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 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. We have historically excluded single-sector and country equity funds, but those are now 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 2018 were general equity, 34.8%; mixed asset, 21.3%; world equity, 17.1%; taxable bond, 22.4%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.4%. The category weightings for the five-year results were general equity, 35.9%; mixed asset, 19.7%; world equity, 17.3%; taxable bond, 22.5%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.5%. For the 10-year list, they were general equity, 37.1%; mixed asset, 20%; world equity, 16.7%; taxable bond, 21.2%; and tax-exempt bond, 4.9%.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 34.8%, general equity’s overall weighting in Lipper’s universe. So it would be 37.5 times 0.348, which equals 13.05. 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.

The Barron’s Fund Family Rankings published March 11, 2019, based on data as of December 31, 2018, ranked Goldman Sachs Asset Management #34, #40, #20 out of 57 fund families for Best Fund Families of 2018, Best Fund Families Over Five Years and Best Fund Families Over Ten Years, respectively. Over the one-year time period ending December 31, 2018, Goldman Sachs Asset Management ranked #39, #27, #41, #39 and #1 out of 57 fund families in the U.S. Equity, World Equity, Mixed Equity, Taxable Bond and Tax-Exempt Bond categories, respectively. Barron’s does not produce 5 and 10 year category rankings. Past performance does not guarantee future results, which may vary. Any reference to a specific company or security does not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or directly invest in the company or its securities. From Barron’s, © 2019.  All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.

Risk Considerations: Investing in the bond market is subject to certain risks, including market, interest rate, issuer, credit and inflation risk. Income from municipal securities is generally free from federal taxes and state taxes for residents of the issuing state. While the interest income is tax-free, capital gains, if any, will be subject to taxes. Income for some investors may be subject to the federal Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). 

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