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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

Fund Ratings Highlights for July

July brings five upgrades, eight downgrades, and six new ratings.

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In July, Morningstar manager research analysts affirmed the Morningstar Analyst Ratings of 129 funds, upgraded the ratings of five funds, downgraded the ratings of eight funds, placed three funds' ratings under review, and assigned new ratings to six funds. Below are some of July's highlights, followed by the full list of ratings changes.

Upgrades
 Federated Total Return Bond's (FTRBX) Analyst Rating was upgraded to Silver from Bronze, merely a year after we reinitiated coverage on the fund in August 2017. Strengthened confidence in the fund's stable and experienced team, led by manager Don Ellenberger, in addition to greater comfort with this fund's trade-finance allocation were two motivating factors for the upgrade. Ellenberger, who boasts two decades of experience at Federated, balances the fund's exposure across multiple sources of return, including duration, yield curve, currency, and sector allocation. These factors are independently managed by teams of analysts called "alpha pods," whose macro guidance complements the bottom-up research of Federated's investment-grade analysts. When Ellenberger wants to add risk through bank loans, high yield, mortgages, trade-finance, or emerging markets, he allocates to fellow Federated funds to get exposure, rather than by holding those securities outright. Over the trailing annualized 10-year period ended June 2018, the fund outperformed the median of its intermediate-term bond Morningstar Category, fueled by select years of strong contribution from its corporate credit holdings.

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