Asset classes

Investments are generally divided into two types – growth assets and defensive assets. Growth assets carry higher risk, but they can deliver higher returns over the long term. Defensive assets generally carry less risk, and can therefore be used to protect your investment against loss. However, defensive assets generally deliver lower returns over the long term, and can deliver poor returns in certain environments. Some types of assets can be mixed between growth and defensive, depending on (for example) their investment strategy.

A typical diversified default superannuation fund will feature a mix of investments that spans the investment market by including potentially risky but high return assets like shares and unlisted companies, lower risk but longer term assets like public infrastructure and property while offsetting some of the risk with safe but low return investments in fixed interest bonds, term deposits and cash.

Before becoming an active super investor, it is worth familiarising yourself with the investment basics covered in this section.

On the following pages we detail some of the asset classes Media Super invests in and describe the major risks of each asset class. Follow the links provided in the table below or use the navigation at left to browse to each page.

Jargon Buster - What does it mean?

The Strategic asset allocation tables provided for each of Media Super’s investment options contain terms that we are required to use, as prescribed by Australia’s superannuation regulators.

Below, we provide the plain English meaning of each of these terms, to help you understand the breakdown of each option.

Regulators term What it means
Asset class type What type of asset is it? Shares, fixed interest, cash, etc.
Asset domicile type Where is the asset based? Australia or overseas.
Asset listing type Is the asset listed (available to buy publicly, such as on the stock market) or unlisted (not available to buy publicly)?

For example, a pre-mixed investment option could contain the following asset allocation:

Asset class type Asset domicile type Asset listing type What kind of asset is it?
Equity Australian domicile Listed Australian Shares
Equity n/a Listed Overseas Shares
Equity Australian domicile Unlisted Australian private markets
Equity n/a Unlisted International private markets
Infrastructure n/a n/a Infrastructure
Property Australian domicile Unlisted Property
Other n/a n/a Opportunistic Investments
Fixed Income n/a n/a Fixed Interest
Cash Australian domicile n/a Cash