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.

 
 
Oct 21, 2014
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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
Flows Haven't Hurt PIMCO Total Return

What has the great exodus from PIMCO Total Return PTTRX done to the fund's performance? Nada. The reason is that it holds nearly half its portfolio in short-term government debt. Yes, redemptions can be a problem for funds holding less-liquid securities, but rarely is it a problem for an intermediate-bond fund. In fact, PIMCO Total Return beat its benchmark in the week following Gross' exit. Jon Hale has the details here.

Speaking of PIMCO, here's a quick summary of how we've re-rated its funds so far:

PIMCO Emerging Local Bond PELBX -- Lowered to Silver
PIMCO All Asset All Authority PAUDX -- Maintained at Silver
PIMCO Income PONDX -- Maintained at Silver
PIMCO Total Return PTTRX -- Lowered to Bronze

Nygren Returns to Financials
I chatted with Bill Nygren about his return to financials in this video.

Bob Smith to Leave T. Rowe Price International Stock
We've lowered our rating of this fund to Neutral. Bill Rocco explains why:

An upcoming manager change dulls T. Rowe Price International Stock's luster.

Bob Smith, who has served as the lead manager of this foreign large-growth fund since October 2007, will give up his management responsibilities here and on related pooled vehicles on March 31, 2015. Associate manager Richard Clattenburg will replace Smith as the lead manager of this fund on April 1, 2015.

Smith is a skilled and seasoned money manager. He has posted pretty good overall returns since taking over here in 2007; he previously earned impressive long-term results at T. Rowe Price Growth Stock PRGFX; and he has spent 21 years at T. Rowe Price and has 26 years of investment experience overall. Thus, his upcoming departure will be a significant loss for this fund.

Clattenberg doesn't have his own track record running a fund, so it's difficult to know how well he'll be able to execute here. There are some positives. Clattenberg knows the portfolio well and has solid credentials for the task ahead. He has been an associate manager here since 2010; he was quite involved with this fund for a couple of years before that; and he has spent eight years at T. Rowe Price and has 10 years of investment experience overall. Meanwhile, Clattenberg will serve as an associate manager for six more months before he takes over as lead manager. He will be able to draw on Smith's expertise during his first nine months as lead manager. (Smith will remain at T. Rowe Price and serve as a member of this fund's advisory team though the end of 2015.) And Clattenberg will be supported by the sizable and strong team of portfolio managers and analysts as Smith has.

Finally, Clattenberg will also employ the same sound and attractive strategy as Smith does, and this fund will continue to expand a significant cost edge over most of its rivals going forward. But Clattenberg has no prior experience as a lead manager--while Smith has quite a bit of such experience--so we are lowering both this fund's People score and its Morningstar Analyst Rating to Neutral.

 

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