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The Diversification and Performance of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds


  • Peter J. Phillips
  • Alex Cathcart
  • John Teale


In this article we examine the diversification and performance of a small preliminary sample of Australian self-managed superannuation (retirement) funds (SMSFs). Using the single index model and traditional (risk-adjusted) performance measures within the context set by modern portfolio theory we find that the SMSFs in our sample exhibit considerable under-diversification. In addition, we find that the SMSFs do not appear to be benefiting from even naive diversification and, unsurprisingly, perform poorly on a risk-adjusted basis vis-à-vis the unmanaged S&P/ASX300 index. This empirical investigation contributes to economists' understanding of the microeconomic structure of this increasingly important component of Australia's retirement income stream. Copyright 2007 Bank of England.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter J. Phillips & Alex Cathcart & John Teale, 2007. "The Diversification and Performance of Self-Managed Superannuation Funds," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 40(4), pages 339-352, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:40:y:2007:i:4:p:339-352

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    Cited by:

    1. Peter J. Phillips, 2011. "Will Self‐Managed Superannuation Fund Investors Survive?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 44(1), pages 51-63, March.
    2. Peter J. Phillips & Michael Baczynski & John Teale, 2009. "Can self-managed superannuation fund trustees earn the equity risk premium?," Accounting Research Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(1), pages 27-45, July.

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