Association of Independent Retirees Noosa branch president Margaret Mourik and husband Adrian derive their income from share dividend and franking credits.
Association of Independent Retirees Noosa branch president Margaret Mourik and husband Adrian derive their income from share dividend and franking credits.

Self-funded retirees ride wave of uncertainty

PICTURE this. It’s the start of 2020 and the Investment Discussion Group of the Noosa branch of the Association of Independent Retirees have come together to submit entries in a competition run annually.

Each has a virtual $100,000 to invest in 10 ASX top 200 shares.

That locks in the year’s virtual share position of each portfolio, evaluated on the 19th day of each month and with the winner receiving a bottle of wine on December 31.

Not quite how NRL tipping competitions work, but uncomplicated and fun.

The group meets monthly to discuss the stock market and branch president Margaret Mourik said while the exercise was for fun, many of the members lived off the proceeds of their superannuation investments.

The results to date this year from these virtual and hypothetical investments have been scary.

The real-life situation is similarly so.

The leader at February 19 had secured a positive return of 17.29 per cent, second was 15.19 per cent with third 14.97 per cent. Collectively the group average sat at a positive 6.9 per cent.

Things have only gone downhill from there.

By March 19 the best result was minus 13 per cent, with second minus 15.38 per cent and third minus 16 per cent.

Losses were stemmed in April with the winner at minus 6.2 per cent, second minus 6.81 per cent and third minus 7 per cent.

The May figures had improved to a positive 10.32 per cent securing the front running from 9.41 per cent in second and 7.53 per cent in third.

But the average remained an unhealthy minus 8.17 per cent, perhaps dragged down by last place on minus 40.99 per cent.

Ms Mourik said the competition fun was tempered by the harsh reality that its members who had rental property were getting no income, others had cash earning next to no interest and some were torn between sitting tight with their share portfolios depending on what they held or taking a risk.

“Superannuation may be boring, but it’s your money and something you need to do seriously,” she said.

The group continues to meet monthly on Zoom and most wished they were appreciated more for not being a burden on the pension system.

“The best off in this are the pensioners,” Ms Mourik said. “They know they are getting x-amount a fortnight.

“Our incomes are dividends and franking credits. You have to look what your mix of shares is – some are booming.