Morningstar Revamp Will Add High-Yield, State-Specific Categories

Fine, Jacob
May 2003
Bond Buyer;5/2/2003, Vol. 344 Issue 31627, p6
Trade Publication
Chicago, Illinois-based investment research firm Morningstar Inc. will expand its municipal bond mutual fund rating categories in early June 2003 to include separate groupings for high-yield funds and more state-specific funds. The new additions will expand municipal fund categories by seven to 16. The changes will be accompanied by the creation of four equity and taxable-bond fund groupings. Fund ratings are now based on curves that only represent the performance of those with similar investment characteristics. The rating revision also included the implementation of a new risk-adjusted return measure designed to factor in variance in a mutual fund's returns as a measure of its risk. Problems with Morningstar's rating system were brought to light in 2000, when two Heartland Group Inc. high-yield municipal funds lost a substantial amount of their value in one day, ultimately leading to their seizure by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


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