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Australia’s Retail Superannuation Fund Industry: Structure, Conduct and Performance

Listed author(s):
  • Adam Clements
  • Gemma Dale
  • Michael E. Drew

In this analysis of Australia’s superannuation arrangements it is our conjecture that the structure and conduct of the retail superannuation industry in Australia directly impacts performance, resulting in the delivery of costly funds management products which add minimal value for investors over the long term. In this study, we take the perspective of an investor faced with selecting a retail superannuation fund, and explore the extent to which various differentiating characteristics (such as style, rating and cost) provide insights into fund quality which uses a variety of asset pricing models for the period 1991 through 2003. The results of this study, suggest that investors cannot garner superior risk-adjusted returns through reliance on such characteristics.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 217.

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Length: 20
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:217
Note: Corresponding Author: Associate Professor Michael E. Drew, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, Qld, 4000, Australia. Tel: +61-7-3138-1481; Fax: +61-7-3138-1500. Email:; Acknowledgements: Drew acknowledges the financial support of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project funding scheme (#DP0452336, “Modelling the Risk of Defined Contribution Superannuation Plans”). We thank Robert Bianchi, John Polichronis and Tim Robinson (QUT) for helpful comments. We thank participants at the 2005 ‘Mid-West Finance Conference’ (Milwaukee), the 2005 ‘Australia’s Superannuation System: Accounting, Accountability and Performance Symposium’ (Brisbane) and the 2005 ‘Australian Conference of Economists’ (Melbourne) for feedback and discussion. We gratefully acknowledge the comments from two anonymous referees which assisted in the development of the paper and the work of the managing editor, Associate Professor Nava Subramaniam. Any remaining errors are our own.
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GPO Box 2434, BRISBANE QLD 4001

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