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 manager research for Morningstar, Inc. and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor, a monthly print newsletter for individual investors. He also writes the Fund Spy column for, 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 23, 2017
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About Russel Russ' Photo
Russel Kinnel,
Director of Manager Research and Editor, Morningstar FundInvestor
Russel Kinnel is director of manager research for Morningstar, Inc. and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor, a monthly print newsletter for individual investors.
Featured Posts
Free Online Retirement Bootcamp Saturday

Retirement Readiness Bootcamp | March 11, 2017

Whether you're newly hired or five, 10, or 15 years away from retirement, join Morningstar's experts as we walk you through practical steps to ensure you are on the right track. Don't miss this chance to gain the insights you need to prepare.


I’ll be on at 1:45 p.m. Central time with Ben Johnson.


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Warren Buffett’s Victory Over Hedge Funds
John Rekenthaler writes that Warren Buffett has broken out the victory cigar to celebrate his win of a bet versus hedge funds.

American Century Downgrade
We lowered our rating on American Century Heritage TWHIX in the wake of manager David Hollond’s departure. Here is Susan Wasserman’s analysis.

In early February 2017, lead manager David Hollond announced that he would retire in March 2017. His departure will be a loss for American Century Heritage, and the remaining team has a short period of time to adjust to the change. The fund's Morningstar Analyst Rating is downgraded to Neutral from Bronze.

Hollond has led this high-growth, mid-cap strategy since early 2007, when he hit the ground running. The fund was stellar that year, returning 46%--nearly 3 times the average return in the mid-cap growth Morningstar Category and 4 times the Russell Mid Cap Growth Index's gain. But that high was offset in 2008 when the fund lost 46%, just below both the category norm and the index. At the time, the fund moved at a much faster pace; turnover in 2008 was at 172%. Since then, Hollond and comanagers Greg Walsh and Nalin Yogasundram have brought that number down. Turnover is less than half of what it was in 2008, and the fund has been a bit less volatile.

The managers will continue to follow the same process that blends quantitative screens and fundamental analysis. After identifying stocks with accelerating growth, the team then conducts bottom-up analysis to find companies with sustainable growth factors and areas that free up cash flow. The process includes a momentum overlay, so new positions are often added as prices rise, but the managers don't overstay their welcome. The managers tend to take gains as stocks rise, which leaves them lagging racier peers in extended bull markets. The managers aren't afraid to be early. A key to their success has been recognizing growth not yet reflected in a stock’s price. Overall, the team sticks with holdings if their fundamentals support it.

Since Hollond took over in 2007 through January 2017, the fund’s total- and risk-adjusted returns come out ahead of the typical peer and the Russell Mid Cap Growth benchmark. More-recent results have lagged, however, and the benchmark has been a tough bogy to beat. The team will need to prove it can extend Hollond's long-term record of success.

Do You Need Life Insurance in Retirement?
Mark Miller has the answer here 


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