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By Laura Lallos | 08-26-2015 04:00 PM

This Recent Upgrade Gets a Lot of Little Things Right

Silver-rated JPMorgan US Equity is a fine core holding for the domestic-equity portion of a portfolio.

Laura Lallos: We recently upgraded JPMorgan US Equity (JUESX) from Bronze to Silver. This fund is a great example of getting a lot of little things right, adding up to strong long-term performance. It's not a fund that deviates much from its benchmark--the S&P 500--in terms of sector exposure. What it does well is stock-picking across the board without making any individual big bets.

The heart of this strategy is J.P. Morgan's dividend-discount model that's used by their large core analyst team to rank stocks within sectors and identify the best prospects for long-term investing. In fact, the analysts themselves pick stocks for 40% of the portfolio. They are directly in charge of the picks for their sectors. The additional 60% is run by long-tenured managers Susan Bao and Tom Luddy, using the same research for their picks. And while Tom Luddy isn't planning to retire yet, a third comanager joined last year--Scott Davis. We like to see that kind of long-term advanced planning. Scott was on the portfolio for a long time as an analyst before becoming a [portfolio manager].

The fund also has the advantage of competitive costs. While the institutional share class will be out of reach for most investors, there is an additional institutional share class with slightly higher expenses that's still competitive. That's available through certain advisors. The fund may also be available in your 401(k) plan.

JPMorgan US Equity is the type of stalwart investment that's useful as a core holding in a diversified portfolio.

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