All four funds in the JPMorgan Investor target-risk series--JP Morgan Investor Conservative Growth, JP Morgan Investor Balanced, JP Morgan Investor Growth & Income, and JP Morgan Growth--earn Average ratings for People and Process, driving Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Neutral across all share classes.
Lead manager Ove Fladberg compiles all-in-one portfolios that cautious investors can own comfortably. Because investors tend to fear volatility and sell at the wrong time, Fladberg seeks downside protection and sound risk/return profiles; the funds’ Sharpe ratios testify to those qualities. That said, the funds often lag peers and indexes in strong rallies. All in, the two lower-risk funds have lagged category indexes on Fladberg’s watch, while the higher-risk funds have topped their bogies. These funds-of-funds are sedate fundamentally. Their equity/bond splits are largely stable: 30/70 for Conservative Growth; 50/50 for Balanced; 70/30 for Growth & Income; 90/10 for Growth. While J.P. Morgan’s three- to five-year market and business cycle forecasts drive tactical changes, they’re subdued--rarely more than a few percentage points of change. The Columbus-based Asset Management Solutions team has worked together for a long time and many of the members have decades of experience. That said, in early 2020 it lost a portfolio manager who had significant responsibilities, and sometimes it takes time to see how well shifting duties work out.
This group of funds has made strides since Fladberg became lead portfolio manager in 2014. The funds-of-funds once had an unwieldy 40 holdings each, but that’s below 30 now. The Investor funds used to buy constituent funds with low asset bases, short histories or both. Most funds owned now are more proven, following J.P. Morgan’s “shrink to grow” mandate that led to the liquidation or merging of some former constituent funds.
These funds have gradually improved the past few years, and if they stabilize may become good one-fund options.