Natixis and Vanguard Win Active Praise
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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Natixis and Vanguard Win Active Praise

Overall, Natixis and Vanguard are the best-performing active fund families in the U.S., according to newly released annual ranking with a freshly updated methodology.

Over the weekend Barron's revealed its "Best Fund Families" rankings for 2017, but with a new twist this year: the publication now excludes all traditional market-cap-weighted and equal-weighted index funds from its rankings. The process looks at whole fund families, not just individual funds, and only includes families with diverse enough active or smart beta product lineups: at least three U.S. stock funds, at least one world equity fund, at least one mixed-asset (i.e. asset allocation) fund, at least two taxable bond funds, and at least one national muni bond fund. Thus, only 58 families were ranked.

For the scoring process, the Barron's team calculates funds' performance after management fees but before 12b-1s or loads (since those vary by share class), compares that performance to its peers (thanks to Lipper data), then weights that fund's results by its families assets in that category. Read the full Barron's article for a deeper dive into the process.

Natixis topped the one-year rankings (for the second year in a row). Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, TIAA, and Fidelity rounded out the top five families for one-year performance.

For five-year performance, Vanguard came out on top, followed by Natixis, T. Rowe, TIAA's Nuveen, and Thrivent. For the ten-year rankings, the top five were Vanguard, MFS, T. Rowe, AMG, and Virtus.

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