June 30, 2013, reports are now available.
Morningstar's Target-Date Fund Series Rating and Research Reports are designed to help financial advisors, plan sponsors, and other investors and fiduciaries make informed decisions when evaluating a series of target-date funds.
Target-date funds are marketed as a one-decision, comprehensive investment option that investors can hold through their retirement years. The funds tend to invest more aggressively in the decades before retirement and shift their asset mixes so they are more conservative in the years immediately preceding and following retirement. The mutual fund industry refers to this shift in assets as a fund's "glide path."
Target-date funds are by no means a uniform investment type. Depending on the glide-path philosophy, the subasset classes used, the nature and quality of the underlying investments, and a host of other factors, target-date funds can display markedly different risk and return characteristics. Tapping our experience in evaluating individual mutual funds and mutual fund families, we hope to create a clearer picture of the target-date universe with these reports.
What follows are one-page reports on 22 of the most widely held target-date fund series. We will update the ratings and reports quarterly. Longer-form reports are available in Morningstar Direct, Office, and Advisor Workstation.