Weiss Mutual Fund Ratings

Weiss Mutual and Closed-End Fund Ratings are investment ratings based on a completely independent, unbiased opinion of mutual funds, and closed-end funds. Each fund is analyzed using the latest daily data available and quarterly filings with the SEC. We review thousands of pieces of fund data and, based on our proprietary model, balance our evaluation of reward against risk to assign an overall rating. Although all investments involve risk, the results provide a simple and understandable opinion as to whether we think the fund is a “buy,” “sell,” or “hold.”

In order to help guarantee our objectivity, we reserve the right to publish ratings expressing our opinion based exclusively on publicly available data and our own standards for safety. When using our investment ratings, you should always remember that, by definition, all investments involve some element of risk.

Fund Rating Definitions:

A     Excellent. This fund has an excellent track record for maximizing performance while minimizing risk, thus delivering the best possible combination of total return on investment and reduced volatility. It has made the most of the recent economic environment to maximize risk-adjusted returns compared to other mutual funds. Although even the best funds can decline in a down market, our “A” rating can generally be considered the equivalent of "Strong Buy."

B     Good. This fund has a good track record for balancing performance with risk. Compared to other mutual funds, it has achieved above-average returns given the level of risk in its underlying investments. Although even good funds can decline in a down market, our “B” rating can generally be considered equivalent to "Buy."

C     Fair. In the trade-off between risk and reward, this fund has a track record which is about average. It is neither significantly better nor worse than most other funds. With some funds in this category, the total return may be better than average, but this can be misleading if the higher return was achieved with higher than average risk. Although stock, bond and mixed mutual funds can be driven higher or lower by overall market trends, our "C" rating can generally be considered equivalent to "Hold" or “Avoid.” And although money market mutual funds rarely “break the buck” (fall below $1 per share), our “C” rating implies that the fund aims to provide investors exclusively yield with virtually no price fluctuations.

D     Weak. This fund has underperformed most other funds given the level of risk in its underlying investments, resulting in a weak risk-adjusted performance. We believe its investment strategy and/or management has not been attuned to capitalize on the recent economic environment. Although even weak stock, bond and mixed mutual funds can rise in an up market, our "D" rating can generally be considered equivalent to "Sell." And although money market mutual funds are designed to never “break the buck” (fall below $1 per share), our “D” rating implies that, under extreme market conditions, this fund could be at risk in that regard.

E     Very Weak. This fund has significantly underperformed most other funds given the level of risk in its underlying investments, resulting in a very weak risk-adjusted performance. We believe its investment strategy and/or management has done the opposite of what was needed to maximize returns in the recent economic environment. Although even some of the weakest funds can rise in certain market conditions, our "E" rating can generally be considered equivalent to "Strong Sell."

+     The plus sign is an indication that the fund is in the upper third of the letter grade.

-      The minus sign is an indication that the fund is in the lower third of the letter grade.

U         Unrated. This fund is unrated because it is too new to make a reliable assessment of its risk-adjusted performance. Typically, a fund must be established for at least one year before it is eligible to receive a Weiss Investment Rating.

Articles

Weiss Ratings