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Rating:Morningstar Makes Foray Into ETF Rankings Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, March 03, 2006

Morningstar Makes Foray Into ETF Rankings

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Morningstar is jumping into the exchange-traded fund ranking arena. The Chicago-based mutual fund rating firm will unveil a service Friday that will enable investors to compare ETFs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The move comes amid the explosion in popularity of ETFs, the recent annual growth of which has outpaced those registered by most other asset management products. From 102 in 2001, the number of ETFs in the US has grown to 201 at the end of January, according to figures from the Investment Company Institute Assets under management have reached nearly $313 billion, triple the figure from five years ago.

The new offering from Morningstar, which is free of charge, will rate ETFs in the same fashion as traditional funds, with the use of one to five stars based on Morningstar's calculation of past performance as adjusted for the riskiness of investment. A fund must be in the 10 percent of its category to garner a five-star ranking.

Initially, only about 100 ETFs that have at least a three-year performance record will be monitored.

Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar, told The Journal that the goal of the service is to compare ETFs with traditional mutual funds "that invest in the same territory."

Research firm Lipper Inc. and rating firm Standard & Poor's are already providing rankings for ETFs. 

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