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Morningstar's August Winners and Losers

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August was a busy month for Morningstar, with the ratings agency publishing its analyst rating activity for 131 U.S. open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, two target date series and three separately managed accounts.

Not only did analysts upgrade ratings for 10 funds, downgrade ratings for three funds, affirm ratings for 112 funds and two target-date series and place one fund’s rating under review, they also assigned new ratings to one SMA and affirmed ratings for two additional SMAs.

“We’re increasing the number of SMAs under analyst coverage, and we’re excited to introduce these accounts into our roundup of monthly ratings,” Laura Pavlenko Lutton, Morningstar’s director of manager research for North America, said in a statement.

Lutton added, “The Morningstar Analyst Rating for separately managed accounts extends Morningstar’s forward-looking, qualitative research capabilities for managed investments. Our approach to rating SMAs is consistent with the global research philosophy Morningstar applies to mutual funds and other managed investments.”

As of Aug. 31, 161 unique U.S. funds were granted the Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold; 340 had been granted Silver; 598 a Bronze; 681 a Neutral and 19 a Negative. Morningstar Medalists at present account for about 5% of unique mutual funds available for sale in the US. and 70% of assets under management.

Morningstar’s manager research analysts rate approximately $13.4 trillion of U.S. investor assets, or approximately 61% of total investor assets in the United States.

The following Morningstar Analyst Rating changes occurred in August 2018:


  1. Columbia Mid Cap Index (Silver from Bronze)
  2. Fidelity Extended Market Index (Gold from Silver)
  3. Dreyfus International Bond (Bronze from Neutral)
  4. BlackRock Strategic Global Bond (Silver from Bronze)
  5. JPMorgan Small Cap Equity (Silver from Bronze)
  6. MFS Emerging Markets Equity (Bronze from Neutral)
  7. Laudus US Large Cap Growth (Silver from Bronze
  8. JPMorgan Global Allocation (Silver from Bronze)
  9. PIMCO StocksPLUS Absolute Return (Bronze from Neutral)
  10. PIMCO StocksPLUS Small (Bronze from Neutral)


  1. Thornburg Limited Term (Neutral from Bronze)
  2. Touchstone Focused (Neutral from Bronze)
  3. Buffalo Discovery (Neutral from Bronze)

New Ratings

  1. Voya Russell Mid Cap Index (Bronze)
  2. Voya Russell Small Cap Index (Bronze)
  3. Fidelity Mid Cap Value (Neutral)
  4. Harbor Small Cap Growth (Bronze)
  5. PIMCO High Yield Spectrum (Silver)
  6. Vulcan Value Partners Large Cap Value (SMA) (Bronze)

Under Review

Harbor International (from Silver)


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