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AMP's KiwiSaver results show improvement in the short term but the five year returns are still pretty ugly

AMP's KiwiSaver results show improvement in the short term but the five year returns are still pretty ugly

The latest data released for KiwiSaver performance as at December 31, 2012 is from AMP. Our story covering the returns to September 30, 2012 can be found here.

AMP's recent results in the more aggressive investment sectors are showing some improvement relative to their peers. Once the perenial cellar dwellers across many of the KiwiSaver sectors, AMP is clawing its way back up the leader board.

Part of the improvement we believe has been the addition of key personnel from the old AXA investment management business. The strong relationship with AMP Capital in Australia will also be providing the NZ based analysts and managers with the ability to leverage off additional expertise.

The five year performance numbers still look pretty ugly for many of AMP's funds. The notable exception is the AMP Lifestages Conservative Fund which is ranked number three in its peer group according to the latest Morningstar performance tables.

Over time as the returns from the 2007/2008 disaster roll out of the performance calculations we should see AMP move further up the ranking table across the various sectors.

AMP follows a thorough and robust investment approach which includes both strategic and dynamic asset allocation decisions.

The strategic component sets the long term benchmarks for how the funds are allocated across various investment sectors and the dynamic allocations are more tactical and reflect a short to medium term view on markets.

Modelling using historical, forward looking and simulated return scenarios are included as part of the decision making process.

AMP Capital has a neutral 70% hedging position for international equities and this is dynamically-managed.

Of all the funds offered by AMP in KiwiSaver over the past 12-months the best performers has been the AMP Lifestages Aggressive Fund with a return of 15.3%. This fund is ranked 4/11 within the Aggressive sector according to Morningstar's data. The same fund is ranked 9/10 over five-years.

Over the five years to 31 December, 2012 the best performing fund has been the AMP Lifestages Conservative Fund (5.5% per annum) and is ranked 3/16 in the Moderate category. The same fund returned 7.3% for the last 12-months.

One of the biggest drags on performance in recent times has been the weighting to Cash within some of the portfolios. For example the Lifestages Conservative Fund has just over 25% of the total portfolio in Cash as at December 31.

Below is a table of the longer term performance of the AMP funds. The return data is before tax and after fees and is as published by the managers. (No adjustments have been made to take into account those additional fees which scheme providers may charge and which are not included in calculating the fund performance. We do make such adjustments, but they will not be included until the full benchmarking is published.)

AMP KiwiSaver Scheme
(31 December 2012)
1 year
5 year
Since inception
(1 Oct 2007)
Default Fund 6.5% 4.3% 4.2%
Cash Fund 3.3% 4.8% 4.9%
Conservative Fund 7.8% 6.0% 5.7%
Moderate Fund 9.3% 4.5% 4.1%
Moderate Balanced Fund 10.9% 3.4% 3.0%
Balanced Fund 12.4% 3.2% 2.6%
AMP OnePath Balanced Fund 15.2% 4.5% 4.3%
AMP Tower Balanced Fund 12.5% 3.9% 3.5%
AMP Tyndall Balanced Fund 12.6% 2.7% 2.2%
Growth Fund 14.1% 1.0% 0.4%
Aggressive Fund 15.7% -0.2% -0.8%














More detailed performance reporting can be found here ».

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