How To Turbocharge Your Investment Returns

Michael Bova, Director - Family Wealth Advisory 

If you’d invested $10,000 into the whole Australian share market back in 2002, your initial investment amount would have grown to almost $50,000 by 30 June 2022.

It’s a huge gain. Around 385 per cent to be precise. And, to achieve it, all that you would have needed to do is reinvest all the Australian company dividends you’d received over the last 20 years back into the Australian share market.

You could have achieved similar returns by investing through a managed fund or an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks the broad Australian share market.

Yet, as good as that all sounds, you could have done much better if you had added to your initial $10,000 investment by making regular monthly investment contributions.

How much better? Just by adding $250 per month your Australian share market investment would have surged to more than $180,000. That represents a 1,729 per cent total return.

In other words, for $60,000 in total additional contributions over 20 years, your end investment would have been worth over $130,000 more than if you had made no extra contributions.

The numbers obviously get larger if you had made higher regular monthly contributions.

By adding $500 per month to the initial $10,000 amount your investment would have compounded by 3,074 per cent to more than $317,000.

That’s a $130,000 total investment ($10,000 plus $120,000 in other contributions) over 20 years to achieve an investment worth $270,000 more than if you had just left your initial investment to grow on its own.

An initial contribution amount combined with a regular investment savings strategy and the reinvestment of distributions over time will deliver much higher long-term results.

Understanding dollar-cost averaging

There’s another major advantage in making regular investment contributions, which brings into play a well-known portfolio strategy called dollar-cost averaging.

You may not realise it, but you’re probably already undertaking this strategy (indirectly) if you’re a member of a super fund.

Here’s how dollar-cost averaging works. Every time your employer makes a contribution into your super fund account it’s automatically invested by your fund according to the default investment strategy that you’ve chosen.

Maybe you’ve selected a “high-growth” super option, a “balanced” option, or a “conservative” option.

Behind the scenes your super money is most likely being directed into different managed funds, which invest into shares, bonds, cash, and other types of assets.

While the amount of super your employer pays doesn’t change, your investment purchasing power does change every time you receive a new super contribution.

That’s because the prices of the managed fund units your super fund is investing into does change every day.

If those managed fund unit prices have risen since your last contribution, then your super fund will be purchasing fewer units than last time.

Likewise, if the managed fund unit prices have fallen in value, your super fund will be purchasing more units than last time.

This strategy works in exactly the same way if you make regular contributions at set intervals outside of your super to buy units directly in other managed funds and ETFs.

You’ll automatically buy more units when market prices are lower and fewer units when prices are higher.

Over the total period that you keep investing, your average entry cost into specific assets will potentially be lower than if you’d try to guess the best time to buy in.

As your unit balance grows over time, your corresponding distributions via company dividends and other payments will also keep on growing. That’s the magic of compounding investment returns.

Just like your super contributions, it’s all really about sticking to a disciplined, non-emotional approach to investing that’s not affected by what’s happening on financial markets at any point in time.

Making regular contributions, and taking advantage of dollar-cost averaging, really adds up.

They’re a powerful combination in helping you to focus on achieving your investment goals, ideally through an appropriately diversified portfolio, to give you the best chance of investment success over the long term.

The Family Wealth Advisory Group Pty Limited is licensed as an Australian Financial Services Licensee, Licence No 500323. The information and any advice provided in this article has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to those things.

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