Skip to Content
  1. Podcasts
  2. The Long View

John Rekenthaler: Fund Manager Financial Incentives Are Irrelevant

Morningstar's columnist reflects on his decades of analyzing and writing about the mutual fund, retirement, and financial advice industries.

The Long View cover art

Listen Now

Listen and subscribe to Morningstar’s The Long View from your mobile device.

Our guest this week is John Rekenthaler. Rekenthaler is a director in Morningstar Research Services and a feature contributor to our platforms, including Morningstar.com. A lucid thinker and brilliant writer, his popular "Rekenthaler Report" column has become a must read among investors, financial advisors, fund industry participants, and beyond.

Rekenthaler began his career at Morningstar in 1988 and has worn a number of hats, including leadership roles in our research and investment management divisions. Among other achievements, Rekenthaler has been a key player in developing some of Morningstar's best-known tools, including the Morningstar Rating for funds and the Morningstar Style Box. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Background

The Rekenthaler Report

Morningstar Rating for funds methodology

Morningstar Style Box methodology

Investor Behavior 

Morningstar's Mind the Gap study

Rekenthaler Report: "Mutual Funds: Where Fun Came to Die"

Rekenthaler Report: "3 Reasons Index Investors Deserve Perdition (or Not)"

Rekenthaler Report: "Up-Front Investment Fees Are (Almost) No More"

Incentives

Rekenthaler Report: "Give Performance Fees a Chance"

How John Invests

Rekenthaler Report: "What's in My Portfolio?"

Most and Least Popular Columns

Rekenthaler Report: "Enough with Revenue Sharing!"

Rekenthaler Report: "About that Rigging Claim"

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, by Michael Lewis, March 2014.

Compelling Academic Research

Rekenthaler Report: "Predicting Mutual Fund Returns With the Ownership Lens"

"Judging Fund Managers by the Company They Keep," by Randolph Cohen, Joshua Coval, and Lubos Pastor; NBER Working Paper No. 9359, December 2002.

The State of Retirement

Rekenthaler Report: "The Retirement Crisis That Isn't?"

Teresa Ghilarducci

"A Perplexing Tale About 401(k)s," by Scott Cooley; Morningstar.com, Nov. 26, 2015.

Rekenthaler Report: "The British Show How to Improve 401(k)s"

Best and Worst Innovations

Rekenthaler Report: "Why ETFs Succeeded for Retail Investors"

Rekenthaler Report: "Tactical-Allocation Funds: Even Worse Than Expected"

Jack Bogle

Rekenthaler Report: "Jack Bogle Strikes Back!"

Rekenthaler Report: "Jack Bogle's (Somewhat) Accidental Legacy"

Corporate Governance

"Anticompetitive Effects of Common Ownership," by Jose Azar, Martin Schmalz, and Isabel Tecu; Journal of Finance, May 2018.

Rekenthaler Report: "Are Index Funds Too Soft on CEOs?"

Rekenthaler Report: "The Latest Salvo Against Indexing"

Rekenthaler Report: "The Doctrine of Shareholder Value Has Indeed Helped Shareholders"

Albert J. "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap  bio

What John Reads

Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters

Joe Mansueto bio

Reflections on Investing

Rekenthaler Report: "My Investment Howler"

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.