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Barron's Best Fund Families, 2022

edited February 18 in Fund Discussions
Barron's Best Fund Families, 2022

OVERALL: 1-Sit, 2-AllianceBernstein, 3-Amundi Pioneer, 4-Pimco, 5-DFA, 6-Neuberger Berman, 7-Natixis, 8-Victory, 9-MainStay, 10-Fidelity, 11-Thrivent,..., 13-Price, 14-USAA,..., 19-John Hancock,..., 21-American Funds, 22-Lord Abbett, 23-Invesco, 24-American Century,..., 29-Nuveen,..., 32-Manning & Napier, 33-Federated,..., 40-BlackRock,..., 43-Vanguard,..., 51-Madison (last entry). Listed are top 10 and some familiar names.

WORLD EQUITY: 1-Amundi Pioneer, 2-Thrivent, 3-DFA, 4-Pimco, 5-Manning & Napier.

US EQUITY: 1-AllianceBernstein, 2-SIT, 3-Pimco, 4-DFA, 5-MainStay

MIXED ASSETS: 1-Victory, 2-Federated, 3-DFA, 4-Pimco, 5-Natixis

TAXABLE BONDS: 1-Amundi Pioneer, 2-American Century, 3-USAA, 4-Lord Abbett, 5-Sit

MUNI BONDS: 1-Nuveen, 2-Invesco, 3-Victory, 4-USAA, 5-John Hancock

Fund families included has at least 3 active mutual funds/OEF and ETFs (including smart-beta/factor), 1 world equity fund, 1 mixed asset fund, 2 taxable bond funds, 1 muni bond fund. A composite performance score was used for rankings.

Notable omissions due to not meeting requirements included Dodge & Cox, Janus, etc

There were several notable consolidations: Eaton Vance was bought by Morgan Stanley, BMO Asset Management by Columbia Threadneedle, Ivy Funds by Macquarie (previously bought Delaware Funds), etc.


  • ISTM that the lack of a muni bond fund eliminates D&C and Janus from consideration, and muni bond funds have a greater appeal to the affluent readership of Barron's.
  • This was a difficult year and rankings show many surprises. Rankings were based on performance in multiple areas; they didn't include other factors such as service, etc. Many big firms lagged. Smaller and upstart firms did better. There were lots of shifts from previous years. Pimco led in 2.5 equity areas when it doesn't even have a genuine equity research department. And Pimco, a bond power house, is missing in Top 5 for bonds. I think the firms will look at this data to see what happened. Investors shouldn't do anything except being amused by these rankings.
  • edited February 18
    @YBB - Yup to your " Investors shouldn't do anything except being amused by these rankings."
  • edited February 18
    "The firms that offer a wide array of strategies and more-nimble funds performed admirably in this year’s Barron’s Fund Families Ranking, which looks at the one-year returns of how each fund company’s actively managed funds performed, based on data from Refinitiv Lipper."

    One-year returns are a terrible metric to rank the "Best Fund Families."
    C'mon Barron's, you're better than this!
  • edited February 19
  • beebee
    edited February 19
    14th in the ranking? USAA? Really?

    USAA out sources...
    Victory Capital supports USAA members with USAA Mutual Funds

    USAA sells out...

    Also, USAA brokerage accounts were sold to Schwab for a handsome profit.
    ($1.8 Billion)

    So, my feeling... they should be much lower in the ranking.
  • USAA basically got out of the investment business to focus on insurance and personal finance services to military families.

    USAA sold its brokerage business to Schwab and its mutual fund business to Victory Capital. It got caught in the transition period in the Barron's review this time.
  • beebee
    edited February 19

    USAA sold its brokerage business to Schwab

    I was to recieve nothing as a USAA member for the transfer of my assets to Schwab so I took my assets to TD Ameritrade and received a transfer bonus of $1500.

    Funny, now that TD and Schwab are merging...if I end up staying with Schwab I at least am $1500 better off than I would have been with the USAA/Schwab deal.

    Anyone aware of transfer bonus offers that are worth considering?

  • edited February 19
    When a fund house (VG) can tumble from #3 to #43 in a year there’s something wrong with the gage being used.

    However, the article is interesting in analyzing specific investment approaches used by various practitioners. Definitely worth a read.
  • The chart Barrons' showed on page 2 of their paper with all those arrows showing where the companies were rated last year versus this year was bazar. The obvious conclusion was a year to year comparison has no meaning.
  • hank said:

    When a fund house (VG) can tumble from #3 to #43 in a year there’s something wrong with the gage being used.

    When the cause of that decline is laid (in part) at the foot of VPMAX, there's more wrong than just the gauge.
    Vanguard's drop occurred, in part, because of weaker relative performance in two of its three biggest funds, the $72 billion Vanguard PrimeCap (ticker: VPMAX) and the $59 billion Vanguard International Growth (VWILX).
    At the end of 2020, the fund had $70B in assets (per quarterly filing), so its weighting didn't change much.

    Its one year performance in 2020 put it at the 93rd percentile of LCG funds (per M*). Its one year performance in 2021 put it at the 88th percentile of LC Blend funds. M* changed its category in 2021, but its portfolio had been blend since 2018. If it had been ranked against LCG fund in 2021, it would have been ranked at the 54th percentile (same 2021 performance as BLYRX).

    No matter how you slice it, Primecap's relative performance in 2021 matched if not exceeded its relative performance in 2020. So, rather than pulling Vanguard's 2021 ranking down, Primecap should have either had little effect or raised Vanguard's 2021 position. Poor performance both years, but slightly less poor from a ranking perspective in 2021.
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