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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Phillips Hints at Morningstar's Next Numbers

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Those at last week's ICI General Membership meeting may have caught Money Magazine columnist Jason Zweig's goal for the fund industry. Zweig pushed industry executives to manage their funds so that individual investors' returns more closely hew to the funds' published returns. Today, fund shareholders don't have enough information to hold funds accountable on this basis, but that may soon change.

Morningstar Managing Director Don Phillips, also a speaker on the ICI's media roundtable, revealed in an off-hand comment that the newly-public fund tracker is working on a solution for investors that may debut later this year.

"We are working on providing dollar-weighted returns for all of the funds we cover," said Phillips. Look for that service to debut in the this year's fourth quarter.

Though Zweig did not react to Phillip's comment, is would not be a stretch to expect Zweig and other fund pundits to start focusing on discrepencies between time-weighted and dollar-weighted returns once both sets of numbers are easily available.  

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