Nearly all MFO fund ratings are relative to category peers. So, having an easy way to compare fund risk and return metrics against peer or category average performance is a helpful feature, which is precisely what the “Include Average” option enables in MultiSearch.
When MultiSearch users select “Include Averages,” along with say Dodge & Cox fund family, they will now get risk and return metrics on 12 results across the evaluation period selected: the six D&C funds and the six corresponding Category averages. Similarly, selecting “Include Benchmarks” will result in the so-called Lipper Global (LG) Benchmarks. Yes, selecting both will yield 18 results! These new options also work with Watchlists.
Here’s a simple example of “Include Averages” with two D&C funds (DODIX and DODGX), sorted by Category:
And here’s a simple example of “Include Benchmarks” with the same two D&C funds, sorted by LG Benchmark:
LG Benchmarks are assigned by Lipper to all 12,000 plus funds in the Lipper Global Data Feed and are always Lipper namesake, similar to Morningstar’s namesake benchmarks. There are 126 such LG Benchmarks versus the 175 Categories.
The MultiSearch results table includes two other benchmarks: a Peer Benchmark, also assigned by Lipper, and a Fund Manager’s Benchmark.
The Peer Benchmarks are somewhat broader than the LG Benchmarks numbering 107, but they are more commonly recognized indices by Russell, S&P, Bloomberg, MSCI, Dow Jones, etc.
The Fund Manager Benchmarks number over 1000 and are not always available to Lipper. Also, if a fund manager uses multiple benchmarks, Lipper provides only the primary, which can be awkward with say balanced funds.
While all three benchmarks are presented in the MultiSearch results table, the Analysis tool and the “Include Benchmarks” option currently use only the LG Benchmarks.
Certain firms will only consider funds that track to recognized benchmarks. So, it may be useful to expand the MultiSearch benchmark tools to reflect both the Peer Benchmark and Fund Manager Benchmark. Would welcome any feedback from users that find comparisons with such benchmarks useful.
PS. A David suggestion … JIC, here’s screenshot of MultiSearch page showing the “Include” options, under Basic Info, which you can expand and contract by clicking the down/up gray arrow next to Basic Info.