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Simplicity's the Ultimate Sophistication for This Bond Fund

Silver-rated Baird Aggregate Bond's straightforward process, low fees, and experienced management team have delivered for investors.


Emory Zink: While Baird Aggregate Bond Fund inhabits a well-trodden investment-grade landscape, management's experience, straightforward process, and low fees have given the fund an edge, delivering consistent return to investors and earning this fund a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Silver.

Mary Ellen Stanek helms a team of six formal co-portfolio managers, who average 32 years of experience in the industry and have contributed to this strategy since its inception in 2000.

But it is not only the firm's leadership that has remained stalwart; the process is consistent as well. All members of the team--from analysts to portfolio managers--source, analyze, and secure investments for the portfolio, which is possible given its smaller size and the industry experience across the bench of contributors.

Stanek and her co-portfolio managers recognize resource limitations and subsequently stick to sectors and investments that they can thoroughly research, avoiding overly esoteric or exotic fare. There is a policy of no derivatives, foreign currency, or leverage at work in the portfolio.

This straightforward process has worked well for the team, and performance is telling. In each of the trailing five calendar years, the fund has outperformed its benchmark as well as its average intermediate-term category peer, supporting the aphorism that--in the case of this core bond fund--simplicity may be the ultimate sophistication.

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