What is a super fund? This is a question common to many new immigrants to Australia. The short answer is that it is something to help people plan for retirement. And it is a fantastic idea. But apparently not all super funds are created equal. In a recent report on the ABC, differences were highlighted between industry super funds and retail super funds. Apparently industry super funds perform better than retail super funds and this has been going on for a quarter of a century. If this is true, it is amazing that there are some people who continue to stay with retail super funds. Why would you keep investing in a fund that will pay less in the long run?
It is worth thinking about. Resources are limited and we work hard to come by them. Why would we not want to use them in a way that maximises the outcome? And yet this is something that many people do each day.
Take time for example. Like water poured out on the beach, once it is gone, it is gone. We move forward in time and can never get it back again. You are only twenty once and not all the money in the world will enable you to live through that again (not that some people would anyway). Are we investing our time in activities that have small or no returns at all?
Apparently there are some who do this with money. According to one research group, “…Australia's total gambling losses per resident adult [is] at about $1000 a year, the highest amount in the world.” Now while we do not want to deny anyone the freedom of having fun, that does seem like a big investment for not a lot of return.
The Good Book reminds us that relationships are one of the best things we can invest in. Proverbs 22:1 (NIV) reminds us that, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Also, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” (Proverbs 22:9 NIV).