If you are a fund advisor now offering target asset allocation funds, Morningstar will soon be giving your funds a fairer shake. On Friday, the Chicago-based fund tracker unveiled five new mutual fund categories to enable better peer group comparisons among funds which have previously been lumped together with others that don't share the same distinct investing strategies.
The most important change is the creation of three catagories reflecting the popularity of target-date funds. Morningstar has also added long-short and inflation-protected bond categories for funds.
The Chicago-based firm has divided target-maturity offerings into three classifications: target-date 2000-2014, target-date 2015-2029 and target-date 2030+.
Those breakdowns will allow fund firms target-date funds to benchmark against funds with similar asset allocations. Previously, all of those funds fell into the same broad objective, despite the fact that the portfolio (and the investment goal) of each is very different.
Morningstar also expanded its set of broad asset classes to include a "balanced" class for the first time. The other classes are U.S. stock, international stock, taxable bond and municipal bond.
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