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Rating:Profs Take Aim at Morningstar and Reuters Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Thursday, December 04, 2008

Profs Take Aim at Morningstar and Reuters

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Academics have created MutualDecision.com, a new Web site designed to help individuals find mutual funds. The Web site's management team includes: CEO William G. Byrnes, a former Alex. Brown and Sons banker now at Georgetown University; George Comer, who is also at Georgetown and John Broussard, an assicate professor at Rutgers.

Comer, MutualDecision's chief academic officer, told MarketWatch that the service relies on two academic models "developed and tested by finance professors from Yale University's School of Management, University of Texas, University of British Columbia and University of California, Irvine." He also claims that the site is better at predicting future performance than the models from other fund analysts.

The two models MutualDecision relies on are based on "return gap" -- the difference between what a fund would have returned if it did not alter its portfolio over a month and what it actually did return -- and "active share" -- the difference between the fund's portfolio and its benchmark's holdings and whether it outperforms the benchmark.

The professors claim the models are able to identify the top funds over long time periods. In the testing, the models identified top funds tht outperformed their benchmarks by some 120 basis points for the return gap model and 150 basis points for the active share model over two decades. Comer says the models uncover the portfolio manager's confidence in his or her stock picking.

Which funds are on top now. The site points to AIM Large Cap and funds from Marsico Capital Management the both models like.

The article did not go into the site's financial backing or long-term business model. 

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