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    1. Top Picks From Morningstar's Strategists

      Morningstar investment experts Russ Kinnel, Matt Coffina, Josh Peters, and Sam Lee answer viewer questions about the current market and the best opportunities in stocks, funds, and ETFs today.

    2. Kinnel's Fund Picks for Emerging Markets

      FundInvestor editor Russ Kinnel presents two ideas for those who want direct emerging - markets exposure, and another two that have broader foreign strategies.

    3. Get the Best Out of Active and Index Funds

      In this 60-minute roundtable report, Morningstar's Russ Kinnel, Ben Johnson, John Rekenthaler, and Christine Benz dissect indexing's popularity, index versus active fund performance, and how investors can effectively blend the best of both in a portfolio.

    4. Special Report: Investing in a Volatile World

      Morningstar's top strategists discuss their tips for investing in a rising-rate environment, where equity values lie, and some of their favorite investment ideas right now in this special midyear roundtable.

    June/July 2012 Picks

    Four offerings deemed to be right for right now.

    Morningstar Analysts, 06/05/2012

    This article originally appeared in the June/July 2012 issue of MorningstarAdvisor magazine.  To subscribe, please call 1-800-384-4000.

    Stock: Covidien COV
    Fair Value Estimate: $76
    Morningstar Rating: 4 Stars
    Uncertainty: Medium
    Economic Moat: Narrow
    Average Credit Quality: Unrated
    Market Cap: $26 billion

    After a few years of investing in research and development, bolstering its salesforce, and pruning its product lineup, Covidien has returned to prominence in the medical-device arena. The company’s strong product pipeline, a management team dedicated to maximizing returns on investment, and favorable secular trends bode well for its prospects. The company established a strong moat around its business, particularly in devices, and represents a compelling long-term investment opportunity. Covidien built its device business on its technological know-how and distribution network, which resulted in leadership positions across most of its product categories. As long as the company doesn’t fall too far behind in its technology, it is essentially assured a steady market share and growth.
    Alex Morozov

    Mutual Fund: Janus Triton JATTX
    Category: Small Growth
    Investment Style: Small Growth
    Morningstar Rating: 5 Stars
    Morningstar Analyst Rating: Silver
    Expenses:  0.93% 
    Total Assets: $3 billion

    This small-growth fund has been on a roll lately. In the past, that might have been a red flag for a Janus fund, but this one has become a success by focusing on sturdy companies rather than taking big risks. Managers Chad Meade and Brian Schaub started their careers at Janus during the firm’s brutal performance in the 2000–02 bear market. As a result, they stick with companies that possess sustainable competitive advantages and trade at undemanding valuations. The fund has excelled during their six-year tenure, shining in both rallies and choppy markets. A modest 0.93% expense ratio seals its appeal.
    Greg Carlson

    Separate Account: Invesco Large Cap Value
    Category: Large Value
    Investment Style: Large Value
    Total Number of Holdings: 72
    Morningstar Rating: 3 Stars
    Total Assets: $15.5 billion

    This account has changed names since Invesco acquired Van Kampen in 2010, but it’s been run by the same management team for a long time. Lead skipper Kevin Holt, for example, has been a manager on the team since 1999. The managers have steered the mutual fund Invesco Van Kampen Comstock ACSTX to solid long-term returns using a deep-value, low-turnover strategy that prizes low valuations and turnaround stories. While this portfolio can have a cyclical bent at times, the managers have kept it out of deep trouble by limiting stock-specific risk and making prudent calls, such as avoiding most big banks going into the financial crisis of 2008.
    Greg Carlson

    Exchange-Traded Fund: iShares MSCI Singapore Index EWS
    Morningstar Category: Pacific/Asia ex-Japan Stock
    Expense Ratio: 0.52%
    AUM: $1.5 billion
    12-Month Yield: 3.6%
    3-Year Standard Deviation: 27.1%
    Average Daily Volume: 1.8 million

    Broad emerging-markets funds have exposure to risky areas such as Russia and India, but investors can use regional funds to customize an emerging-markets allocation. We think iShares MSCI Singapore Index EWS is an attractive option for exposure to fast-growing Southeast Asia, as well as China. Most of the companies in this fund have regional operations but are domiciled in Singapore, a country with an established rule of law. Relative to a broad emerging-markets fund, EWS has been just as volatile, but less correlated to the S&P 500. About 45% of EWS’ portfolio is composed of financial firms, including banks and real estate companies. The growth outlook for both sectors in Southeast Asia is robust. One near-term risk, however, is that many of these real estate firms have assets in China, where the government is trying to cool the property market. On the domestic front, the Singapore economy is healthy, which should be supportive of both equities and the Singapore dollar. This fund does not hedge its foreign-currency exposure, so it will benefit when the Singapore dollar appreciates against the greenback.
    Patricia Oey

    Hindsight: April/May 2012
    Our picks from a year ago performed well for the most part. Stock pick Visa V was a home run, soaring 61.6% over the period because of strong revenue and earnings growth. Mutual fund pick Artisan Value ARTLX handily beat its Russell 1000 Value benchmark thanks to savvy technology picks such as Apple AAPL, and its management team won the award for Morningstar Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year for 2011. Separate account Dodge & Cox Balanced edged its typical moderate-allocation peer because of an emphasis on large firms and a bigger-than-average equity stake. Meanwhile, the trend-following models of exchange-traded fund pick Cambria Global Tactical GTAAX struggled in a choppy market. 
    Greg Carlson