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What Asset Managers Were Reading Last Quarter

Popular research in Morningstar Cloud from the third quarter of 2018

Tom Lauricella


A different perspective on third quarter markets, a new way to measure fund companies, and great charts to share with clients. To help you stay up-to-date on what your peers are reading, we’ve compiled a roundup of the top five investment themes that asset managers are reading about in Research Portal within Morningstar Cloud.

5 investment themes that asset managers were thinking about last quarter:

  1. Which fund companies rank best when it comes to ratings, performance and flows? Morningstar’s Fund Family 150 provides a comparison of the 150 largest asset managers. This report, which is available to only Morningstar Cloud and clients of Morningstar Research Services combines qualitative analysis from Morningstar's manager research group with data-driven analysis from our Due Diligence Scorecards to illuminate performance, rating, and asset flow trends. Read why Dodge & Cox claims the top spot. Sign in to get access or take a free trial.
  2. Are liquid alts funds worth it? Mutual funds offering alternative investing strategies have multiplied, but are these strategies helping investors? This in-depth white paper examines two questions. First, how to evaluate the range of approaches among liquid alt funds. And second, whether these funds are offering value as portfolio diversifier? Read an overview of our research on the blog. 
  3. Do you know your fund company’s average fund rating? Morningstar’s quantitative research team recently put the Morningstar Quantitative RatingTM for funds to work in new ways. One takeaway: By combining our fundamental analyst-driven fund rating with the Quantitative Rating, it’s possible to create an average fund rating for a money manager and track whether the firm’s fortunes are improving or declining. Read our analysis of how the rating has performed in its first year.
  4. The latest on ETF trends, brought to you in 10 charts. The investor love-affair with exchange-traded funds is continuing, but it’s not as torrid as it was in 2017. In Morningstar Cloud, we’re bringing to you more of our data through quick-to-digest charts and graphics. This piece looks at the top asset-gathering stock and bond ETF categories, active versus passive trends and which fund companies are tops in bringing in new investor money. Sign in to get access or take a free trial.
  5. Some active bond funds are bucking the active/passive trend. While conventional wisdom has turned against active management in many corners of the market, the managers of intermediate bond funds are proving the naysayers wrong. Morningstar’s Active/Passive Barometer measures active managers against comparable passive strategies, meaning it’s the best way to view performance of an actively-managed strategy in the same way that an investor does—against other possible investment choices. The in-depth report available here takes a detailed looked at performance trends. Read highlights from the most recent report, including the good news for some active bond funds.

The Research Portal makes it easy to access Morningstar’s research and commentary from our expert teams of manager, stock, and credit analysts. Get a free trial of Morningstar Cloud to access more of the latest investment themes. All articles are available to current Morningstar Cloud subscribers.

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