How your investment funds performed

24 April 2024

The year that was… a look at how your investment funds performed

You’ll soon receive your annual account statement. Your statement shows how your investment performed for the year to 31 March 2024, and helps you understand if you’re on track towards achieving your savings or retirement goals.

As well as summarising any contributions you made to your account (and in the case of KiwiSaver, any employer or Government contributions you may have received), your statement tells you what your investment returns were, and any fees and taxes you have paid.

A key driver of investment returns is how the fund or funds you’re invested in performed, and as you may have seen in the media, financial markets were a bit up and down. The following sets out what happened over the year to 31 March 2024.

International share markets rose to record highs

It was a good year for shares, with several international markets in the US, Europe and Asia achieving record highs, underpinning some good returns for growth-orientated funds. Most of those gains came in the last six months as central banks began to signal the next interest rate move would likely be downwards, as inflation appears to head back – albeit slowly – to target levels.

A volatile year for bond markets

The year began with bonds losing ground as central banks continued to raise interest rates to combat inflation (as interest rates rise, the value of bonds decline). However, as many central banks paused those rate hikes, bonds began to claw back losses so that several bond markets ended the year back in positive territory.

New Zealand investments generally underperformed

It was a challenging year for New Zealand markets, especially shares, which significantly underperformed their global counterparts. The local NZX 50 Index – which is sensitive to interest rate changes – had to contend with the headwinds created as the Official Cash Rate (OCR) rose to its highest level since before the global financial crisis. 

Furthermore, New Zealand had more of a struggle with inflation, which remains elevated compared to most other countries. This resulted in:

  1. The central bank signalling it was prepared to keep interest rates higher for longer – negatively impacting the local share market. 
  2. Higher inflation weighing on New Zealanders’ discretionary spending, which saw the economy fall into recession late in 2023.

How our funds performed over the year to 31 March 2024

Aided by the strong share market performance discussed above, those funds with a significant investment in shares – such as our Balanced and Balanced Growth funds – delivered good returns, while investors in our Growth Fund enjoyed double-digit gains.

Investors in our High Growth fund – which launched in August 2023 – also enjoyed solid returns given the fund’s significant investment to strong-performing shares.

Meanwhile, our funds with a greater investment in bonds – such as our Conservative and Conservative Balanced funds – did not fare as well by comparison. Nevertheless, they still delivered positive returns over the year.

Key points as we look ahead

As we head to the mid-point of 2024, markets are still facing periods of volatility. Debate around when central banks will begin to cut interest rates remains a key topic of conversation. Meanwhile, the geopolitical unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East has the potential to spill over into financial markets.

Despite this, your investments remain in good hands thanks to our dedicated team of investment specialists who continue to monitor and respond to these situations. Furthermore, we ensure our funds are well diversified to manage the ups and downs investing can always bring.

Important information

This information is issued by ANZ New Zealand Investments Limited (ANZ Investments). The information is current as at 15 April 2024, and is subject to change. This material is for information purposes only. Although all the information in this article is obtained in good faith from sources believed to be reliable, no representation of warranty, express or implied is made as to its accuracy or completeness. To the extent permitted by law ANZ Investments does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information.

Past performance does not indicate future performance. The actual performance any given investor realises will depend on many things, is not guaranteed and may be negative as well as positive.

We recommend seeking financial advice about your situation and goals before getting a financial product. To talk to one of our team at ANZ, please call 0800 736 034, or for more information about ANZ’s financial advice service or to view our financial advice provider disclosure statement see

ANZ Investments is the issuer and manager of the ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme, ANZ Default KiwiSaver Scheme and ANZ Investment Funds. Important information is available under terms & conditions. Download a copy of the guide and product disclosure statement.