Target-date funds have been in the news quite a bit lately. These funds are designed to become more conservative as their “target dates” mature, and have been positioned as good investments for those who know at what point they’ll need to tap these assets–such as retirement or for college. They are even the default options in many 401(k) plans.
Here’s how you can research these funds on Morningstar Investment Research Center:
If you go to the Markets tab, you will not only find industry and sector breakdowns, but also fund category breakdowns. To do this from the Markets page, choose “Fund Category Returns” under the Styles heading. You can also gain access to “Fund Categories” straight from the home page in the Markets section. Once there, you will find a list of target-date funds under the Balanced Funds category. Click on the category that fits your retirement date to see a list of those funds.
The other way to find these funds is using the Fund Screener. As I noted above, target-date funds are actually in the Balanced Funds category. So from the drop-down menu on the screening page, you will want to select “Fund Category” and set the condition to Balanced. After making that selection, you will see another menu on the screen which will have a list of all types of balanced funds, which includes target-date funds. Pick the range you are looking for, and you will see the number of funds that pass your screen. Click the button on the right to view results.
On the results page you will find Morningstar Ratings, returns, total assets, and more. Use the “View” drop-down menu to view performance, risk and tax information, and portfolio metrics. For more information on a particular fund, simply click on the name to get the fund’s data and analyst reports.