About the Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. In 2015, Fund Directions and Fund Action named Johnson among the 2015 Rising Stars of Mutual Funds.


Investment Strategy
Morningstar ETFInvestor scans the globe for value and improving fundamentals across virtually all asset classes. Editor Ben Johnson draws upon academic and practitioner research — including Morningstar's sizeable bench of stock, bond and fund analysts — to find reliable drivers of outperformance.

Morningstar ETFInvestor features five model portfolios.

The Basic Portfolio harnesses the market's collective wisdom with ultra-low-cost funds and is the baseline portfolio against which the three other portfolios will be compared.

The Defensive Portfolio aims to provide lower volatility, better downside protection, and better risk-adjusted performance than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Factor Portfolio is designed to earn higher returns than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Income Portfolio attempts to earn a higher distribution yield than the basic portfolio, without taking a lot more risk.

The ESG Portfolio targets firms with strong corporate governance and sustainable environmental and social practices, while offering competitive returns and similar risk to the basic portfolio.

 
About Editor Editor's Photo
Ben Johnson, CFA
Director, Global ETF Research and Editor
Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.
Featured Posts
New Issue: Thematic Funds

The PDF version of the May issue of ETFInvestor is now available for download.

If the link above doesn’t work, you can download this month's issue by copying this address into your browser: http://etf.morningstar.com/Newsletter.aspx?download=currentIssue

Thematic funds have a long history—some might say a checkered past. From the very beginning, they’ve been designed to capture investors’ imaginations and their assets, luring them with compelling narratives and the prospect of outsize returns. But most have done a much better job spinning stories than growing investors’ wealth. Investors in these funds are making a bet with long odds and a correspondingly large prospective payout; they would be wise to wager accordingly. In this month’s cover, I touch on these funds’ past and present and consider whether they should have a place in investors’ portfolio in the future.

Here’s a rundown of what else you’ll find in this month’s issue:

  • Daniel Sotiroff introduces a high-octane offense into the Defensive Portfolio.
  • We spotlight the Factor Portfolio’s equity staples: iShares MSCI USA Multifactor ETF LRGF and iShares MSCI International Multifactor ETF INTF. Both funds will begin tracking new indexes come June 1. We revisited our ratings ahead of the index change and have downgraded our Morningstar Analyst Rating for LRGF from Silver to Bronze. INTF maintains its Bronze rating.
  • Ryan Jackson shows just how different seemingly similar thematic funds can be.
  • Bryan Armour documents a clear pattern of performance-chasing behavior among thematic fund investors.

Ben

 
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Contact Your Editor
 
About the Editor


Ben Johnson, CFA, is director of global ETF research for Morningstar. Before assuming his current role in 2012, he was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia. He also previously served as a senior equity analyst, covering the agriculture and chemicals industries. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, he worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley.

Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation. In 2015, Fund Directions and Fund Action named Johnson among the 2015 Rising Stars of Mutual Funds.

Investment Strategy


Morningstar ETFInvestor scans the globe for value and improving fundamentals across virtually all asset classes. Editor Ben Johnson draws upon academic and practitioner research — including Morningstar's sizeable bench of stock, bond and fund analysts — to find reliable drivers of outperformance.

Morningstar ETFInvestor features five model portfolios.

The Basic Portfolio harnesses the market's collective wisdom with ultra-low-cost funds and is the baseline portfolio against which the three other portfolios will be compared.

The Defensive Portfolio aims to provide lower volatility, better downside protection, and better risk-adjusted performance than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Factor Portfolio is designed to earn higher returns than the basic portfolio over the long-term.

The Income Portfolio attempts to earn a higher distribution yield than the basic portfolio, without taking a lot more risk.

The ESG Portfolio targets firms with strong corporate governance and sustainable environmental and social practices, while offering competitive returns and similar risk to the basic portfolio.