Investment Strategy
We seek to pick winning funds with superior management and quantitative characteristics linked to strong performance. Our quantitative research uses the most comprehensive mutual fund database in the world to determine the best strategies for long-term investing success. We then supplement those studies with extensive qualitative research of portfolio managers, analysts, and traders through onsite visits and follow-up phone calls.
 
About the Editor
Russel Kinnel is director of mutual fund research for Morningstar, Inc. and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor, a monthly print newsletter for individual investors. He also writes the Fund Spy column for Morningstar.com, the company's investment Web site.

Since joining the company in 1994, Kinnel has covered the Fidelity, Janus, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard mutual fund families. He helped develop the new Morningstar Rating for funds and the new Morningstar Style Box methodology. He also is co-author of the company's first book, The Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success, which was published in January 2003.

 
 
Mar 30, 2015
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About Russel Russ' Photo
Russel Kinnel,
Director of Fund Research and Editor, Morningstar FundInvestor
Russel Kinnel is director of mutual fund research for Morningstar, Inc. and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor, a monthly print newsletter for individual investors.
Featured Posts
Perkins Mid Cap Value Downgraded

We have lowered our Morningstar Analyst Rating on Perkins Mid Cap Value JMCVX to Bronze from Silver. Here's Katie Reichart's take.

Jeff Kautz, comanager of Perkins Mid Cap Value and Perkins' CEO and CIO, has resigned effective April 5, 2015. The firm, which had long boasted low turnover of its investment staff, has now seen its second major departure after Perkins Small Cap Value JSCVX comanager Todd Perkins left in 2013.

Kautz joined Perkins in 1997 and had been comanager here since 2002 alongside Tom Perkins, who's managed it since its 1998 inception. Kevin Preloger was named comanager in April 2013. The team structure mitigates the impact of Kautz's departure, though some people now have new responsibilities that require more time. Justin Tugman of Perkins Small Cap Value will take Kautz's spot as comanager of this fund (he'll keep running Small Cap Value). Tom Perkins was named CEO, and Greg Kolb, who runs the firm's global funds, is now CIO.

The fund has been trying to get back on track after several years of underwhelming performance. Its trailing five-year return through February badly lags the Russell Midcap Value Index and lands in the Morningstar Category's bottom decile, and its 10-year ranking is just average. The fact that its five-year results aren't up to par isn't surprising or disappointing given the fund's relatively conservative process, which focuses on downside protection and uses a valuation approach that at times led to double-digit cash stakes. However, weak stock-picking is more cause for concern; Morningstar attribution indicates that stock selection has been negative across all sectors for the trailing five years through 2014.

The team has tried addressing the sluggishness by holding less cash and keeping a leaner portfolio of 80 to 100 names (versus 150 a few years ago). New CIO Kolb will look to improve the firm's stock-specific research and collaboration between the analysts and managers.

The loss of a long-tenured manager is disappointing but not insurmountable. Risk-adjusted results since inception remain strong. However, the departure coupled with the fund's stock-picking woes are enough to move this fund's Analyst Rating to Bronze from Silver.

Buyer Beware With Managed-Futures Funds
Jason Kephart warns about the perils of managed-futures funds in this interesting article.

Managers Raising Cash
Greg Carlson found some savvy investors who are raising cash.

 

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