Silver lining for Aussie investors with Greek debt crisis

In spite of some dire predictions for Aussie super funds, falls in the global market as a result of the Greek debt crisis could provide investors, including SMSF trustees, with a portfolio-boosting opportunity, according to one economist.

 

The Greek crisis should present SMSF investors with an opportunity to purchase global equities at cheaper prices, according to BetaShares chief economist David Bassanese.

Mr Bassanese told nestegg.com.au’s sister publication SMSF Adviser that while both the Australian share market and global markets had had a knee-jerk reaction to economic events in Greece earlier this week, markets have now mostly corrected.

“My view is that there is no reason to de-risk portfolios significantly and get out of equities – I don’t think it’s the end of the bull market,” said Mr Bassanese.

“On a medium term, a three- to five-year view, you wouldn’t want to be getting out of the markets just because of this – you could look at this as an opportunity to buy on weakness [given] some good opportunities may emerge if the crisis deepens.”

Germany and France in particular should be well placed for growth, he said.

“If the euro weakens as a result of this crisis, it [will] make the German economy even stronger,” said Mr Bassanese.

Much of the uncertainty is likely to continue until Greece has held its referendum on Sunday.

“If it’s a 'yes' vote, markets may react positively because it means negotiations will continue. If it’s a 'no' vote, then there’s a risk of another sell-off due to the uncertainty of what that means for Greece and the participation in the eurozone,” he said.

According to superannuation research company SuperRatings, the Australian share market fell 6.2 per cent during the month of June, which was the biggest monthly loss in the financial year just ended. Global indices also saw a decline, dropping more than two per cent.

SuperRatings chief executive officer Adam Gee said that super funds were tracking well in excess of an 11 per cent return at the end of May – before the most recent developments in Greece – but the last minute share market rout “substantially reduced the end result”.

“It’s a case of bad timing for the majority of Aussie super funds which report their important end of financial year results at June 30, unlike many other countries which have different financial year ends," Mr Gee said.

“Global shares have been extremely volatile recently with the Greek debt problem, and the wider implications for the European Commission weighing heavily on investor sentiment around the world.”

The median balanced option, among the major Australian super funds, saw a 2.5 per cent decline for the month of June but is estimated to have delivered an accumulated return of just over 9 per cent for the entire 2014/2015 financial year.

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