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By Ben Johnson, CFA | 10-25-2016 02:00 PM

Bringing ETF and Mutual Funds Ratings Together

A refresh to the two most important signals Morningstar sends to investors should help guide investment in their investment selection process.

Ben Johnson: For the first time, we'll be including exchange-traded funds in the Morningstar Analyst Rating framework. We are better aligning the signal that we're sending to investors to guide them in their fund-selection process with the way in which they're framing their own decisions.

Our positive ratings are reserved for those funds that we expect to outperform their category peers while accounting for risk over the course of a full market cycle. Funds with a rating of Neutral are funds that we don't necessarily have a particularly strong positive view on, nor do we think that they are in any way fundamentally impaired. A Negative rating would be reserved for those funds that we believe are in some way fundamentally impaired or encumbered relative to their peers.

For the first time, we'd be combining legacy peer groups that were comprised exclusively of open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, putting the two together for purposes of calculating the star rating and all relevant peer group statistics. When all is said and done we will have refreshed the two most important signals that we're sending to investors in guiding their investment-selection and fund-selection process, helping to better align our own framework with the way in which they are framing their fund-selection decisions. 

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