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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

Why PIMCO Total Return Retained Its Gold Rating

Viewed in the context of its competitors, you can see why PIMCO Total Return is still an elite fund.

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PIMCO has been swirling in controversy these days. Since Mohamed El-Erian left the firm, there have been a number of published reports highlighting heated arguments between El-Erian and Bill Gross. Some of the over-the-top quotes from Gross have undermined faith in his leadership just as El-Erian's departure left the firm without a clear heir apparent.

The news emphasized what we've long heard from ex-employees: PIMCO is a difficult place to work, where demands are so extreme that it's very hard to have a life outside the firm. You won't last long if your fund underperforms. This investment-bank-style culture has led to a steady stream of departures, though none as big as El-Erian's.

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