How Barron’s Ranks the Fund Families
All mutual and exchange-traded funds are required to report their returns (to regulators as well as in advertising and marketing material) after fees are deducted, to better reflect what investors would actually experience. But our aim is to measure manager skill, independent of expenses beyond annual management fees. That’s why we calculate returns before any 12b-1 fees are deducted. Similarly, fund loads, or sales charges, aren’t included in our calculation of returns.
Each fund’s performance is measured against all of the other funds in its Refinitiv Lipper category, with a percentile ranking of 100 being the highest and one the lowest. This result is then weighted by asset size, relative to the fund family’s other assets in its general classification. If a family’s biggest funds do well, that boosts its overall ranking; poor performance in its biggest funds hurts a firm’s ranking.
To be included in the ranking, a firm must have at least three funds in the general equity category, one world equity, one mixed equity (such as a balanced or target-date fund), two taxable bond funds, and one national tax-exempt bond fund.
Single-sector and country equity funds are factored into the rankings as general equity. We exclude all passive index funds, including pure index, enhanced index, and index-based, but include actively managed ETFs and so-called smart-beta ETFs, which are passively managed but created from active strategies.
Finally, the score is multiplied by the weighting of its general classification, as determined by the entire Lipper universe of funds. The category weightings for the one-year results in 2021 were general equity, 37.1%; mixed asset, 20.6%; world equity, 16.8%; taxable bond, 20.9%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.5%.
The category weightings for the five-year results were general equity, 37.3%; mixed asset, 21%; world equity, 16.5%; taxable bond, 20.8%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.4%. For the 10-year list, they were general equity, 38.6%; mixed asset, 19.2%; world equity, 16.9%; taxable bond, 20.5%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.8%
The scoring: Say a fund in the general U.S. equity category has $500 million in assets, accounting for half of the firm’s assets in that category, and its performance lands it in the 75th percentile for the category. The first calculation would be 75 times 0.5, which comes to 37.5. That score is then multiplied by 37.1%, general equity’s overall weighting in Lipper’s universe. So it would be 37.5 times 0.371, which equals 13.9. Similar calculations are done for each fund in our study. Then the numbers are added for each category and overall. The shop with the highest total score wins. The same process is repeated to determine the five- and 10-year rankings.
Source: Barron’s, 2/21/22. Overall, MainStay Funds ranked number 9 for the one-year period, 25 for the five-year period, and 31 for the 10-year period ended December 31, 2021, out of 51, 49, and 45 fund families, respectively. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, which will vary. For the most recent MainStay Funds performance, please visit our web site at newyorklifeinvestments.com.
The S&P 500 Index measures the performance of 500 widely held stocks in US equity market. Standard and Poor's chooses member companies for the index based on market size, liquidity and industry group representation. Included are the stocks of industrial, financial, utility, and transportation companies. Since mid 1989, this composition has been more flexible and the number of issues in each sector has varied. It is market capitalization-weighted.