Tuesday, 7 October 2008


I have 2 superannuation funds.

One is the industry fund I’ve been in the last 8 years (extent of the damage as yet unknown as their annual report has been delayed due to a merger or some such thing).

The other is a fund whose television advertisements feature
a bloke who became quite famous for his ability to either throw balls at wooden sticks or hit balls with wooden sticks. Which is quite a talent apparently. In 2001, some old fella whose name escapes me for the moment stated that the greatest living Australian ever was some other fella who used to hit balls with wooden sticks for a living way back in olden times.

Fuck, here I was thinking all I needed in life was a real job when instead I could’ve honed my skills in school hanging about in paddocks belting balls with wooden sticks and making a zillion and gittin’ it on with some blonde chick with big tits like all the other wooden stick-and-ball men seem to do.

Didn’t I tell you I was a loser?

Anyway, I started full-time work in 1976, so I’ve not had the, ahem, “benefit” of compulsory super for a fair whack of my working life. If I retire at 65, that means I’ve now got a bit over 15 years left to rack up some money to live on. The way things are going at the moment, I reckon I might see 3 or 4 decent weeks of living after almost 50 years in the workforce but, after that, it’s dog food and a thatched humpy under a
water tower somewhere out Burra way, I guess.

At least it’s shady. And when you look up, there’s water vie- … oh … no, that’s a leak.

So here’s how wooden stick-and-ball-man’s fab fund has worked out for me this year …

Opening Balance at July 1 2007: $67,210.88

Tax Credits Received: $263.09
Change in Market Value: ($11,675.74 )
Add Income: $184.09
Less Ongoing Fees/Expenses: ($1,334.18)

Closing Balance at June 30 2008: $54,648.14

So, I’m down to the tune of $12,562.74. Which is 18.69%.

Twelve and a half grand. Fuck me.

Here’s how the fund is allocated …

Cash: 4.1%
Aust. Shares: 77.2%
Int’l Shares: 17.5%
Property: 1.2%

Now, what shits me is, apart from the “fees” which are ridiculous, is that late last year I was thinking of rolling this fund into my current one. The fees are far lower, for one thing. But if I had chosen to do that, wooden stick-and-ball man’s fund would have charged 15% for the privilege.

Thinking that was a bit rich, I decided to leave it as is.


The only reason I had this fund in the first damn place was because I had a bunch of small super balances from casual jobs I’d done, as well as my full-time job at the time (from which I’d just resigned back in 2000 after 10 years) and someone I worked with then recommended I go see his financial advisor to sort it all out and put it all in one basket.

Which I did.


And here’s another thing – from 1990 until 2004 I worked for non-profit, non-government agencies which are, traditionally, low-paying. Or, to be a little blunter about it, those cunts pay you shit. It’s only been these last 3, almost 4 years now, that my salary has come to represent what I feel is commensurate remuneration for 25 years in my particular field of “expertise” and my age.

I have no fucking idea what to do. If I rollover this fund, they’ll take another 8 grand in exit fees. And with what’s going on at the moment, it’s probably lost another couple of grand the last month or two.

What’s left would represent what my annual wage was 10 years ago. One year’s worth.

So, if I die when I’m 66, I’m laughing. All the way to the bank!

If there are any left in business, that is.

From 1931, Bing Crosby “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”


Michelle said...

Roll it out. Now. Better to roll it out now and gain advantage of purchasing shares - via the other fund - at a lower price, thereby increasing your chances of getting your money back when the market moves back up. (Not financial advice by the way, but it's what I'd do and I have some experience with superannuation.)

What pisses me off is funds charging exorbitant fees when in actual fact all they are doing is accepting money and investing it as they do for thousands of other members in the fund. Then charging you again if you have the hide to roll the money out.

Of course, this isn't the worst fund I've heard of. A friend of mine was in a fund where they not only took out 15% tax when she paid her contributions (she was salary sacrificing), she was charged another fee for the money going in, then and ongoing annual fee, then another fee when she rolled the money out. Disgusting. Needless to say, the financial advisor who recommended this fund was getting kickbacks.

I'm lucky that I'm in a fund for public servants so all I get hit with is a very small annual fee (not even 0.5% of my balance) and whatever is happening in the markets.

Ross Sharp said...

Thanks Michelle. Comparing this retail fund with my industry fund from past years last night, I've decided to do just that and wear the 15% for the short term.