April 8, 2019

Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Ratings to 13 Strategies, Upgrades Nine Strategies, and Downgrades 10 in March 2019

CHICAGO, April 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 205 U.S. strategies that occurred in March 2019. Strategies include all vehicles that Morningstar covers, including open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), separately managed accounts (SMAs), target-date series, and collective investment trusts (CITs). The Morningstar Analyst Rating represents Morningstar's conviction in the strategy's ability to outperform on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. The five-tiered, qualitative Morningstar Analyst Rating scale has three positive levels, indicating Morningstar Medalists—Gold, Silver, and Bronze—in addition to Neutral and Negative ratings.

In March 2019, Morningstar's manager research group assigned new ratings to 13 U.S. strategies, including two CIT target-date series and three series of SMA composites that are similar to model portfolios, and affirmed 168 strategies. Nine strategies were upgraded, 10 were downgraded, and five were placed under review. 

"In March, Morningstar began assigning its forward-looking Morningstar Analyst Ratings to SMA target-risk series that are representative of model portfolios. We're pleased to add this to our growing coverage list, including our recent addition of CITs last month," said Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar's North American practice leader, manager research. "Model portfolios are tools for financial advisors who are looking to outsource all or a part of a client's asset allocation and underlying fund selection. These portfolios typically are offered in a range of target-risk or outcome-based options."

The following Analyst Rating changes occurred in March 2019:


Vehicle Type

Previous
Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Current
Morningstar

Analyst Rating

New Ratings




BlackRock LifePath Target-Date Series

CIT

None

Gold

BlackRock 40/60 Target Allocation ETF

SMA

None

Silver

Driehaus Emerging Markets Small Cap Growth

Mutual Fund

None

Neutral

Fidelity Target Allocation 40/60

SMA

None

Bronze

Invesco CS Total Beta 50

SMA

None

Neutral

JOHCM Emerging Markets Opportunities

Mutual Fund

None

Bronze

JPMorgan SmartRetirement Target-Date Series

Mutual Fund

None

Gold

JPMCB SmartRetirement Passive Blend Target-Date Series

CIT

None

Gold

Principal Blue Chip

Mutual Fund

None

Silver

Seix Core Bond Wrap

SMA

None

Neutral

Seix Intermediate Bond Wrap

SMA

None

Neutral

T. Rowe Price Spectrum Growth

Mutual Fund

None

Bronze

Tortoise High Yield Composite

SMA

None

Neutral





Upgrades




Blackstone Alternative Multi-Strategy

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

Hartford Dividend and Growth

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver

Hotchkis & Wiley Large Cap Value

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

iShares Broad USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver

iShares Long-Term Corporate Bond ETF

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver

iShares Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver

iShares Short-Term National Municipal Bond ETF

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver

Janus Henderson Growth And Income

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

MFS Mid Cap Growth

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Silver





Downgrades




Artisan Global Value

Mutual Fund

Gold

Silver

Artisan International Value

Mutual Fund

Gold

Silver

Berwyn Income

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Neutral

DFA International Small Cap Value

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze

DFA International Small Company

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze

Fidelity Advisor Emerging Markets

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Neutral

Fidelity Emerging Markets

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Neutral

Loomis Sayles Bond

Mutual Fund

Gold

Silver

Loomis Sayles Strategic Income

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze

Mairs & Power Balanced

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze





Under Review




TETON Westwood Mighty Mites

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Under Review

Wells Fargo Intermediate Tax/AMT-Free

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Under Review

Wells Fargo Municipal Bond

Mutual Fund

Silver

Under Review

Wells Fargo Short-Term Municipal Bond

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Under Review

Wells Fargo Ultra Short-Term Municipal Income

Mutual Fund

Bronze

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 153 U.S. funds, 13 SMAs, one target-date mutual-fund series, and one target-date CIT series that Morningstar affirmed in March is available here.  

As of March 31, 2019, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 217 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 421 funds, a Bronze rating to 623 funds, a Neutral rating to 733 funds, and a Negative rating to 31 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately 5% of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 62% of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate approximately $12.4 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 69% of total investor assets in the United States.

A summary of last month's Morningstar Analyst Rating changes for U.S. funds is available on Morningstar.com in the latest Fund Spy: Medalist Edition here.

Morningstar launched its Analyst Rating for funds and Global Fund Reports in December 2011. Morningstar Medalists—Gold-, Silver-, and Bronze-rated funds—are funds that analysts determine are likely to outperform their peer groups and/or relevant benchmarks on a risk-adjusted basis over a market cycle of at least five years. The differences between the positive ratings indicate the level of the analyst's conviction in a fund's future performance. Analysts arrive at a rating through an evaluation of five key pillars: People, Process, Parent, Performance, and Price. The Analyst Rating methodology for mutual funds is available here and for ETFs here. The Analyst Rating methodology for SMAs, CITs, and model portfolios is available here.

To view a complete list and supporting analysis for Analyst Ratings for U.S. funds, please visit www.morningstar.com. Premium Members have access to a Morningstar Medalists screener, where users can sort funds by Morningstar Rating, Morningstar Analyst Rating, Fund Family, Manager Tenure, Expense Ratio, and other metrics. Morningstar's Global Fund Reports, in-depth research reports that include a wealth of data and analysis, are available in Morningstar DirectSM, the company's web-based global investment analysis platform for institutional investors, and in Morningstar OfficeSM, a global practice and portfolio management solution for advisors.

Morningstar has approximately 120 manager research analysts worldwide. The company provides data on approximately 244,150 open-end mutual funds, 12,530 closed-end funds, and 16,920 exchange-traded product listings as of Dec. 31, 2018.

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with more than $193 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2018. The company has operations in 27 countries. For more information, visit www.morningstar.com/company. Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc.

Morningstar's Manager Research Group consists of various wholly owned subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC. Analyst Ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. Analyst Ratings are based on Morningstar's Manager Research Group's current expectations about future events and therefore involve unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause such expectations not to occur or to differ significantly from what was expected. Analyst Ratings are not guarantees nor should they be viewed as an assessment of a fund's or a fund's or separately managed account's underlying securities' creditworthiness. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities or a separately managed account investment strategy in this press release should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities or to invest in accordance with that strategy.

©2019 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

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