superannuation managers, yet many choose not to because of the conflicts of interest in the industry.

The Final Word

Remember the number one golden rule is always less than 1% p.a. in fees. Simple!

Want to find out who the best and worst super funds are for 2021?

^ 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 Year End 2019

Founder and CEO

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

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