Morningstar already raised eyebrows when it told investors to think twice about keeping their money with Putnam, Janus, Alliance and Strong. And now the leading fund research firm has gone even further out on a limb.

FleetBoston’s Columbia Asset Management, Charles Schwab’s Excelsior Funds, Massachusetts Financial Services, J.&W. Seligman and Scudder all also warrant close scrutiny of investors and their advisers, for they also market timed, Morningstar says.

"In each case, the potential misdeeds are serious enough that it’s prudent to hold off on making new investments with these firms, at least until the complete story is out," wrote Morningstar Director of Fund Research Russ Kinnel.

While Morningstar does not explicitly tell investors to sell out, the firm’s analysts have advised investors to consider tax implications, redemption charges and the context of the developing scandal news story, when making their decision.

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