Difficult ARF Investment Decisions

Choosing a suitable ARF fund in which to invest your retirement fund can be a daunting prospect at the best of times. Believe or not choosing an investment fund or strategy over the past 7-8 years has been quite easy as pretty much any ARF or investment fund you picked would have made some kind of positive return for you.

However, we have already entered a new phase in 2019 and investment decisions will become more problematic for many reasons:

  • Fixed Rate Deposits – many ARF holders were able to benefit from very attractive 5-year fixed term deposit rates that were on offer during 2011 – 2013. At their peak investors were able to lock in 5.5% guaranteed deposit rates for a period of 5 years. Those ARF investors are now coming out of those attractive fixed rates and there is no prospect of attractive fixed rates being offered again.
  • Financial Market Volatility – believe it or not most financial markets have been performing very well since 2010 / 2011 and until recently we were currently about 7 years into a very good run for investors, for almost all types of assets classes and funds. As you are no doubt aware, financial markets and asset classes are cyclical and market turmoil at the start of 2018 was and is not unexpected.
  • Political Uncertainty – Recent political events in the US, Europe and further afield could become the norm for the next number of years. Political uncertainly is never good for financial markets.
  • Property – after years of substantial property price inflation (especially in major urban areas) property as an investment, whilst still attractive, may be starting to lose some of its obvious appeal.

If all that were not enough , ARF investment decisions present a unique set of circumstances because:

  • Most ARF investors will require some level of income from their ARF for the rest of their lives
  • Most ARF investors are at a stage of their lives when capital preservation and modest investment growth is all they require.
  • Most ARF investors will be, in some way, financial dependent on their ARF to ensure they have enough money to do all the things they plan on doing in retirement.
  • Most ARF investors will not have and do not want to have to venture back into employment / self-employment in order to provide for more income.

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