The model strategy is to achieve the investment objective by investing in a diverse mix of asset classes covering Australian/international equities, Australian/international property, alternatives, Australian/international fixed interest and cash. In general, the model’s long-term average exposure will be around 29% to defensive assets and 71% to growth assets; however, the allocations will be managed within the allowable ranges depending on market conditions. The model is designed to minimise the incidence of negative returns greater than 15% over any 12-month period.


In a very challenging market environment, Empire’s Balanced Growth Fund had a negative return in April of -2.23%. The portfolio return lagged its CPI linked benchmark return for the month, but longer-term returns continue to track above the benchmark.

April was a tough month for markets. Both stocks and bonds fell over the month. In Australia, the market closed down about 0.85%, which was a strong result compared to global markets (down over 3%), and especially to US markets, which had their worst month since the COVID 19 shock in 2020. The tech heavy NASDAQ fell by around 13%, while the flagship S&P 500 was down almost 10%.

The sell-off was largely a response to central banks raising interest rates, which meant that bond markets were not spared either. Bonds are currently experiencing their largest drawdown in several decades because of central bank action to curb inflation.

While the negative result is not ideal, the Balanced Growth model did outperform broader equity and bond markets as the MSCI World Index fell by 3.12% while the Bloomberg Global Aggregate Index, a global portfolio of bonds, fells by 2.88%. This result is attributable to our diversified investment approach. Our approach to fixed income, which involves reducing sensitivity to moves in interest rates, has paid off this quarter. Empire’s bond portfolio has fallen by significantly less than the market, helping to cushion losses. Alternative investments, and property and infrastructure securities have also helped to mitigate losses. Ausbil and Quay both significantly outperformed broad equity markets. Meanwhile, investments in Man AHL and Perth Mint Gold both returned over 3% on the month.

At a total portfolio level, Empire’s Balanced Growth Fund continues to outperform its peer universe over all time longer time periods due to a combination of manager selection, portfolio construction and a structurally lower weighting to cash in Empire’s portfolios, in line with our philosophy of managing downside risk through diversification.


Asset ClassCurrentTargetExcess
Australian Equities24.01%23.00%1.01%
Fixed Interest23.11%24.00%-0.89%
Global Equities22.01%23.00%-0.99%
Property & Infrastructure15.90%15.00%0.90%


Target returnCPI + 3.0% per year after fees
TimeframeMinimum 5 years
Defensive / Growth29% defensive / 71% growth
Min. Investment$50,000




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