Mid Cap Growth Style 2Q17: Best and Worst

The Mid Cap Growth style ranks tenth out of the twelve fund styles as detailed in our 2Q17 Style Ratings for ETFs and Mutual Funds report. Last quarter, the Mid Cap Growth style ranked eleventh. It gets our Dangerous rating, which is based on an aggregation of ratings of 9 ETFs and 354 mutual funds in the Mid Cap Growth style as of April 25, 2017. See a recap of our 1Q17 Style Ratings here.

Figure 1 ranks from best to worst all nine Mid Cap Growth ETFs and Figure 2 shows the five best and worst rated Mid Cap Growth mutual funds. Not all Mid Cap Growth style ETFs and mutual funds are created the same. The number of holdings varies widely (from 18 to 1678). This variation creates drastically different investment implications and, therefore, ratings.

Investors seeking exposure to the Mid Cap Growth style should buy one of the Attractive-or-better rated ETFs or mutual funds from Figures 1 and 2.

Our Robo-Analyst technology empowers our unique ETF and mutual fund rating methodology, which leverages our rigorous analysis of each fund’s holdings. We think advisors and investors focused on prudent investment decisions should include analysis of fund holdings in their research process for ETFs and mutual funds.

Figure 1: ETFs with the Best & Worst Ratings

* Best ETFs exclude ETFs with TNAs less than $100 million for inadequate liquidity.

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 2: Mutual Funds with the Best & Worst Ratings – Top 5

* Best mutual funds exclude funds with TNAs less than $100 million for inadequate liquidity.

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Bright Rock Mid Cap Growth Fund (BQMGX), Papp Small & Mid Cap Growth Fund (PAPPX), and Virtus Mid Cap Core Fund (VIMCX) are excluded from the best mutual funds in Figure 2 because their total net assets (TNA) are below $100 million and do not meet our liquidity minimums.

Barron’s 400 ETF (BFOR) is the top-rated Mid Cap Growth ETF and Eaton Vance Atlanta Capital SMID-Cap Fund (ERSMX) is the top-rated Mid Cap Growth mutual fund. BFOR earns a Very Attractive rating and ERSMX earns an Attractive rating.

Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF (VOT) is the worst rated Mid Cap Growth ETF and Dreyfus Mid-Cap Growth Fund (FRSDX) is the worst rated Mid Cap Growth mutual fund. VOT earns a Dangerous rating and FRSDX earns a Very Dangerous rating.

The Danger Within

Buying a fund without analyzing its holdings is like buying a stock without analyzing its business and finances. Put another way, research on fund holdings is necessary due diligence because a fund’s performance is only as good as its holdings’ performance. Don’t just take our word for it, see what Barron’s says on this matter.

PERFORMANCE OF HOLDINGs = PERFORMANCE OF FUND

Analyzing each holding within funds is no small task. Our Robo-Analyst technology enables us to perform this diligence with scale and provide the research needed to fulfill the fiduciary duty of care. More of the biggest names in the financial industry (see At BlackRock, Machines Are Rising Over Managers to Pick Stocks) are now embracing technology to leverage machines in the investment research process. Technology may be the only solution to the dual mandate for research: cut costs and fulfill the fiduciary duty of care. Investors, clients, advisors and analysts deserve the latest in technology to get the diligence required to make prudent investment decisions.

Figures 3 and 4 show the rating landscape of all Mid Cap Growth ETFs and mutual funds.

Figure 3: Separating the Best ETFs From the Worst Funds

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

Figure 4: Separating the Best Mutual Funds From the Worst Funds

Sources: New Constructs, LLC and company filings

This article originally published on April 27, 2017.

Disclosure: David Trainer and Kyle Guske II receive no compensation to write about any specific stock, style, or theme.

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