stock image of a business person checking off boxes with stars next to them
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Morningstar has published its latest monthly summary of Analyst Rating activity for 731 fund share classes, ETFs and separately managed accounts/collective investment trusts.

In July 2020, the research firm upgraded 52, downgraded 200 and added 54 to its coverage.

Of the 168 unique strategies (after “sifting out” multiple share classes and vehicles), analysts assigned first-time ratings to nine.

The Morningstar Analyst Rating keeps track of a fund’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.

Changes to its analyst rating methodology went live in October.

The new system gives more weight to fees and sets the bar higher for active funds, while shifting how Morningstar assigns ratings to fund share classes to account for specific fees being levied on each share class.

Highlights of the latest ratings include the following:

Upgrades (52):

  • T. Rowe Price Global Technology (to Bronze from Neutral)
  • Natixis Oakmark International  (to Gold from Silver)

Downgrades (200):

  • Sequoia (to Neutral from Bronze)
  • Vanguard Total Bond Market Index (to Bronze from Silver)

New Ratings (9):

  • BlackRock Systematic Multi-Strategy (Bronze for the 2 least expensive share classes, and Neutral for its most expensive)

— Related on ThinkAdvisor: