Morningstar says it recently upgraded seven mutual funds and downgraded four. It gave five funds new ratings.
Upgraded funds include some managed by Janus, Neuberger Berman, AQR, CBRE Claron, LoCorr and Matthews.
The fund firms with downgrades in April are Fidelity, JPMorgan (JPM), T. Rowe Price and Western Asset Management.
New ratings have been issued for funds created by American Century, Blackstone, Fidelity, John Hancock and Prudential.
The seven mutual funds that were upgraded by Morningstar in April are:
- AQE Multi-Strategy Alternative (ASAIX) – to Bronze from Neutral
- CBRE Clarion Long/Short Institutional (CLSIX) – to Bronze from Neutral
- Janus Triton (JANIX) – to Bronze from Neutral
- Janus Venture (JANVX) – to Bronze from Neutral
- LoCorr Managed Futures Strategy (LFMAX) – to Neutral from Negative
- Matthews China Dividend Investor (MCDFX) – to Bronze from Neutral
- Neuberger Berman International Equity Institutional (MCDFX) – to Silver from Bronze
According to senior analyst Katie Rushkewicz Reichart, CFA, both Janus Triton and Janus Venture have been run by Jonathan Coleman since May 2013. The small-growth funds have posted “impressive risk-adjusted results relative to peers and benchmarks.”
Though three years is a relatively short period of time for a fund, Coleman also has had “a good record at former mid-growth charge Janus Enterprise (JAENX),” she says.
The two funds that were recently upgraded by Morningstar “have held up well in bouts of market volatility in 2015 and 2016.”
Both funds, however, were closed to new investors in May 2015; they have low fees, Reichart adds.
Neuberger Berman International Equity has a good long-term record, according to Morningstar, and “performed particularly well during volatile periods in 2014 and 2015 even though it tilts toward growth and mid-cap stocks and is typically fully invested.”
The fund is led by Benjamin Segal and has a stable analyst team, Reichart points out. “Reasonable fees and a willingness to close the fund before it gets too big are other merits supporting the upgrade,” she explained.