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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

Seasons Change, but Many Ratings Stay the Same

Amid a handful of revisions, Morningstar affirmed 135 Analyst Ratings in October.

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In October, Morningstar manager research analysts affirmed the Morningstar Analyst Ratings of 135 funds, upgraded the ratings of seven funds, downgraded the ratings of five funds, and assigned new ratings to 36 funds. Below are some of October's highlights, followed by the full list of ratings changes.

 Baron Small Cap (BSFIX) was raised to Silver from Bronze because of continued confidence in the fund's long-tenured manager and the firm's hallmark investment approach. Manager Cliff Greenberg has posted strong risk-adjusted returns since the fund's 1997 inception, largely by differentiating it from small-growth peers. He seeks stable small-cap stocks with consistent cash flows that he can own for years rather than those with short-term bursts of earnings growth. This leads him away from speculative biotech stocks in favor of more-stable areas, like industrials. Greenberg, who is aided by a longtime Baron analyst, exudes the firm's patient investing approach, with the fund's average annual turnover usually below 20%, compared with over 80% for peers. This means that the fund's average market cap is larger than peers and the Russell 2000 Growth Index, making the Russell 2500 Growth Index a better comparative mark. Measured against either index, the fund has performed well over the long term.

Christopher Franz does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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