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.

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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
Coronavirus Spurs Earnings Warnings

We returned to work today with a spate of earnings warnings related to the coronavirus. Apple's AAPL was the most dramatic. It said production of iPhones has slowed significantly because of the coronavirus. Apple's shares sold off modestly on the news, an indication that Wall Street will have a hard time continually adjusting its estimates to reflect the impact of the virus. 

Where Things Stand Now
When one of the world's largest economies is nearly shut down for a month, the damage to global growth will be sizable. We don't know how long China will be at a standstill, and so we can't know how severe the impact will be on the economy.

  • According to official figures released today, 72,436 people have contracted the virus in China and 1,868 have died.
  • China has placed travel restrictions on 150 million people. 
  • Walmart WMT, Yum China YUMC, Walt Disney DIS, VF Corp VFC, Royal Caribbean Cruises RCL, and TripAdvisor TRIP are among the companies issuing earnings warnings.

What Should You Do With Your Portfolio?
Investing concerns are obviously well down the list of concerns during a global epidemic, but I'll share a couple of thoughts. This certainly increases the risks of recession around the world, including in the United States. But how much is close to unknowable as we don't know how bad the epidemic will get.

In general, investors do their portfolios more harm than good by over-reacting to global events like this. But it doesn't hurt to think about the downside and double-check that your portfolio matches your goals. We've had a very nice equity run, so your portfolio may be overweight equities if you haven't rebalanced lately.

It makes sense to be sure your short- and near-term needs are covered by cash and near-cash investments. This ensures that you can still take care of things like college tuition and car purchases. And it also makes it easier to hold on to your long-term investments through the turbulence we're sure to endure in 2020.

Franklin Templeton to Buy Legg Mason
Franklin Templeton has agreed to buy Legg Mason for $4.5 billion

Legg Mason owns firms like Royce, ClearBridge, and Western Asset. It's in the early stages, but it's worth noting that Franklin's record here is not great. In the 1990s, it bought Templeton and Mutual Series. At the time, both firms were considered elite. Franklin raised fees at the funds and watched top managers gradually leave. Now, neither firm is anywhere near elite. I hope Franklin has learned from its lessons, though those deals likely were a success for Franklin Templeton stockholders, so maybe not.


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