TSC Ratings provides exclusive stock, ETF and mutual fund ratings and commentary based on award-winning, proprietary tools. Its "safety first" approach to investing aims to reduce risk while seeking solid outperformance on a total return basis.

Fidelity Investments

, the biggest

mutual fund

company, offers the most number of top-rated funds among 416 families, according to data compiled by TheStreet.com Ratings.

For three years, we've been ranking fund firms based on how many top-rated funds they oversee. Fidelity remained our "Ultra" Fund Family winner for a seventh straight quarter, managing 18 of the 200

mutual funds

with the highest ratings, A and A-plus.

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ING Investment Management

, a unit of

ING Groep

(ING) - Get Report

, manages eight top-rated funds. The full list can be found in our spring 2009 edition of

TheStreet.com Ratings Guide to Stock Mutual Funds


Among fund families with at least 100 graded funds,

Putnam Investments

has the largest percentage of portfolios ranked in the top 30%, with 48.3%. We rate 478 Putnam funds.

American Century Investments

climbed to second place from fifth last quarter with 43.1% top-ranked funds among its 188 portfolios.


(AB) - Get Report

rose one notch to third, with 41.8% of its 435 funds.

Here are companies that manage 100 or more funds with grades from TheStreet.com Ratings. The top 30% hold investment grades of A-plus to B-minus. The middle 40% have grades in the C range and the bottom 30% are rated D-plus and lower.

Lord Abbett

rose to first place from third among the 34 companies that offer 40 to 99 graded funds. Of the company's 95 funds, 45.3% rank in the top 30%.

Nuveen Investments

was second with 40.4% and

Pacific Life Insurance

was third with 38.2%.

First Eagle Funds

was the leader among the 63 firms with 10 to 39 graded funds. All of the company's 15 portfolios rank in the top 30% of funds we rate. Of the 11 funds managed by

Barclays Global Investors

(BCS) - Get Report

, the No. 2 company in the category, 54.5% ranked in the top third.

Parnassus Investments

was the top company among the 282 fund families with fewer than 10 rated funds. All five of its funds hold the highest grades.

For an explanation of our ratings,

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Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.