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Work the Morningstar Fund Screener to Your Advantage

How to use a little elbow grease to find contrarian funds.

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We've got style!

No, we're not talking about the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, or the cars we drive. We're referring to the way we all invest. Large value. Small growth. Contrarian. Momentum. We've come up with an entire lexicon aimed at describing the many stripes that we as investors--or the managers whom we hire to run our money--wear.

But why do these distinctions exist in the first place? There's the human dimension--it satisfies an impulse to classify and refine, helping us to place an unwieldy universe into a more comprehensible framework. But there are also more-prosaic forces at work: We like to measure, compare, and contrast. How has one income-oriented value manager fared versus other managers of that ilk? Does a momentum-growth style provide greater diversification potential than a growth-at-a-reasonable-price approach? How have mega-cap-focused managers done versus their all-cap brethren? These aren't trivial concerns, as slightly distinct flavors of investing can confer very different risk/reward profiles.

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