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PIMCO and Vanguard Top Taxable-Bond Fund Rankings

How the 10 biggest bond-fund managers stack up.

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Sometimes it helps to step back and see the forest for the trees. I like to look at asset-weighted performance by fund family for a couple of reasons. While three-year returns on a single fund are only of little value they are of more value when looking at many more observations in the form of the firmwide performance. It helps to provide some sense of firmwide strengths and weaknesses in an asset class as well as any biases that play out across a bunch of fund companies.

Let's take a look at the 10 largest taxable-bond-fund companies. (To see my look at U.S. equity funds, click here.) I examined three-year relative performance rankings for the period ended Feb. 29, 2008, and Feb. 28, 2005. I weighted that performance based on asset size at the beginning of the period in order to make sure that it isn't biased by flows that tend to follow strong performers. I also excluded institutional shares because their low costs don't represent what the typical individual investor can get. Finally, I'd note that in our percentile rankings 1 is the best and 100 is the worst.

 Top 10 Taxable-Bond-Fund Families by Asset-Weighted Three-Year Rank

Rank (Feb. 2005)

Rank (Feb. 2008)
Change in Rank
PIMCO Funds38.6413.2825.37
Natixis Funds (Loomis Sayles)3.8119.87-16.07
T. Rowe Price40.8425.2015.63
Franklin Templeton Investments37.8632.795.07
Dodge & Cox12.0043.00-31.00
American Funds15.4551.35-35.90
Eaton Vance60.1253.276.86


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Russel Kinnel has a position in the following securities mentioned above: PTTRX, LSBRX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.