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.

Jul 21, 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
McNabb Stepping Down at Vanguard

Changes at the Top of Vanguard
Vanguard announced that Bill McNabb will be retiring and Tim Buckley will take his place. In this video, senior analyst Kevin McDevitt shares his thoughts on the news.

Christine Benz Shares Lessons From Her 'Faux-tirement'
Christine Benz is back from her sabbatical. She shares some of the things she learned about what retirement might be like.

Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Raised to Silver
We've upgraded Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility's VMVFX Morningstar Analyst Rating to Silver. Here is Daniel Sotiroff's analysis:

"Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Fund is a solid choice for risk-averse investors interested in a diversified portfolio of global stocks. The fund's managers use a quantitative model to construct a portfolio of stocks that is expected to have lower volatility than its benchmark, but they use discretion around rebalancing to help keep turnover and transaction costs in check. It has proven its performance for more than three years and warrants an upgrade to a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver from Bronze.

"The managers of this fund use a holistic approach to reduce volatility. They start with stocks listed in the FTSE Global All-Cap Index, and use an optimizer that accounts for individual stock volatility and how stocks interact with each other. The methodology takes these inputs and constructs the least-volatile portfolio possible while limiting tilts toward individual countries, sectors, and stocks. The resulting portfolio is well diversified across 360 stocks, with 14% of assets in its top 10 holdings. Unlike many of their peers, the managers hedge this fund's currency risk, which can help further mitigate uncompensated volatility over longer periods of time.

"Low-volatility strategies such as this one can provide smoother returns, and reducing volatility can also lead to higher risk-adjusted returns than a comparable market-cap-weighted index. But this strategy is also likely to lag a cap-weighted index during strong bull markets.

"As expected, this fund's volatility has been among the lowest in its category during the past three years through May 2017. However, this fund's absolute and risk-adjusted returns both landed in the top quintile of the category during the same period. Some of this outperformance was due to the fund's currency-hedging strategy, which has been beneficial in the past several years due to the strengthening dollar.

"Vanguard recently cut the expense ratio on this fund. Investor shares dropped to 0.25% from 0.27%, and Admiral shares to 0.17% from 0.21%. These expense ratios are the lowest in the category."



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