THE KISS OF DEATH: A 5-STAR MORNINGSTAR MUTUAL FUND RATING?
Matthew R. Morey
We examine the effect that an initial 5-starMorningstar mutual fund rating has on future fund performance, strategy, risk-taking, expenses, and portfolio turnover. Using a sample of diversified domestic equity funds from the 1990s we find that during the 3 years after a fund received its initial 5-star rating, fund performance severely falls off. This result is robust across different performance measures and different samples of funds. We also find that after receiving their initial 5-star rating, the risk levels of funds rise and the funds are not able to load on momentum stocks as well as they did before receiving the 5-star rating. These results suggest that funds, to some degree, alter their portfolios after receiving a 5-star rating and that investors should be very wary about using the 5-star rating as a signal of future 3-year performance.