August 12, 2019

Morningstar Assigns New Analyst Ratings to Five Strategies, Upgrades Seven, and Downgrades Four in July 2019

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has published a summary of Morningstar Analyst Rating™ activity for 149 U.S. strategies that occurred in July 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 July 2019, Morningstar's manager research group assigned new ratings to five U.S. strategies and affirmed 132 strategies. Seven strategies were upgraded, four were downgraded, and one was placed under review. 

"In July we upgraded Wells Fargo Enterprise's Morningstar Analyst Rating to Bronze from Neutral because the fund has handled a 2016 management change well and the current leads have done a fine job implementing the fund's rigorous and disciplined approach by focusing on identifying mid-cap U.S. stocks that have the potential to benefit from disruptive change," said Russ Kinnel, chair of Morningstar's North America ratings committee and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor. "Downgraded funds include BBH Core Select, which moved from Bronze to Silver because the fund has been hit by heavy outflows and a manager change."

The following Analyst Rating changes occurred in July 2019:


Vehicle Type

Previous Morningstar

Analyst Rating

Current Morningstar

Analyst Rating

New Ratings




Abner, Herrman & Brock Custom Balanced

SMA

None

Neutral

Columbia Large Cap Growth

SMA

None

Neutral

Invesco Multi-Asset Income

Mutual Fund

None

Bronze

Putnam US Large Cap Value Managed Account

SMA

None

Bronze

Voya Strategic Income Opportunities

Mutual Fund

None

Neutral





Upgrades




BlackRock Focus Growth

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

Eaton Vance Richard Bernstein All Asset Strategy

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

Invesco Oppenheimer Capital Income

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

John Hancock Global Absolute Return Strategies

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

TETON Westwood Mighty Mites

Mutual Fund

Negative

Neutral

Wells Fargo Discovery

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze

Wells Fargo Enterprise

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Bronze





Downgrades




BBH Core Select

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze

Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Dividend Income

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Negative

Fidelity Four-in-One Index

Mutual Fund

Gold

Silver

Fidelity New Markets Income

Mutual Fund

Silver

Bronze





Under Review




Templeton Global Balanced

Mutual Fund

Neutral

Under Review

A list of the Analyst Ratings for 126 U.S. funds and six SMAs that Morningstar affirmed in July is available here.

As of July 31, 2019, Morningstar analysts had assigned a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold to 236 unique U.S. funds, a Silver rating to 433 funds, a Bronze rating to 630 funds, a Neutral rating to 751 funds, and a Negative rating to 35 funds. Morningstar Medalists currently account for approximately six percent of unique mutual funds available for sale in the United States and 63 percent of assets under management. Morningstar's manager research analysts rate approximately $13.4 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 70 percent 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 November 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. In March, Morningstar began assigning its forward-looking Morningstar Analyst Ratings to SMA target-risk series that are representative of model portfolios. Morningstar recently announced it will enhance two of its forward-looking fund ratings systems, the Morningstar Analyst Rating™ for funds (Analyst Rating) and the Morningstar Quantitative Rating™ for funds (Quantitative Rating). The enhanced ratings, which are based on an updated assessment framework, will begin to take effect on Oct. 31, 2019. Read more in the press release issued on July 8, 2019, 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 125 manager research analysts worldwide. The company provides data on approximately 252,960 open-end mutual funds, 13,140 closed-end funds, and 20,040 exchange-traded product listings as of June 30, 2019.

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 about $220 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2019. 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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