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Ratings won’t last forever

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When I first started out as an ERISA attorney working for a third party administrator in the late 90’s, I remember when advisors tried to get in the very hot, highly ranked funds such as Janus Twenty. I remember the rush to the doors when Janus was closing the fund down to new investors. The late ’90s was a crazy time as every advisor tried to land the highest rating funds for their clients.

 

Ratings don’t last forever, look at Janus Twenty. Look what happened when Legg Mason’s Value Trust fund did after it stopped its winning streak against the S&P. Ratings and rankings as to which funds are hot and which third-party administrators to hire are just a snapshot of what is going on today and these things change. I ought to know. When I went to law school at American University Washington College of Law, they were on the cusp of cracking the top 50 list of law schools. They told us that the new building would get us there. After I graduated and with that new building opening when I was there, they did crack the top 50 for a couple of years. Now, they’re around the high 80s behind schools I didn’t apply to because I knew I’d get in and a school that didn’t exist when I graduated, UNLV. The point is that while chasing what’s hot is that there are moments when it’s not. All I can say is that if someone told me that in 2002 that a company called Bisys would eventually become one of the powerhouses in the retirement plan business (as Ascensus), I would have laughed at you.

 

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