Morningstar’s downgrading of the Fidelity Contrafund to silver from gold comes with a caveat: The fund “remains excellent,” explains Robby Greengold, a chartered financial analyst who is a strategist with Morningstar, in a recent column.
But its size — around $250 billion — means it is “less agile and adaptable than its large-growth peers,” Greengold states. Most of those, he points out, hold less than $500 million.
Other funds that have the kind of mass of the Contrafund “went on to show significant degradation in their excess returns as their opportunity set effectively shrank and they became harder to maneuver.”
The fund’s performance has been impressive since its inception in May 1967. From 2012 to 2020, it had only one down year: 2018, when it was -2.13. It had largely double-digit returns in other years. Year to date, the fund is down almost 11%.
Fund manager Will Danoff has been “masterful” in his leadership, Greengold writes, noting that when the fund was smaller, “it consistently achieved risk-adjusted results that far exceeded its benchmarks.”