Morningstar has reaffirmed or identified 38 funds as Morningstar Medalists, giving out Gold ratings to 17 funds.
The Gold rating is awarded to best-of-breed funds and represents analyst expectations of a fund to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.
New gold-rated fund TFS Market Neutral, also a five-star-rated fund, became a Medalist on the basis of a stellar year.
The fund achieved the highest absolute return in the market-neutral category (up 6.5%) and high ranking for risk-adjusted return. While the fund's small exposure to equities may pose risky for investors, and its high fees could eat into future performance, Morningstar writes that "the rewards appear to outweigh the risks so far".
Reaffirmed Gold Medalists include 12 T. Rowe Price Retirement Income target-date funds, as well as Mutual European Z, Royce Special Equity Invmt, American Funds New Economy A, and Artisan International Value Investor.
Nine other funds were also named new Medalists, including four Silver, and five Bronze Medalists. In all, 13 funds won Silver and eight funds won Bronze Medals.
The ASTON/TAMRO Small Cap N fund was upgraded from a Bronze to a Silver rating, while the Hartford Capital Appreciation A fund was downgraded from a Silver to a Bronze ratings.