M* Clips Clipper
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

M* Clips Clipper

Morningstar is not smiling on the Clipper Fund.

Yesterday in the Fund Spy column, Morningstar mutual fund research director Russ Kinnel unveiled analyst rating downgrades of five mutual funds, including Clipper. He also explained the downgrades, offering cautionary tales to other fundsters.

In the case of Davis Selected Advisers' [profile] two-star, $1.2-billion Clipper, Morningstar docked the famous, focused large blend fund from gold to silver, claiming that the fund's PMs have "added more to risk than rewards" and highlighting its weak five-year track record.

Who else got hit? Morningstar docked Water Island Capital's [profile] three-star, $2.9-billion Arbitrage Fund from silver to bronze, citing an asset-sextupling in three years and a shift away from small caps towards large caps and overseas investments.

Fidelity's [profile] four-star, $12.2-billion Fidelity Floating Rate High Income Fund fell two notches from gold to bronze thanks to the retirement of PM Christine McConnell, who was succeeded by Eric Mollenhauer, a PM with a mere two-year public record.

The analysts dropped Janus' [three-star, $2.4-billion Janus Global Research Fund fund from silver to bronze over concerns about Janus' global research quality and after the fund swallowed a much larger sibling.

Finally, Morningstar downgraded Aston's [profile] four-star, $5-billion Aston/Montag & Caldwell Growth Fund from gold to silver over worries that 68-year-old PM Ron Canakaris may retire and the likely successors "don't have much of a track record."

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