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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

9 Fund Upgrades, 10 Downgrades in March

Overall, we published 205 ratings, giving inaugural grades to 14 strategies.

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Morningstar Manager Research analysts published ratings for 205 mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, separate-account strategies, and collective investment trusts during March. That tally included nine upgrades, 10 downgrades, and 168 reaffirmed ratings. Another 13 received inaugural ratings and five went under review. Among the new ratings are SMA composites of target-risk series that are similar to model portfolios. The SMAs reflect investment performance of the model portfolios as they were implemented by the asset manager. Advisors can customize model portfolios in client accounts, and the models’ performance may vary significantly from the composites. Below are some highlights from the March ratings activity, along with tables of changes for the month.

Lead manager Ed Bousa's steady execution at subadvisor Wellington Management earned  Hartford Dividend and Growth (HDGYX) an upgrade to Silver from Bronze. The fund's portfolio consists mostly of large-cap dividend payers that Bousa tries to pick up when they are out of favor. He adds companies with above-average growth prospects into the mix, striking a rough balance between the two. It's a rewarding combination with muted risk. The fund topped its large-value Morningstar Category average and its S&P 500 benchmark over Bousa's nearly 18-year tenure. The reliable fund has never had a bottom-quartile category finish in a calendar year under Bousa.

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