Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 80

Phillips Curve

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
By Don Phillips

during the stock bull markets of the 1990s. Clearly, firms can’t stand still and hope to continue to succeed in this business. Now, let’s dig into the characteristics of firms that fell from the list and those that joined it. Among those that fell were firms known for selling flawed funds that stretched for yield or otherwise disappointed. Dean Witter’s High Yield and Convertible funds were notoriously bad players in the late 1980s. Putnam’s Option-Income and Government Plus funds stretched for yield while eroding capital. Its OTC Emerging Growth fund declined 85% peak to trough during the tech bubble collapse. Kemper had an option-income fund whose manager assigned successful trades to a partnership for Kemper executives while dumping losing trades into the public mutual fund. E.F. Hutton’s funds were costly and poor performers. There’s a reason these firms fell from grace. They focused more on what was easy to sell, rather than on what investors would be wise to purchase. If the losing firms catered to the whims of their salesforce, the winners focused on stewardship and doing what’s right for investors. Vanguard, American Funds, and T. Rowe Price thought long-term in a business that often thinks only of the next quarter. PIMCO and J.P. Morgan brought an institutional mind-set to the retail space and treated advisors like clients, rather than as a mere distribution channel. Barclays, through its iShares unit, reinvented the mutual fund concept in a lower-cost, more tax-efficient way. The results show that the U.S. fund industry has been a meritocracy. Thanks to the highest level of transparency in any global fund market and a growing army of investor advocates— regulators, financial media, independent financial advisors, fund directors, 401(k) plan trustees, gatekeepers at brokerages and insurance companies, and independent-minded researchers like Morningstar—investor assets increasingly flow to lower-cost, more-shareholder-friendly fund organizations. No longer

10 Largest Firms in ‘86 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Merrill Lynch Fidelity Federated Dreyfus Franklin Dean Witter Kemper Putnam Pru-Bache

10 Largest Firms in ‘09 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Vanguard Fidelity American Funds JP Morgan Barclays Global Inv. PIMCO Federated Franklin Templeton T. Rowe Price

Large financial-services firms strive to convey a sense of stability and permanence, but leadership positions in this dynamic market aren’t set in stone. Over the past two decades, fortunes of major firms have changed considerably. Once-dominant shops like Dean Witter and Pru-Bache have disappeared, while upstarts like Vanguard and PIMCO now loom large. Success in this industry must be won every day. Change is a constant. But closer study shows that change is anything but random. First, let’s address the amount of change. Only four firms appear in some form on the largest-10 lists of both 1986 and 2009. Federated has remained a major player because of its continued strength in money market funds, but it has been less successful in its efforts to become a dominant player in the stock- and bond-fund categories. Merrill Lynch hangs on as part of BlackRock, which ended 2009 at number 10 and will move up as a result of its iShares acquisition. As a stand-alone entity, however, Merrill would not make the list. The other two firms, Fidelity and Franklin, succeeded in large part from their willingness to reinvent themselves. Fidelity in the 1980s was an equity-oriented shop that sold directly to the public. The firm didn’t have the strong fixed-income reputation, the advisor business, or the dominant place in the retirement market that mark its current strengths. Franklin in the 1980s was largely a fixed-income shop. Through shrewd acquisitions, the firm picked up the international (Templeton) and domestic (Mutual Series) stock skills that kept it relevant

10 EF Hutton

10 BlackRock

can a fund firm hope to woo assets with a sales contest or by writing a big check to a platform. Assets flow increasingly on the basis of merit, not muscle. The correlation between asset flows and costs is overwhelming. Funds with expense ratios 20% below their category average have had on average more than $200 million apiece in net inflows over the past six years. Those within 20% of their category average have been essentially flat, while those with expenses 20% greater than their category have been in net redemptions. The notion that fund companies need to raise their fees to encourage sales is pure folly. Even more extreme is the correlation between Morningstar’s Stewardship Grades and fund flows. During the period from 2004 to the end of 2009, funds that receive A grades have taken in almost $900 million apiece in new assets, B’s have had inflows of more than $400 million, C’s roughly $50 million, while D’s and F’s have experienced net outflows of $130 million and $199 million, respectively. Clearly, investors have spoken with their assets. Advisors and investors care about stewardship and costs. They don’t want the shortsighted sales tactics of the past. There can be no clearer or more valuable message for fund executives to hear. Treat shareholders with respect, or they will find someone who will. K
Don Phillips is Morningstar’s managing director, corporate strategy, research, and communications.

80 Morningstar Advisor June/July 2010



Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010

Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010
Contents
New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Contributors
Letter From the Editor
What Risks to Bonds Are You Most Concerned About?
The Irrational Lizard Brain
Investment Briefs
The Problem With Financial Plans
Preparing for Turbulance
Different Models, Similar Results
The Game Is Up
Some People Are Bullish on Bonds
Bonds We Like
What Does Harry Markowitz Think?
Escape From the Pack
Four Picks for the Present
Rising Rates Could Affect Equities, Too
The Banking Sector Knocks on Wood
Back to Basics
On the Prowl for Smooth Operators
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
New at Morningstar
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Letter From the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - What Risks to Bonds Are You Most Concerned About?
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 11
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 12
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Irrational Lizard Brain
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 15
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Problem With Financial Plans
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 19
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 20
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Preparing for Turbulance
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 22
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Different Models, Similar Results
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 27
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 28
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Game Is Up
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32a
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32b
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32c
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 32d
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 33
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Some People Are Bullish on Bonds
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 35
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 36
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Bonds We Like
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 40
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 41
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - What Does Harry Markowitz Think?
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 44
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 48
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 49
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 50
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Escape From the Pack
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 54
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 55
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 58
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Rising Rates Could Affect Equities, Too
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 61
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - The Banking Sector Knocks on Wood
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 64
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Back to Basics
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - On the Prowl for Smooth Operators
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 72
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 50 Most Popular ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - June/July 2010 - Cover4
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