Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2017.2884

We investigate Morningstar’s new qualitative, forward-looking analyst ratings, which reflect independent analysts’ expectations of a fund’s future performance. We find relatively higher flows to funds receiving higher ratings, suggesting that the average investor values the analyst’s subjective views when allocating their wealth. Performance tests show that investors would have earned significantly higher returns over our sample period by investing in funds with the highest analyst conviction. These results suggest that independent research that expands the information set to include qualitative elements may help investors make better investment allocation decisions.

This paper was accepted by Lauren Cohen, finance.

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