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 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.

 
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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
Correction on Westwood Income Opportunity

In the Red Flags article in the January issue of Morningstar FundInvestor, we incorrectly stated that Westwood Income Opportunity's WHGIX cash allocation decreased during the second quarter of 2019 to meet redemptions. In fact, the fund's new management team—which took over in March 2019—met redemptions by systematically resizing its positions while shifting exposures in accordance with its views. Management reduced its cash weighting in favor of longer-duration Treasuries. We have corrected the PDF version of the issue to reflect this information. We regret the error.

T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Value Upgraded

We upgraded T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Value's PRSVX Morningstar Analyst Rating to Silver. Here is Linda Abu Mushrefova's take:

T. Rowe Price Small-Cap Value boasts an impressive bench that has consistently applied a sound relative value approach that emphasizes bottom-up stock selection. The fund's three share classes each earn an Analyst Rating of Silver.

Portfolio manager David Wagner is backed by an accomplished analyst bench. Wagner has helmed the strategy since June 2014 but served as the strategy's associate manager under predecessor Preston Athey since 2005. He boasts an impressive 20 years of industry experience, 19 of which have come at T. Rowe Price. His long history with the firm means he is deeply familiar with the well-regarded analyst team, which numbers more than 100 analysts. Analysts are responsible for idea generation, and Wagner works closely with the team to identify attractive companies that fit the strategy's relative value criteria.

Wagner applies a disciplined, relative value approach that emphasizes bottom-up stock-picking. He keeps the portfolio sector-neutral relative to its Russell 2000 Value Index benchmark and emphasizes quality first while valuation is a secondary consideration. Its emphasis on quality over valuation contributes to this fund's placement in the small-blend Morningstar Category. The team's long-term focus also contributes to its blend style, as it holds on to names that have moved from value to growth. Portfolio turnover has averaged just 22% under Wagner's watch, less than half its typical small-blend peer's average. Its long average holding period and diversified portfolio of roughly 300 stocks help it handle a sprawling asset base of over $10 billion. The fund remains open, and its large size has not slowed it down.

Since Wagner took the helm in June 2014 through December 2019, the fund consistently delivered strong results, thanks to impressive stock picks across a variety of sectors and solid downside protection. The fund's no-load share class topped its average small-blend peer and the Russell 2000 Value Index benchmark in 100% of three-year rolling periods, and we expect investors to continue to reap the benefits of this strong squad's deliberate approach.

Rekenthaler on Improving Retirement Plans

John Rekenthaler thinks he has a better plan than 401(k)s. Here's his take 

 

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