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Fund Spy

How the 30 Biggest Fund Companies Stack Up

Some fund shops were consistent leaders or laggards.

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Last year, I updated you on fund company performance trends. The year before that, I updated you on manager retention at the largest fund companies. This time around, I figured, what the heck, let's look at both, along with manager tenure, manager investment levels, and Stewardship Grades, to get a handle on the latest indicators, from the 30 largest fund companies. To see the rankings, click here.

Investors tend to think purely in terms of individual funds, but it pays to look at the bigger picture. A fund is much more than a sole manager picking stocks. Analyst staffs play a big role, too, as do traders. Looking at firmwide performance helps you gauge how well they are doing. And a fund company's stewardship strengths and weaknesses influence each individual fund's long-term performance.

All this number crunching serves another purpose: It helps you get past the spin. Fund companies want to make the case that they are hitting on all cylinders and everything is peachy. But the data often shows that's not the case. In fact, I found that a few fund companies scored highly on all or most of the measures while a few consistently lagged. When the data screams out like that, you don't want to ignore it.

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