The nation's superannuation nest eggs grew sharply through the start of the year on the back of the bull sharemarket.
New figures from SuperRatings and Chant West both show ordinary super funds and more aggressively set ones made strong gains through January.
SuperRatings reported balanced funds - which cover up to 70 per cent of all super funds - put on 2.6 per cent last month.
For the financial year so far, balanced funds are up by 10.5 per cent.
Company chairman Jeff Bresnahan said that since the bottom of the market cycle was reached in February 2009, funds had climbed by 41.4 per cent. Inflation over the same period had grown by 9.1 per cent.
The strong returns in January were driven by share markets, both domestic and international.
"The recent performance of listed equity markets, both domestically and across the globe, highlights the danger of investors making investment decisions based on historical short-term returns," he said.
"While more risky than their defensive counterparts, the last year has seen those options with a higher allocation to growth assets significantly outperform more defensive assets such as cash and fixed interest."
SuperRatings reported that a median balanced fund that started with $100,000 in February 2003 would, even with the Global Financial Crisis, now be worth $191,131.
Chant West reported all growth funds put on 4.1 per cent in January to be 14.9 per cent higher for the financial year to date.
High growth funds, with growth assets accounting between 81 per cent and all investments, put on 3.3 per cent to be 12.7 per cent higher so far through 2012-13.
Company director Warren Chant said while the memories of the GFC had not completed faded, investors were now filling confident enough to move back into equities.
"The strong gains we saw in January have continued so far into February, and there seem to be several positive factors at work," he said.
"One is relief that the US 'fiscal cliff' was negotiated or at least postponed. Company profits, here and in the US, have also come in rather better than expected."Then we've had data out of China that suggests the slowdown there was only temporary and that growth is now back on track."