24 Feb 2011
By Wright Communications
With an annual average return of 11.591 per cent over the three years the Fidelity Life Options Kiwi Fund was placed comfortably ahead of the next-placed fund in the survey. In the year to 31 January it returned 9.21 per cent.
One of the more unique KiwiSaver funds, the Fidelity Life Options Kiwi Fund is the KiwiSaver version of Fidelity Life's popular Options Portfolio. The Options Portfolio, managed by Tyndall Investment Management, is a cash fund that issues options on US 10 year and other government bonds.
Fidelity Life CEO Milton Jennings says the alternative, fixed-interest strategy of the Options Kiwi Fund has produced consistently high returns for its KiwiSaver investors. The Fund is also luring increasing numbers of New Zealanders; the overall fund is now worth $36.7 million, a 64 per cent increase from the year-earlier period.
"We have to produce consistent, and consistently high, returns for our customers to be successful, says Mr Jennings. "The key benefit of our Options Kiwi Fund for investors is its focus on sound medium to long term management. This means the shorter term swings of potentially volatile financial markets are smoothed out.
"For our Options Kiwi Fund customers, the results speak for themselves as they look to the amount of money they can count on in their retirement. An initial $1,000 invested with Fidelity Life in the Fund three years ago on 1 February 2008 is now worth $1473.97 on 28 January 2011. "
Tellingly, Mr Jennings says that some 80 per cent of Fidelity Life's senior management have all or some of their portfolios invested in the company's Options range of products.
Fidelity Life has a stable of seven KiwiSaver investment funds including Balanced Kiwi, ranked second in its sector over three years and Aggressive and Growth Kiwi which ranked third and fourth in their respective sectors.
Mr Jennings says that KiwiSaver has been a consistent growth area for Fidelity Life, with a 96.6 per cent increase in KiwiSaver funds under management, from $92.3m on 31 January 2010 to $181.5m on 31 January 2011. The largest New Zealand-owned life insurance and investment company has signed up a total of 72,000 members since the inception of KiwiSaver more than three years ago. The Options Portfolios managed by Tyndall Investment Management generates $20-$30m of US dollars of foreign currency for the country every year.
1 Before tax and after management fees.
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