"The Analyst Rating is based on the analyst's conviction in the fund's ability to outperform its peer group and/or relevant benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. If a fund receives a positive rating of Gold, Silver, or Bronze, it means Morningstar analysts think highly of the fund and expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years."Now it should be clear that these ratings are longer-term in nature so take the following breakdown with a grain of salt but I said I would follow-up on these so I am.
First lets start with a review of what the distribution of Morningstar's Analyst Ratings looked like at the start of 2012
Without further ado, below is how the rated funds performed in 2012. These only include funds rated at the start of 2012.
Below is the Average Rank for each, as you can see Neutral rated funds performed the best and Negatively rated funds performed the worst.
Take this for what it's worth, which at this point is not much because full market cycles are indeed a better measuring stick. For instance, in 1999 and 2006/2007 a lot of bad managers did good thinking the unsustainable was in fact sustainable while a lot of good managers did bad as they realized irrationality when they saw it. However, this is at least a starting point for looking at the performance of these Analyst Ratings.