Fidelity Beats Rivals in Mutual Fund Rankings

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Fidelity Investments had more top-rated mutual funds among 413 rival firms in TheStreet.com Ratings' quarterly review.

The list of A and A-plus funds, which is being published in TheStreet.com Ratings' "Summer 2009 Guide to Stock Mutual Funds" by Grey House Publishing, includes 20 of Fidelity's 662 rated funds. It's the eighth consecutive "Ultra" Fund Family victory, a competition set up by TheStreet.com Ratings, for Boston-based Fidelity.

The runner-up, with nine funds on a list of 200, is ING Investments, a unit of ING Groep ( ING).

The top 200 competition is like the Tour de France's "King of the Mountains" race. TheStreet.com Ratings also does a more comprehensive review of the 414 fund families, more reminiscent of the Tour's overall "General Classification Yellow Jersey" winner.

For a fund family to bring home the winner's yellow jersey, it needs to place the highest percentage of funds rated in the top 30% of all open-end funds, compared with other fund families of similar size. The top 30% represents overall investment grades of A-plus to B-minus. The middle 40% have fund grades of C-plus, C and C-minus, with D-plus and lower in the bottom 30%.

In the "Ultra" Fund Family competition, Van Kampen, a unit of Morgan Stanley ( MS), won by having a higher percentage of its portfolio of funds ranked in the top 30%, or "buy" range, than any of the other fund families with 100 or more rated funds. Van Kampen rose from fourth place last quarter to first with 44.7% of its 159 rated funds in the top category.

Putnam Funds, a unit of Great-West Lifeco ( GWLIF), slipped to second place with 40.8% of its 480 funds ranked in the top 30%. Up four spots from last quarter, T. Rowe Price ( TROW) ranked third with 40.3% of offerings rated in the "buy" range of B-minus or better.

Fund Families With 100 or More Rated Funds
Fund Family Name
No. of Funds Rated
Top 30%
Middle 40%
Bottom 30%
Van Kampen
159
44.7%
37.7%
17.6%
Putnam Funds
480
40.8%
28.3%
30.8%
T. Rowe Price
119
40.3%
48.7%
10.9%
Lord Abbett
100
39.0%
50.0%
11.0%
American Funds
226
38.5%
61.1%
0.4%
MFS
331
36.3%
52.9%
10.9%
Janus Fund
128
35.9%
55.5%
8.6%
Alliance Bernstein
435
34.3%
26.0%
39.8%
Prudential, JennisonDryden, Strategic Partners
154
32.5%
40.9%
26.6%
American Century Investments
208
31.3%
48.1%
20.7%
Franklin Templeton
250
31.2%
48.0%
20.8%
Rydex Funds
171
30.4%
21.6%
48.0%
Ivy, Waddell & Reed Funds
145
30.3%
55.2%
14.5%
Fidelity Investments
662
29.6%
38.7%
31.7%
MainStay Funds
122
29.5%
34.4%
36.1%
BlackRock
215
28.8%
50.7%
20.5%
JPMorgan Funds
223
27.8%
48.9%
23.3%
Wells Fargo Advantage Funds
200
26.5%
44.0%
29.5%
Allianz Global Investors Fund Manag
149
26.2%
36.9%
36.9%
Goldman Sachs
133
25.6%
37.6%
36.8%
John Hancock
181
24.9%
37.0%
38.1%
Vanguard
149
24.8%
56.4%
18.8%
Hartford Funds, The
282
22.7%
49.6%
27.7%
ING Investments, LLC
387
22.2%
53.0%
24.8%
Morgan Stanley
156
21.8%
55.8%
22.4%
Legg Mason
101
21.8%
45.5%
32.7%
Invesco AIM Investments
216
19.4%
47.7%
32.9%
Columbia Funds
527
19.4%
54.8%
25.8%
OppenheimerFunds
222
18.5%
48.6%
32.9%
Pioneer Investments
101
17.8%
62.4%
19.8%
Dreyfus and Mellon Funds
187
17.6%
46.5%
35.8%
RiverSource Investments
193
17.6%
37.3%
45.1%
Principal Financial Group
363
17.4%
40.5%
42.1%
DWS Investments
161
16.8%
45.3%
37.9%
ProFunds
108
14.8%
20.4%
64.8%
MassMutual Funds
181
13.3%
49.7%
37.0%
SunAmerica
113
8.8%
38.9%
52.2%
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings

Thirty fund families have 40 to 99 rated funds. The Royce Funds, a unit of Legg Mason ( LM), sprinted ahead to take first place among this group, climbing from 30th place out of 34 similarly sized fund companies last quarter.

Pacific Life Funds, with 55 rated funds, rose one spot to second place with 38.2% of its funds ranked in the top 30%. Ridgeworth Funds took third place with 34.5% of its 55 funds being top ranked.

The 10 Best Fund Families With 40 to 99 Rated Funds
Fund Family Name
No. of Funds Rated
Top 30%
Middle 40%
Bottom 30%
Royce Funds
48
41.7%
52.1%
6.3%
Pacific Life Funds
55
38.2%
43.6%
18.2%
Ridgeworth Funds
55
34.5%
49.1%
16.4%
GE Investment
50
34.0%
52.0%
14.0%
Nuveen Investor Services
64
32.8%
23.4%
43.8%
Evergreen Investments
95
31.6%
44.2%
24.2%
Russell Funds
93
31.2%
38.7%
30.1%
IDEX Funds
42
31.0%
42.9%
26.2%
Aberdeen Asset Management
85
30.6%
52.9%
16.5%
Nationwide Funds
70
30.0%
41.4%
28.6%
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings

First Eagle retains its spot as the "Ultra" Fund Family winner within the group of 67 fund companies with 10 to 39 rated funds. Fourteen of First Eagle's 15 rated funds ranked in the top 30%. Henderson Global Funds, a unit of AMP ( AMLTF), took second place, and Thornburg Funds placed third with 75% and 66.7% of their funds top ranked.

The 10 Best Fund Families With 10 to 39 Rated Funds
Fund Family Name
No. of Funds Rated
Top 30%
Middle 40%
Bottom 30%
First Eagle Funds
15
93.3%
6.7%
0.0%
Henderson Global Funds
12
75.0%
25.0%
0.0%
Thornburg Funds
21
66.7%
33.3%
0.0%
BARCLAY'S GLOBAL
11
54.5%
45.5%
0.0%
Banc of America Investment Advisors
32
50.0%
50.0%
0.0%
Oakmark
12
50.0%
50.0%
0.0%
Calamos
36
44.4%
50.0%
5.6%
Accessor Funds
36
44.4%
22.2%
33.3%
Kinetics Mutual Funds, Inc.
14
42.9%
50.0%
7.1%
USAA Group
20
40.0%
40.0%
20.0%
Source: TheStreet.com Ratings

Of the 280 fund families with fewer than 10 rated open-end stock mutual funds, Parnassus Investments again kept all five of its funds on top, winning the group category. AARP Investments, a unit of Zurich Financial Services ( ZFSVY), and Jensen, both with three out of three "buy" rated funds, win honorable mention.

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.

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