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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

Our Favorite Equity Funds With Above-Average Fees

Pricier funds rarely earn Golds.

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My colleague Dan Culloton recently wrote a Fund Spy about low-priced funds that nevertheless didn't earn medals (Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Gold, Silver, or Bronze). In this column, I'll tackle the flip side of that topic--funds that charge above-average fees, yet still earn the highest Analyst Rating of Gold. Studies have shown that low fees are one of the best predictors of long-term outperformance, so only four equity funds that earn a Negative pillar rating for Price make the cut. Those funds generally charge only slightly above-average fees, and one (Artisan International Value) gets docked for charging average fees despite a large asset base.

Furthermore, all four funds earn Positive ratings for each of the other four pillars (People, Process, Parent, and Performance). Each one boasts a lead manager who has successfully applied the same disciplined strategy for more than a dozen years and is backed by a firm that has demonstrated good stewardship. (Two of the funds are closed to new investors to preserve their flexibility.) Let's take a closer look at each one.

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Greg Carlson has a position in the following securities mentioned above: OAKIX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.