An examination of 11 years of our picks reveals a surprising performance by Fidelity and more.
On Morningstar.com's new Fund Analyst Picks page, you can see how each of our picks have performed. But I took a look at how our picks have done by fund company. Looking over the past 11 years, I grouped funds by company to see how well each firm fared.
Specifically, I looked at whether each pick had outperformed the median fund in its category during the time in which it was a pick. If a fund changed categories while it was a pick, then I calculated two separate time-period performances. I'll also let you know about some of our biggest hits and misses from each company. The data is as through May 2011.
Our American Funds picks outperformed 73% of the time. As you might expect from well-run but widely diversified funds, most produced returns that were not that far off the middle of the category. Four did produce top-quartile returns in the time they were picks: American Funds EuroPacific Growth
I was surprised to see Fidelity top the list, with 83% of our picks beating their median peer. You're probably surprised, too, as funds like Fidelity Magellan
Over the years, eight different Fidelity muni funds have been picks at one time or another and all produced above-median percentile rankings. We've had 11 taxable-bond picks, and two have lagged.
Including the Harbor bond funds that PIMCO subadvises, PIMCO fund picks outperformed 74% of the time. The two blots on the record were PIMCO Emerging Markets Bond
T. Rowe Price
A total of 79% of our T. Rowe Price picks have outperformed. Some our best picks were sector funds like T. Rowe Price Media & Telecommunications
Our Vanguard picks also won 79% of the time. Many of the laggards did so because they are positioned more conservatively than are their peers. I'd say our worst pick was one that would have been much better off if it had been positioned conservatively. Vanguard Growth Equity
Fortunately, some of our best picks were also in large growth in the form of the now-closed Vanguard Primecap