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
Worst Quarter of Economic Shrinkage, and More

Since the market rebound began in April, we’ve had jarring dissonance as the market surges while the economy suffers.

Today was particularly extreme as many growth indices are near all-time highs while the US just had its worst ever quarter of economic shrinkage. It was a brutal 32% decline in the second quarter as Bloomberg reports here.

One of the more worrisome data points is permanent job loss.

As I’ve mentioned before, though, a very aggressive Federal Reserve has kept interest rates very low and stocks high.

Vanguard U.S. Value Being Merged Into Index Fund
Vanguard announced that Vanguard U.S. Value VUVLX will merge into Vanguard Value Index VVIAX.

The proposal requires approval by Vanguard U.S. Value shareholders and will be submitted to them at a special meeting in January. Vanguard U.S. Value is rated Bronze and the Vanguard Value Index fund is rated Gold, so it amounts to an upgrade. The $1 billion Vanguard U.S. Value has poor three- and five-year returns.

Virtus Acquires AllianzGI Funds
Virtus Investment Partners will take over AllianzGI's U.S.-based funds, while keeping AllianzGI as the subadvisor of the lineup, other than for the funds the legacy NFJ Investment Group still runs. This is the upshot of a strategic partnership AllianzGI and Virtus announced July 7, 2020. Virtus will become the investment advisor of AllianzGI’s approximately $23 billion in open-end, closed-end, and retail separate account assets. With the exception of the funds the NFJ group runs, all AllianzGI strategies will keep their current AllianzGI investment teams as subadvisors.

Under the arrangement, which still needs board and shareholder approval,
Virtus will acquire the NFJ team but let it operate as an autonomous, affiliated manager.

TCW Reports Cyberattack
TCW, which is the parent to the TCW and Metropolitan West fund lineups, reported that it was the victim of a recent cyberattack, though the nature of the attack was not made public. It immediately hired a cybersecurity firm to help inventory and clean the affected software systems. The firm's strategy assets are held with a bank custodian and therefore were not impacted. As TCW worked through the software issues, it confirmed that it was able to trade and manage portfolios without disruption.

Vanguard Plans ESG Bond ETF
Vanguard said it plans to launch Vanguard ESG U.S. Corporate Bond ETF. “The low-cost, broadly diversified ETF will be Vanguard's first ESG-focused fixed income product for U.S. investors and complements Vanguard's existing equity ESG ETFs and mutual funds,” the firm said. The fund is expected to launch in September.

Kodak Spike Causes Big One-Day Gain for Longleaf Partners Small-Cap
Longleaf Partners Small-Cap LLSCX gained 10% on July 29 thanks to a tripling in the share price of Kodak. The stock gained a remarkable 1,400% on the week. The Trump administration's $765 million loan to the Eastman Kodak Co. for its launch of a business making pharmaceutical ingredients sent shares of the iconic camera company soaring, according to Dow Jones. Despite the big week for the fund, its year-to-date loss of 17% is still near the bottom of its peer group. 



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