Morgan Stanley Mutual Funds

We've already talked about the mutual funds that are available from Van Kampen and their relationship to Morgan Stanley.  In this article, the focus is going to be on the Morgan Stanley family of mutual funds.  This includes a brief background of their fees and loads as well as the performance of the funds offered to investors.

Morgan Stanley Family of Mutual Funds

Among the investment community, Morgan Stanley is a well-known and respected name.  The value Morgan Stanley commands in the market is clearly demonstrated in their size.  In 2016, Morgan Stanley claimed to have over $2 trillion in assets under management.  As a company, they've nearly 60,000 employees in over 1,300 offices in 42 countries.

In 1997, Morgan Stanley, based in New York, and Dean Witter, based in San Francisco, combined giving the company a coast-to-coast feel.  Dating back to 1924, Morgan Stanley has a rich history of supplying financial services to individuals, institutional investors, and the banking community.

The Morgan Stanley family of mutual funds is broken down into five major categories:  Global / International, Growth Funds, Growth and Income, Income and Tax-Free bond funds.  Morgan Stanley offers investors a full range of investment services including Roth IRAs, Traditional IRAs, 529 Plans, and management of 401(k) plans.

Funds Fee Structure and Returns

Morningstar ratings indicate the expense ratios of mutual funds offered through Morgan Stanley range from Below to Above Average.  This includes domestic stocks (1.23%), international stocks (1.60%), as well as taxable bonds (1.22%).  Morgan Stanley's mutual funds show a good balance; with 34% invested in domestic stocks and over 36% invested in international company stocks.

The minimum investment to open an account at Morgan Stanley is $1,000.   Unfortunately, the average expense ratios are sometimes accompanied by a load.  Approximately 74.9% of Morgan Stanley funds are no-load mutual funds.  The average return for the Morgan Stanley family of mutual funds is just 5.13% over the last five years (August 2016).

Top Rated Morgan Stanley Mutual Funds

The good news is that all three of the top rated mutual funds from Morgan Stanley do not carry a sales load.  All three funds are also open to new investors; however, all three top rated funds are restricted to institutional investors.  The following is a list of top rated mutual funds from Morgan Stanley:

Morgan Stanley Inst Frontier Em Mkts I (MFMIX)

  • Assets:  $645 million
  • Category:  Mid Blend
  • Specialty:  Diversified Emerging Mkts.
  • Top Three Holdings:  National Bank of Kuwait, Banca Transilva SA, and Banco Macro SA ADR.
  • Load:  None
  • Minimum Investment:  $5 million
  • Expense Ratio:  1.72%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  3.88%

Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust Core Plus Fixed Income (MPFIX)

  • Assets:  $199 million
  • Category:  Bonds
  • Specialty:  Intermediate Term
  • Top Three Holdings:  US 2 Year Notes, US 10 Year Ultra Futures, and US Ultra Bond CBT..
  • Load:  None
  • Minimum Investment:  $5 million
  • Expense Ratio:  0.51%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  4.65%

Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund, Inc. Global Discovery (MGDPX)

  • Assets:  $14 million
  • Category:  Mid Blend
  • Specialty:  World Stock
  • Top Three Holdings:  Christian Dior SE, BWX Technologies Inc. and Manitowoc Foodservice Inc.
  • Load:  5.25%
  • Minimum Investment:  $1,000
  • Expense Ratio:  1.69%
  • 5-Year Average Return:  4.65%

About the Author - Morgan Stanley Mutual Funds (Last Reviewed on August 4, 2016)