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These Target-Date Series Aim From a Different Angle

Josh Charlson, CFA

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Josh Charlson: Today we're going to be talking about two managers, Bob Boyda and Steve Medina, who run the portfolio solutions group at John Hancock, and they and their team oversee a lot of assets. They oversee the target-date funds. There are two series, Retirement Living and Retirement Choices, which are about $13 billion-plus [in assets]. They also oversee the target-risk funds, the Lifestyle Series, which is over $40 billion in assets.

These managers are both very experienced. They've both been at John Hancock for more than 20 years. In the past, they ran [the company's] manager-selection group. 

And there are a couple of distinctive things about the way they run these John Hancock funds. One is they use a lot of external subadvisors. They use some really well-known managers from places like T. Rowe Price, GMO, and Wellington. And then they'll use some boutique manages, too, like Stone Harbor for fixed income.

Another thing you'll notice about them is that they will express their views in the funds very distinctly. They've taken strong positions in high-yield, emerging markets, health care in the United States, which have been some themes they have focused on.

This can lead to additional risk, excess active manager risk. But if you're looking for funds that have a strong viewpoint and a lot of subadvisors, these may be funds you're interested in.