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.

 
 
Jul 03, 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
Greece and Puerto Rico Shockwaves Hit the Markets

The long-feared Grexit may finally be here. Negotiations between Greece and Europe fell apart over the weekend. Greece said it would take Europe's latest proposal and put it to a referendum, and that it would campaign for a "no" vote. Both the referendum and Greece's opposition to the proposal took the European Union by surprise, causing it to walk away from negotiations.

Greece has shut its banks and the Athens Stock Exchange for the week. It's not clear what will happen if Greek citizens vote to accept the European austerity program. If so, the country faces the significant challenge of pension and labor market reforms. If they vote against, then Greece seems destined to leave the euro. Either way, the economy there is already damaged and likely to suffer more damage.

Greece is a tiny part of the world economy, so the issue is largely a matter of contagion. Here's how the markets have reacted so far: As of 10 a.m. Central time, the S&P 500 was down 1.1%, the MSCI EAFE was down 2.3%, Chinese stocks fell 3.0%, and the euro slipped slightly versus the dollar to 1.11.

There are good explanations of the situation from The Economist, Mohamed A. El-Erian, and Matt O'Brien.

The Other Debt Crisis
We had a second debt crisis over the weekend. Puerto Rico said it can't pay its massive debt. Like Greece, everyone has known this was coming. Most mutual funds got out years ago or have very minimal exposure. There are exceptions, though. Oppenheimer Rochester Limited Term New York Municipal LTNYX had 30% in Puerto Rico as of May 31, and Oppenhiemer Rochester Maryland Municipal ORMDX had 50% in Puerto Rico.

Like Greece, any impact on muni funds will mostly come from contagion. Past muni scares led to sell-offs in the single digits, and they were great buying opportunities. Of course, there are no guarantees that things go that way this time.

Here are a few explanations of the Puerto Rico situation, from The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times.

Conference Themes: Bonds Stink and Maybe Stocks Do, Too
Our annual Morningstar Investment Conference wrapped up, and we have a ton of video interviews and articles for you from that event.

I did a couple of short videos on how bond managers are very bearish. Most said they were just waiting for a sell-off and keeping powder dry. Jeremy Grantham said the stock market is overpriced, but it had a ways to go before the bubble burst. Stock-pickers like Bill Nygren were more optimistic, however.

 

 

 

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