Understanding market volatility


Just like roller-coasters, financial markets go up and go down. But sometimes when the downs are bigger or happen for more than just a few days it can make people nervous.
These movements are a completely normal part of financial markets especially when investing over a long timeframe.  Understanding how these movements impact your superannuation can help you to ride the financial market roller-coaster in a way that could benefit your retirement savings.
Watch our explainer video

What is volatility?

Volatility is a measure of potential uncertainty or risk associated with a market’s future performance, which can alter its value.

Risk can be created or increased through external triggers or events such as economic instability, supply and demand, international trade tensions and more recently a global pandemic. 

How volatility affects your super

The job of a super fund is to increase its members’ retirement savings through investing in different vehicles. Different investments have different levels of risk and exposure to volatility.

Higher risk/return investment options generally invest more in shares, infrastructure and property, while lower risk/return options invest more in cash and fixed-interest investments.

Members with super allocated to higher risk options will generally see larger swings in their returns as they have greater exposure to market movements. 

How can I manage volatility and my super?

One way to help ease volatility concerns is to diversify your portfolio across different asset classes which can help soften the impact of an unexpected market fall.

Cbus offers members a choice of Pre-mixed investment options that range from a high allocation to shares along with property and infrastructure, through to options that have higher allocations to cash and fixed-interest. We also offer DIY options that allow you to mix and match and create a portfolio that suits your level of risk and reward.  Our default investment option for super members is the Growth (MySuper) option that invests around 70% in assets like shares, property and infrastructure. Members invested in the Growth (MySuper) option may see their account value moving up and down if there are big falls and rises in share markets.

For retired members our default Conservative Growth option invests around 50% in assets like shares, property and infrastructure. Members in this option would still see some movement in their account balance if there are big falls and rises in share markets.

Super is a long-term investment, so it’s important not to react to short-term market ups and downs. 


Watch our explainer video

Read our volatility fact sheet


A fact sheet that details current market volatility and how it could impact your super. 

Volatility fact sheet (PDF)

More information?

Call us for advice

If you have any questions, or if market movements are making you concerned about where you’re account is invested and you’re considering switching investment options, Cbus Advice Services is available to call on 1300 361 784, at no additional cost for our members.


The advice team are currently experiencing very high call volumes and long delays

Read our Investment handbook

Details on the different types of investment options Cbus offer, plus other important information in our Investment Handbook.

Investment handbook (PDF) >

Read our Understanding risk fact sheet

Comprehensive factsheet that can help to understand all the different types of risk that can affect your super.

Understanding risk fact sheet (PDF) >


Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

This information is about Cbus. It doesn’t take into account your specific needs, so you should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions.

Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination to decide whether Cbus is right for you.

Cbus’ Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 AFSL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262