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Fund Spy: Morningstar Medalist Edition

January Ratings Activity in U.S. Includes Many More Downgrades Than Upgrades

Manager turnover triggers several downgrades.

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Morningstar research analysts were fairly active in January. Indeed, while we upgraded only one fund last month, we downgraded seven funds plus one target-date series. We also covered three funds for the first time and re-initiated coverage on two funds. The table below lists all of the affected funds. And we highlight the most notable changes here.

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 Vanguard Market Neutral (VMNIX) has plenty of positive traits. Vanguard's quantitative equity team, which has managed 100% of this market-neutral fund's assets since October 2010, is sizable, seasoned, and strong. The team employs a well-designed quant-driven strategy that is transparent as well as sensible and results in a very low correlation with the S&P 500. The team has delivered superior returns during the approximately 5.25-year period it has run the entire portfolio on its own. This fund also has a good parent and a low expense ratio that give a significant and enduring edge over its rivals. Thus, its Morningstar Analyst Rating was raised to Silver from Bronze.

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