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How Do These Three Target-Date Series Size Up?

PIMCO, Russell, and Manning & Napier are now part of Morningstar's target-date coverage.

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For the latest quarter ending June 30, Morningstar is adding ratings on three new target-date series. This brings to 25 the number of series covered under our Target Date Series Ratings and Reports. Target-date funds remain one of the fastest-growing areas of the mutual-fund industry, and they are increasingly the primary retirement-savings vehicle for American workers investing through their defined-contribution plans. Although net inflows slowed down a bit in 2011 to 16% (representing almost $37 billion in assets), that growth rate still exceeded most other mutual fund asset classes, and target-date assets are now north of $400 billion.

Morningstar is committed to providing broad coverage of the target-date landscape, through our ratings and analysis of individual series and through bigger-picture research such as the annual Target-Date Industry Survey. While the industry is dominated by the three largest providers--Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard (who are also big record-keepers)--a number of smaller series have made impressive inroads in recent years. Morningstar believes that a diversity of choice for plan sponsors and investors is a positive. The three series we're adding to coverage, from Russell, PIMCO, and Manning & Napier, all possess distinctive features that set them apart from the traditional models of the leading target-date families. Although our analysts take a range of views on these series, each has elements that may appeal to different constituencies.

Josh Charlson has a position in the following securities mentioned above: PTTRX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.