Funds to Watch: What Investors Are Eyeing Now

Morningstar's most-researched funds list reveals some possible trends

Another signal that the Great Rotation is at hand? Maybe not, but investors and advisors are at least looking into equity strategies.

Morningstar analyzed searches made on its three platforms—Morningstar Direct for institutional advisors, Morningstar Advisor Workstation and consumer-facing Morningstar.com—to see which funds were generating the most interest among individual and institutional investors, and financial advisors.

Across all three platforms, investors and advisors showed an increased interest in large-cap equities in the first part of the year, Morningstar found.

Individual investors were most interested in emerging market ETFs, while advisors preferred bond ETFs and large-cap strategies. The firm noted, however, that after showing limited interest in energy sector ETFs in the prior period, it topped the current list.

Similarly, after no bank loan strategies made the list of individual investors’ most researched funds in 2012, one was featured on both the top mutual funds and top ETFs list.

Morningstar also found that advisors’ interest in fixed income funds has slackened since 2012.

“Core equity and bond strategies largely remain the most-researched investments across our main product platforms, but changes to the number of searches in niche categories indicate that investors were switching gears in the first half of the year,“ Paul Justice, director of fund research for Morningstar, said in a statement. “In the institutional segment, we saw a dramatic increase in interest in international preferred stock and junk-rated domestic bonds, likely because of the rapid shift in interest rates in the United States.”

Investors’ Most Researched Mutual Funds

  • Vanguard Dividend Growth Inv (VDIGX); Large Blend
  • Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX); Large Growth
  • Yacktman Svc (YACKX), Large Blend
  • Vanguard Wellesley Income Inv (VWINX), Conservative Allocation
  • Fairholme (FAIRX), Large Value
  • PRIMECAP Odyssey Aggressive Growth (POAGX), Mid-Cap Growth
  • Fidelity Small Cap Discovery (FSCRX), Small Blend
  • Fidelity Floating Rate High Income (FFRHX), Bank Loan
  • Vanguard Capital Opportunity Inv (VHCOX), Large Growth
  • (Tie): Oakmark International I (OAKIX), Foreign Large Blend; T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation (PRWCX) and Vanguard Wellington Inv (VWELX), Moderate Allocation

Investors' Most Interesting ETFs

  • Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), Large Blend
  • Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), Diversified Emerging Markets
  • PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio ETF (BKLN), Bank Loan
  • Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index ETF (VYM), Large Value
  • Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), Real Estate
  • Vanguard FTSE All-World Ex-US ETF (VEU), Foreign Large Blend
  • PIMCO Total Return ETF (BOND), Intermediate-Term Bond
  • WisdomTree Emerging Markets Equity Income ETF (DEM), Diversified Emerging Markets
  • JP Morgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (AMJ), Equity Energy
  • WisdomTree Emerging Markets SmallCap Dividend ETF (DGS), Diversified Emerging Markets

Advisors' Most Interesting Mutual Funds

  • Templeton Global Bond A (TPINX), World Bond
  • Franklin Income A (FKINX), Conservative Allocation
  • American Funds Capital Income Builder A (CAIBX), World Allocation
  • American Funds Capital World Growth & Inc. A (CWGIX), World Stock
  • Fidelity (FFIDX), Large Growth
  • American Funds Income Fund of America A (AMECX), Moderate Allocation
  • American Funds Growth Fund of America A (AGTHX), Large Growth
  • American Funds Fundamental Investor A (ANCFX), Large Blend
  • Mutual Global Discovery A (TEDIX), World Stock
  • Franklin Rising Dividends A (FRDPX), Large Blend

Advisors’ Most Interesting ETFs

  • Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE), Equity Energy
  • iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA), Foreign Large Blend
  • iShares Core Total US Bond Market ETF (AGG), Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND), Intermediate-Term Bond
  • SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), Large Blend
  • SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), Commodities Precious Metals
  • iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (TIP), Inflation-Protected Bond
  • SPDR S&P Dividend (SDY), Large Value
  • iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index (IWF), Large Growth
  • Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), Diversified Emerging Markets

Institutional Investors' Most Interesting Mutual Funds

  • PIMCO Total Return Instl (PTTRX), Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Harbor International Instl (HAINX), Foreign Large Blend
  • Oppenheimer Developing Markets A (ODMAX), Diversified Emerging Markets
  • Dodge & Cox International Stock (DODFX), Foreign Large Blend
  • Templeton Global Bond Adv (TPINX), World Bond
  • Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX), Large Growth
  • Dodge & Cox Stock (DODGX), Large Blend
  • Vanguard 500 Index Signal (VIFSX), Large Blend
  • T. Rowe Price Equity Income (PRFDX), Large Value
  • T. Rowe Price Growth Stock (PRGFX), Large Growth

Institutional Investors' Most Interesting ETFs

  • SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), Large Blend
  • Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO), Diversified Emerging Markets
  • iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM), Diversified Emerging Markets
  • iShares MSCI EAFE Index (EFA), Foreign Large Blend
  • SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), Commodities Precious Metals
  • iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM), Small Blend
  • iShares Barclays TIPS Bond (TIP), Inflation-Protected Bond
  • iShares Core Total U.S Bond Market ETF (AGG), Intermediate-Term Bond
  • Vanguard REIT Index ETF (VNQ), Real Estate
  • iShares Russell 1000 Growth Index (IWF), Large Growth

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