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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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A New M* Low

"Morningstar generates quantitatively driven content for managed investments covered by the Morningstar Quantitative Rating, collectively called MQR Analysis. This share class' MQR Analysis summary content was not generated because of insufficient data. To generate individualized content, MQR Analysis requires sufficient data to generate its framework of “mental models” designed to mimic content written by analysts. "


  • edited October 2021
    I don't have much confidence in the M* Quant Ratings after reading a few of them.
    Although M* Analyst Ratings are often much better, the quality varies and is dependent on an analyst's skill level.
  • Quite right. And they do bend over backwards not to be blunt and direct. Which is to say, truthful. They don't want to alienate anyone.
  • edited October 2021
    IMO M* stopped being relevant to me years ago. Their move into managing money shifted how their 'analysts' covered stocks and as a result their insights and newsletters (which were ususally good) really began to lose value to me since they became less opinion and more quant-based ... it felt almost as if they used regulatory COI language to avoid directly speaking about things and/or 'making a case' like they used to.
  • COI? Cover Our Irises? Count Out Italians? Clearly Over Interested?
  • Certificate of Incorporation, perhaps.
  • conflict of interest
  • ahh. thanks guys.
  • edited October 2021
    They try to bait you into subscribing to their “premium” service with free short tantalizing excerpts from their longer subscription only reviews. I don’t care much for metrics, comparisons, ratings, etc. And there’s loads for free out there anyway. But I do like reading more about a manager’s approach and how the fund is positioned. For that reason I’ve considered joining - as they cut a good deal on 3 year subscriptions. But haven’t pulled the cord. Frankly, have more than I can read now. FT seldom gets read, though the cost is too reasonable not to keep the subscription going.
  • edited October 2021
    Yes, in the past, I've taken FT, too. Can you believe I was able to get it using airline points? No investment these days in flying ANYWHERE. Some airlines now make you pay extra for the overhead bin. Screw that. Next, they'll meter the air you breath and charge you for THAT. Mask and all. I splurged on Alaska's First Class getting here to HI. I'm highly allergic to any strong artificial aromas. Wouldn't you know, I end up sitting next to a freak who's using so many lotions and aromatic crap to inhale through his nose, like it was a religious ritual. And there's no rules against it. Hey, Pal: this is not your private bedroom. Idiot. .... And YES, Morningstar's Portfolio Manager and statistics are still helpful ----- when they work properly. I still get my premium service through TRP.
  • edited October 2021
    @Crash - Thanks for the aviation tidbits. You meet all kinds for sure. Once, riding in first class years ago, a couple older gals seated behind me were downing the free alcoholic beverages as fast as they could. Sloshed by the time we landed. Obnoxiously loud. Not a great ride. “Pedestrian class” might have been better that day,

    I have no particular gripe re M*. They are what they are. I always consult at least 3 different sources before buying a new fund. I do think M* favors funds that have been hot recently in awarding stars. So there’s a good chance those stars will propel you to buying at the worst possible time while the fund is hot. Suspect that’s true of a lot of rating systems.

    FT is $12 monthly on Amazon Kindle. Six issues weekly. It only takes one really good idea, bit of information, insight, suggestion or revelation to make a huge difference in your investment approach and outcome. Ben Franklin: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best dividend.”
  • Solid stuff there, @hank.
  • M*'s methodology does have a recent (read: three year) performance bias. It averages a fund's three year, five year, and ten year ratings. Since the three year performance is part of the five year and ten year metrics, those recent years get weighted more heavily.

    Nothing conceptually different from other metrics like exponentially weighted averages.

    For the moment at least, one can read M* analyst reports via Firstrade. For example, here's their page for VTCLX; just click on "Read full Analyst Report" under "Morningstar's Take".
  • moment's past w my browsers
  • Thanks @msf - Will checkout the site you linked.
  • edited October 2021
    msf said:

    For the moment at least, one can read M* analyst reports via Firstrade. For example, here's their page for VTCLX; just click on "Read full Analyst Report" under "Morningstar's Take".

    M* Analyst Reports are also available through M* Investment Research Center (MIRC).
    MIRC may be accessible via your local library system.

  • Thanks for the Firstrade link, @msf. Works for me with Firefox.
  • I had a Firstrade account, briefly, to invest in individual stocks. Just one or two I'd been tracking. By now, they're too expensive. So, when I went to buy CM back then, I was told that stock is ineligible, even though it trades on the NYSE. Because it's not domiciled in the USA. I canceled the account. And from the accent, it seemed clear that "Customer Disservice" was coming from Asia. (Not the Philippines, in this case.)
  • Firstrade was founded in 1985 by John Liu under the name First Flushing Securities. ... It has been overseen by founder and CEO John Liu since its beginnings as a financial services provider for a diverse customer base in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York.

    Flushing is in a sense a second Chinatown in New York, somewhat analogous to the Richmond in San Francisco.
    NEW YORK, Aug. 15, 2014– Firstrade welcomed more than 100 guests at the grand opening of its branch and new headquarter location. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new branch on Friday, August 15, 2014. US Congresswoman Grace Meng and NYC Councilman Peter Koo were present.
    To further enhance customer service and make space for a growing call center, Firstrade has also established a new state of the art headquarter at 30-50 Whitestone Expressway, Flushing, NY. This location also has a small branch in its headquarter to service brokerage clients. The call center employs one of the largest Asian bilingual customer service teams in the industry.

    From day one, the brokerage has sought to serve the Chinese and more broadly the Asian community. In that it has always been highly regarded. It would not surprise me if many of the Flushing call center reps speak English as a second language.

    (It also caters to overseas Asian investors.)
  • Try to find a business sign in English in San Francisco's Richmond district. Good luck on that.
  • Well, there is that Starbucks inside a Wells Fargo at 19th Ave. Talk about a disaster inside a financial disaster.
  • msf said:

    Well, there is that Starbucks inside a Wells Fargo at 19th Ave. Talk about a disaster inside a financial disaster.

    Hah! Charbucks will probably burn the beans on a drink that Wells Fargo ordered for you without your knowledge.

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