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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Morningstar's Phillips Talks Stars

Reported by Armie Margaret Lee

Years after the birth of Morningstar's mutual fund star ratings, Morningstar executives continue to battle misconceptions about the ratings.

"It's an achievement test, not an aptitude test," said Morningstar managing director Don Phillips said during a panel discussion at the Morningstar conference on Wednesday. "It's a grade based on past performance."

"If you try to force it to be other things, to be a crystal ball...We never ran an ad that says 'Follow the stars to riches.'"

Phillips' comments come in the wake of a Wall Street Journal earlier this month that discussed the ratings. Phillips' comments also come as a firm called Hedgeable launched its own rating system this week.

In the earlier part of the panel discussion, Phillips told the audience that he would like to see "mutual fund accounting cleaned up." 

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