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Investment strategies

Education HUB article

8 minute read

How do I choose an investment strategy for my super?

It’s important to understand that all investment strategies carry some level of risk. Every investment has the potential to deliver a range of results, including poor or negative returns.

Generally, the higher the risk you're prepared to accept, the higher the potential return in the long term.

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Investing in super (2:32 minutes)

Super is a long-term investment helping you fund your retirement. So how it's invested today can have a big impact on how much income you'll have to live on when you retire. By taking a few minutes to review your situation, you're making an investment in your future. First up, it's important to understand your investment strategy and the important role it plays when making an investment choice that works for you. Think about what you want your super to achieve for your age, the level of risk you're willing to take and how long you'll be investing for. Most super funds will let you choose from a range of different investment options. The type of options available will vary with many being diversified managed funds. Investment options are typically made up of a mix of different assets. These can range from low risk like cash and fixed interest through to high risk like Australian and international shares.

When deciding, it's important to choose the option that's right for you. Remember that higher risk options are likely to experience more volatile returns over the short term, but they usually achieve higher returns over the long term. And lower risk options usually provide lower returns over the long term that are less volatile.

If your fund is a MySuper fund, you may also have access to a life cycle investment strategy. This option is sometimes known as an age-based strategy and is designed to change with you. It does this by automatically changing your investment mix as you age, moving you from higher risk investments, aiming for higher returns when you are younger, to more stable conservative investments as you get closer to retirement. This option means you don't have to choose a particular investment yourself. You choose to invest in the strategy instead and all the work is done for you.

Understanding all the investment options available in super can be overwhelming, which is why we built an education hub to help build your knowledge. You'll find lots of educational articles, including managed funds explained and risk versus return. If you'd like more information on how to choose a super fund, our wealth concierge team can give you complementary general advice or refer you to a financial planner for personal advice. To get in touch, make an online inquiry through our website or drop in and see us at your local Bendigo bank branch. Or if you already have a financial planner, you can simply contact them and ask for some personal advice.

With super, there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach. What suits you, may not suit the next person. When it comes to choosing an investment strategy for your super, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Your age and how long until you can access your super
  • How much income you may need when you retire
  • How much risk you are willing to take to achieve that income


If you’re not expecting to access your super for five years or more, you may want to consider a growth investment style. A growth option carries greater risk as it’s likely to experience short term volatility. However, over the long term it will likely achieve higher returns, a better income in retirement, and could maximise the potential returns of your super.

Because a growth investment strategy requires a long term outlook, it’s usually a more suitable choice when you are younger. This is because you’re likely to have time on your side should your super balance drop due to market downturns.


On the other hand, if you are nearing the end of your career or planning for retirement, a conservative investment style may be more suitable. While a more defensive strategy tends to deliver lower returns, this option aims to reduce risk and help minimise your super balance dropping.


Lastly, you may fall somewhere in the middle and be more comfortable taking on a moderate level of risk. If so, you accept lower returns than a growth strategy but with less volatility. If this sounds like you, a balanced investment style may be an appropriate option.

When should you change your investment strategy?

As your working life progresses your super strategy will change. And over time, your focus will probably shift from growing to preserving your super balance. An investment strategy that suits you earlier in your working life, is unlikely to be appropriate when you’re near retirement age.

Ensuring your super is being invested in the right way for your specific needs is important. If you’re uncertain how your super is being invested, check your latest super statement.

Bendigo MySuper

Many super funds, including Bendigo Super, offer MySuper options when you join the fund.

If you invest with Bendigo MySuper, you’re allocated to a fund according to your aged-based life stage:

When you join Bendigo Super you can choose how to invest for your retirement. If you don't choose an investment strategy, your super will be invested with Bendigo MySuper. Your funds will be assigned depending on your age and will change as you reach the next life stage.

Bendigo SmartStart Super

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to your super, there are a variety of investment strategies to choose from.

SmartStart Super has an investment option to suit your needs, including socially responsible and cash options.

For more helpful articles, visit the Education HUB.

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Things you should know

Bendigo Superannuation

Bendigo Superannuation Pty Ltd ABN 23 644 620 128 AFSL 534006 (Bendigo Super) is the trustee and issuer of Bendigo SmartStart Super and Bendigo SmartStart Pension (products). Bendigo Super is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL 237879 (Bank). Each of these companies receives remuneration on the issue of the products or services they provide, full details of which are contained in the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Bendigo Super, the Bank and its related entities do not guarantee the repayment of capital invested, the payment of income or products’ investment performance. An investment in these products does not represent a deposit with, or liability of Bendigo Super, the Bank or its related entities. The Bank does not stand behind or guarantee the performance of Bendigo Super in its capacity as trustee and issuer of the products. Bendigo Super is not an authorised deposit-taking institution within the meaning of the Banking Act 1959.

Information on the website is subject to change without notice. Any advice in relation to superannuation is provided by Bendigo Super. The information contains general advice only and does not take into account your personal objectives, situation or needs. Before making an investment decision in relation to these products you should consider your situation and read the relevant PDS accessible through this site.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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