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.

 
 
Sep 18, 2014
Welcome !
Find Fund Report
Please input a ticker or fund name.
 
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
Two More Managers Leave Third Avenue

Third Avenue has lost two more investment professionals. Curtis Jensen and Charles Page are set to leave the firm at the end of September. The two are comanagers at Third Avenue Small Cap Value TASCX. Tim Bui, named comanager in 2013, and Robert Rewey III, named comanager in June 2014, will run the fund. Rewey III will be the lead manager.

Jensen has been on the fund since 1997 and lead since 2001, and he continues a long run of manager departures that includes Ian Lapey and Amit Wadhwaney. Third Avenue has really lost its edge. We have the fund Under Review.

The only lead manager left from the good old days is Michael Winer at Third Avenue Real Estate Value TVRVX. That fund has a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold, and that is about the extent of attractive funds at the firm.

Greenspring Lowered to Bronze
Meantime, we've lowered our rating of Greenspring GRSPX to Bronze. Here's Kevin McDevitt's take.

Greenspring defenses have been enough to beat its peers, but not its benchmark.

The market has highlighted this fund's soft spots over the past 12 months. Its
returns have struggled mightily as weakness has hit the small-cap stocks and
high-yield bonds it favors. As a result, its meager 0.7% year-to-date gain through Aug. 25 trails the moderate-allocation average by more than 5 percentage points. However, the fund's poor showing isn't entirely because of overall high-yield and small-cap results. A fourth of the equity portfolio is in tech stocks, which have been the best-performing sector over the past 12 months. Yet, top-20 holdings Harmonic HLIT and Silicon Graphics International SGI are both down double digits in 2014 after reporting weak results.

Plus, with cash at a historically low level (4.5% in July) and duration lengthening
to 3.4 years, the fund may seem more vulnerable than usual. But that's not
necessarily the case. While effective duration has been lengthening since
mid-2008, manager Chip Carlson measures duration based on when an issue is
likely to be called. With low rates leading to called bonds, he pegs the portfolio's true duration at just 0.6-0.7 years. And cash is low but can increase quickly given the bond portfolio's frequent maturities and calls.

Nevertheless, the fund's Morningstar Analyst Rating is being downgraded to  Bronze from Silver. While the fund has beaten most peers over the long run thanks to its bear market results, it hasn't held up well against blended benchmarks. The fund's trailing 10- and 15-year returns remain strong relative to moderate-allocation peers, but they've lagged a 50/50 benchmark consisting of the Russell 2500 and the BofAML US HY Master II indexes. Since Carlson took over in January 1987, the fund's 8.9% annualized gain trails the blended benchmark's 10% return through July 2014. The fund also trails this blended benchmark since December 2006 when the comparable BofAML 0-5 Year US High Yield Constrained Index is inserted.

This fund still looks good relative to peers, even if it hasn't quite beaten its
benchmark.

 

Customer Support

Product Support


Inquiries regarding your subscription such as address changes, missing/damaged issues, etc.
Phone: 1-800-957-6021 | Mon-Fri 8:30AM-5:00PM

Inquiries regarding technical issues such as logging in or downloading
Phone: 1-312-424-4288 | Mon-Fri 8AM-6PM
Email: newslettersupport@morningstar.com

 

Product Sales


Inquiries regarding your subscription renewal, billing or to learn about other Morningstar investment publications and resources
Phone: 1-866-608-9570 | Mon-Fri 8AM-5PM
Email: ussales@morningstar.com