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Portfolio > Mutual Funds

Morningstar’s March Winners and Losers

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Morningstar analysts are doing some spring cleaning. The fund research company just upgraded seven funds, downgraded four funds and gave new ratings to 29 mutual funds and 33 exchange-traded funds in March, while placing one fund under review.

In addition, analysts affirmed ratings for 80 funds and three target-date series.

Its Morningstar Analyst Ratings represent analysts’ views that a fund can outperform its peers on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. The five-tiered, qualitative scale has three positive levels — Gold, Silver and Bronze — as well as neutral and negative ratings.

Overall, 135 funds have a rating of Gold, 313 are Silver, 507 are Bronze, 423 are Neutral, and an unlucky 13 are Negative.

In February, the company upgraded two U.S. funds and one target-date series. It also downgraded ratings for nine funds, affirmed ratings for 65 funds and 10 target-date series, assigned 16 new fund ratings, and placed one fund under review.

The medalist-rated funds, referred to as Morningstar Medalists, account for about 9% of funds sold in the U.S. and close to 60% of assets under management. (Overall, the group’s analysts rate some $12 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or about 68% of U.S. investor assets.)

The March 2017 updates are as follows: 


  • DFA U.S. Large Company (DFUSX): Gold (from Silver)
  • Western Asset Core Plus Bond (WACPX): Gold (from Silver)
  • BlackRock Strategic Income Opportunities (BSIIX): Silver (from Bronze)
  • Fidelity Overseas: (FOSFX) Silver (from Bronze)
  • T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX): Silver (from Bronze)
  • Seafarer Overseas Growth and Income (SIGIX): Silver (from Bronze)
  • Vanguard Explorer (VEXPX): Bronze (from Neutral)


  • AllianzGI NFJ International Value (ANJIX): Bronze (from Silver)
  • Columbia Select Large Cap Growth (UMLGX): Neutral (from Bronze)
  • MFS Global Alternative Strategy (DVRIX): Neutral (from Bronze)
  • Virtus Foreign Opportunities (JVIAX): Neutral (from Bronze)

Under Review

  • BlackRock Basic Value (MDBAX): Bronze

New Ratings (Partial List)

  • Aberdeen U.S. Small Cap Equity (GSCIX): Bronze
  • Parnassus Mid-Cap (PARMX): Silver

The full list of new Morningstar ratings for 29 mutual funds and 33 ETFs is available here.

— Check out Lipper Names Top Fund Managers of 2017 on ThinkAdvisor.


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