Industry Superannuation Funds

When choosing a superannuation fund, a lot of people want to choose the one that charges them the lowest in management and investment fees and gives them the best investment return. Data from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) shows that over the past decade industry super funds have consistently outperformed retail funds by giving its members higher returns*: thats more money for your retirement.

What is the difference between an industry super and a retail super fund? Retail super funds are retirement funds established by financial institutions and insurance companies that were initially for white collar workers. As one may assume, these companies established retail funds with the intent that they generate profit for shareholders. The competing goals of profit and security for its members retirement funds are seen by some as problematic.

Retail funds tend to have a lot of added bells and whistles, for example advice. The chief executive of the Industry Super Network, David Whiteley, said this in an interview with the ABC in March 2010″For every 1 per cent extra paid in fees to a super fund, members are receiving one-and-a-half per cent less in returns,” and that the average retail fund “is an underperforming and expensive fund.”

Industry super funds are non-for-profit organizations that were started by unions and other industrial organizations for workers in the industries they represented. An industry super does not have shareholders to please. Industry super funds dont pay commission to financial advisers and planners or to insurance companies, which are costs that eat into the value of your super.

The figures in recent years paint a clear picture. A 30 June 2009 SuperRatings study compared the net benefit of one of Australias most popular industry super funds to that of the average retail fund over a period of five years. The difference was staggering: the industry super out-performed the average retail fund by a difference of approximately $4000.Another SuperRatings study showed that another leading industry super fund on average returned $4.30 for every dollar deducted in fees over a five year period ending on 30 September 2010; the average retail super on the other hand returned only $1.70.

In March 2010, research by the Industry Super Network found that retail funds delivered 1.8% weaker annual returns on average when compared to their industry competitors. The Australian reported in December 2010 that industry super funds took all top 10 places in industry researcher Chant Wests ranking. These funds on average had an annual return thats 4.3 per cent above the inflation rate over the past seven years.

Industry superannuation has consistently outperformed its retail counterparts over the past decade for another reason. Industry super funds generally invest in unlisted assets like infrastructure, private equity, and direct property. Retail funds, however, tend to invest in liquid assets, like shares, property, and bonds, all of which are tied to credit. This is especially worrisome after the global financial crisis that began in 2008.

Industry supers are a wise option for those who are concerned and cautious about their post-retirement financial security. While industry super funds were previously open solely to those within the industry the fund was started for, industry super funds are generally open for anyone to join regardless of their occupation since 2005.

Wedding Marketing – Marketing Your Wedding Business and Wedding Industry Associations

Networking is a huge key to success in any industry but especially in the wedding industry where referrals and alliances formed can help keep business booming when a recession looms overhead. Are you a wedding photographer, floral designer, wedding reception site, ceremony site, DJ, wedding videographer, wedding cake designer, bridal salon, bridal consultant, or wedding caterer? If so, read on because if you’re not already part of an industry association, you may want to think about joining.
There are quite a few wedding industry associations . Many are national associations with regional branch offices. They typically hold monthly meetings and mixers where members can network and get to know one another. Business ideas are shared as to what is working and what is not working in terms of booking weddings. The associations that will be covered include: the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC), Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA), Association for Wedding Professionals International (AWPI), National Association of Catering Executives (NACE), International Special Events Society (ISES), and the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).
The Association of Bridal Consultants is a great resource for bridal consultants. A few benefits of joining the ABC include their comprehensive Professional Development Program, job placement service, business name search,advertising to brides on a national level, referrals, seminars, and local meetings.
The Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) is a great marketing and networking association for wedding photographers. Some reasons for joining them include: attendance at WPPI’s Annual Convention & Trade Show, WPPI’s Referral Network can bring your wedding photograph business added photography assignments through their referral site, group buying rates and services.
The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) represents the best wedding photographers from around the world. The WPJA sponsors seminars, conventions, and workshops geared towards wedding photojournalism. The WPJA also provides a listing of its members for brides to search from.
The Association for Wedding Professionals International (AWPI) strives to strengthen the wedding industry through networking, marketing and promotions. Your wedding business will be listed in their online and print directory. You will receive a monthly lead list of brides that have requested a directory or assistance, can participate in their networking mixers, and referrals through their wedding hotline.

The National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) provides the catering business with industry specific education, networking with other professionals, seminars, conferences, and awards programs, internationally recognized professional certification, and a listing in their directory.
The International Special Events Society (ISES) provides its members with professional development and education, a listing in their directory, networking parties, local meetings, and subscription to their Special Events Magazine. This association is great for event planners but has members in all sectors of the wedding industry.
The American institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) is a great association for wedding floral designers. It is a great resource for brides to find a wedding floral designer in their local area. Members have access to floral designs, floral shows, and accreditation programs.