Nov 19, 2021

NGPF Podcast: John Rekenthaler of Morningstar on how mutual fund investing has changed in past three decades


With more than three decades in research at Morningstar, John Rekenthaler has had a front row seat to the tectonic shifts in the mutual fund business. During his career, John has seen the industry go from one dominated by actively managed funds (e.g., Fidelity's Magellan fund) to one where index funds now hold more than 50% of fund assets. We reminisce about John's early days of Morningstar where one could leaf through binders with information on hundreds of funds (yes, I relied on these reports for my earliest investments in mutual funds). Please be sure to check out John's thought pieces in his Morningstar column after listening to the podcast. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~1:02 Introduction
  • 1:02~2:04 Role at Morningstar
  • 2:04~3:34 Early money lessons 
  • 3:34~5:37 From a Ph.D. in English to Morningstar
  • 5:37~9:06 The early days at Morningstar
  • 9:06~14:21 The Morningstar star rating
  • 14:21~16:39 Increasing the transparency of mutual funds
  • 16:39~20:17 Conversations with fund managers
  • 20:17~26:00 Low-cost funds and the rise of the individual investor
  • 26:00~26:26 A word from NGPF
  • 26:26~32:18 Experience investing
  • 32:18~36:54 The rise of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
  • 36:54~42:02 What to teach students about money
  • 42:02~43:06 Conclusion 



  • “An educated consumer means not only knowing what to do with your own money, so personal finance issues… but understanding also the motives of companies or doing some work in the issues of corporate profitability.”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Mail Icon

Subscribe to the blog

Join the more than 11,000 teachers who get the NGPF daily blog delivered to their inbox: