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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

February 2018 U.S. Morningstar Analyst Ratings Activity

There were several notable upgrades and downgrades this past month.

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In February, Morningstar manager research analysts upgraded the Morningstar Analyst Ratings of four funds and one target-date series, downgraded the ratings of seven funds, and affirmed ratings on 75 funds and three target-date series. The team also assigned new ratings to eight funds and placed one fund under review. Below are some of February’s highlights, followed by the full list of ratings changes.

Upgrades
 JPMorgan SmartRetirement Income (JSIIX) was upgraded to Gold from Silver last month because of continued strong execution by its investment team. Anne Lester has led this effort since its 2006 inception, though Dan Oldroyd is in charge of its day-to-day management. The managers are supported by a global team of more than 80 members, and the group has employed a consistent strategic asset-allocation approach based upon research it conducted on plan participants and long-term market expectations. Additionally, the team employs a two-step tactical asset-allocation process in which it leverages valuations and risks factors combined with a qualitative assessment of its global strategy team to set the fund’s short-term tilts. This approach has led to top-decile returns from all of the series’ eight vintages over the 10-year stretch ended December 2017. A recent reduction of fees on several of the underlying series led to a Price rating upgrade to Positive and enforces the series’ strength.

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Kenneth Oshodi does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.