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Apr 17, 2012

1) Can Corporate Culture Predict Fund Performance?
    The Wall Street Journal  |  4/11/2012

Because… Even though the academic research found little correlation between Morningstar’s stewardship ratings and fund performance, we still believe Morningstar’s criteria which examine corporate culture, fund board quality, manager incentives, fund fees, and regulatory history can help investors evaluate asset managers and make informed decisions. These factors are not supposed to be the only measures in fund selection, but they can be valuable tools to complement quantitative analyses.

2) BlackRock's Street Shortcut
    The Wall Street Journal  |  4/12/2012

Because… This will be the first initiative by an asset manager to set up its own bond trading platform. BlackRock’s goal of launching such a platform is to reduce trading costs, but significant challenges may lie ahead. It remains unknown how many institutional investors will sign onto the platform, whether the platform can provide the necessary liquidity and tight bid/ask spreads, and how well it will perform with a limited number of users when markets become extremely volatile.

3) Commodities Funds Under Fire
    Investment News  |  4/15/2012

Because… The rule that requires the registration with the CFTC will impose a considerable burden on fund providers that already register with the SEC and add compliance costs to already expensive commodities funds. Commodities have been found to be more closely correlated to the broad stock market over the past three years. The increased correlation and heightened regulatory scrutiny will potentially slow down the development of commodities funds.