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Managed futures win favour with Australian investors, says SuperFund affiliate

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The robust global performance of managed futures funds is now attracting the attention of Australian investors looking to strengthen portfolios during times of extreme global market volati

The robust global performance of managed futures funds is now attracting the attention of Australian investors looking to strengthen portfolios during times of extreme global market volatility, according to the local affiliate of Austria-based manager SuperFund.

‘Demand for managed futures funds is predominantly being driven by Australian investors seeking to hedge against risks caused by high inflation, a low US dollar, poor equity markets and a global shortage of capital funding,’ says SuperAlphaFund director Matthias Gaertner.

‘We are seeing market volatility similar to that experienced by Australian investors during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when managed futures funds emerged as a means of diversification within traditional investment portfolios. Given investors today are far more aware of the need to structure portfolios with low correlating assets, we expect to see a local resurgence in managed futures fund investment.’

SuperAlphaFund Financial launched in Australia earlier this year as a member of the Superfund group of investment companies (formerly known as Quadriga), which operates in 18 countries around the world.

SuperFund funds utilise fully automated proprietary trading systems to remove emotional factors from the investment decision-making process. The trading strategy takes long and short positions in more than 100 futures markets around the world and has achieved above-average returns for investors over the past 12 years.

The SuperFund flagship fund, the Superfund Q-AG, has generated an annualised return of 18.96 per cent since its launch in March 1996 and is up 31.18 per cent so far this year. The Superfund gold fund, which follows a similar trading strategy but is tied to the performance of gold, was launched in 2005 and has generated an annualised return of 43.19 per cent, gaining 42.32 per cent in the six months of 2008.

In Australia, the range of SuperFund funds has initially been available only to wholesale investors, but Gaertner says retail investors will soon be able to invest in an Australian dollar-denominated local fund that aims to generate medium-term capital returns from a strategy with a low correlation to traditional asset classes.

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