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Margaret Kirch Cohenmargaret.cohen@morningstar.com
Morningstar Introduces Rating for Load-Waived A Shares

CHICAGO, Dec. 1, 2005 – To better reflect the actual experience of a growing number of investors who do not pay front-end loads, or sales charges, on A shares of mutual funds, Morningstar, Inc. today announced that it will provide ratings for load-waived A shares.

“Fund companies almost always waive the front-end load for retirement plan participants who invest in A shares, and investors who have reached a certain asset level with a fund company often qualify for breakpoints that reduce or eliminate the front-end load on A shares,” explained Don Phillips, managing director for Morningstar. “Our new load-waived A share rating will better serve the millions of investors who are in these situations.”

The Morningstar RatingTM for funds, often called the “star rating,” was introduced in 1985 and rates mutual funds from one to five stars based on how well they've performed (after adjusting for risk and accounting for all expenses) compared with funds that share the same investment style and focus. The new load-waived A share rating will supplement the original A share rating, which reflects the maximum front load.

“By comparing a fund’s rating with and without the load, an investor may better determine how the sales charges have impacted the fund’s past performance,” Phillips said. “The star rating is just one of the factors investors should consider when purchasing funds, and the new rating will help them analyze the impact of front-end loads and better determine if they want to invest in a particular fund or if they want to invest enough to qualify for breakpoints.”

The new rating will be available in December in the following Morningstar products: Morningstar.com®, a Web site for individual investors; Morningstar DirectSM, a global institutional research platform; Morningstar® Licensed Data, data feeds for institutional clients; and Morningstar Principia® and Morningstar Advisor WorkstationSM, products for financial advisors.

For more information, please see the accompanying fact sheet  

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of investment research in the United States and in major international markets. The company offers an extensive line of Internet, software, and print-based products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutional clients. Morningstar provides data on more than 125,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles. The company has operations in 16 countries.

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