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Morningstar (morningstar.com) is an investment research service, and they’re welcoming new members with a free trial for 7 days.
The company’s claim-to-fame lies in their ratings on mutual funds, and with Morningstar Investor, you can take advantage of their insights and analyses to help improve your investment performance. For stock picks and advice, you may want to consider services from The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha.
Morningstar partners with cash back portals like Rakuten. Be sure to activate one to earn some cash back before checking out.
Let’s take a closer look at Morningstar, so you can decide if the Morningstar Investor subscription is worth it for you.
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Morningstar Investor Offer: 7-Day Free Trial & $50 Discount
Get a 7-day free trial & $50 discount of Morningstar Investor with this promotion. Get powerful tools and industry-leading, independent ratings and analysis.
The trial is a great way to use the service, evaluate your investments and decide whether you’re getting enough value to justify paying for the subscription.
Analysis of stocks can take a lot of time. But most people who do it do it because they are passionate about it. Even though it would be great to have a team of analysts on your side to share the work, it’s not possible for a single investor to do that.
The next best thing to a team of analysts is what Morningstar has. Its premium service, which changed its name in 2022 and is now called Morningstar Investor, has already done a lot of the research needed for stocks, ETFs, and funds. You just need to look at the analysis and decide whether or not an investment is worth making.
Morningstar is not a brokerage, just to be clear. It is an independent source of research, analysis, commentary, and insights that can help investors make decisions about everything from individual investments to how to divide up their assets. Even though there is some overlap between the research and analysis that brokerages offer and Morningstar’s services, Morningstar’s Investor service is a strong addition that helps investors make decisions with confidence.
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How Morningstar Got Its Start
In 1985, Morningstar started giving its Morningstar Rating to mutual funds. Since then, it has kept adding new features and making improvements, until it reached the point where it can now offer Morningstar Investor. Even though Morningstar Basic gives you limited access to some screeners and portfolio management tools, investors who manage their own portfolios will like the Analysts Reports, Top Investment Picks, and the full suite of investment management tools that come with Morningstar Investor.
Morningstar has made a lot of independent research, ratings, and tools over the past 35 years or so. Today, Morningstar is one of the most well-known firms in the U.S. that analyzes the stock market. Both amateur and professional investors trust Morningstar.
More than 5,000 people work for Morningstar, and they do research on over 600,000 investments in 25+ different countries. It also has investment subsidiaries that are in charge of over $210 billion worth of assets.
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What Does Morningstar Provide?
Morningstar rates and writes about stocks and mutual funds. Its ratings are often used on other websites and sometimes in the financial media. The service is for people who are interested in fundamental investing.
Fundamental investing is a type of analysis that looks at a company’s finances, management, industry, and growth prospects. This is different from technical analysis, which uses charts to look at stocks. If you only look at things from a technical point of view, Morningstar doesn’t have much to offer.
By giving good analysis, Morningstar will save fundamental investors a lot of time. Once you type in the symbol of a stock, ETF, or mutual fund, you’ll see at a glance information that lets you quickly evaluate the asset.
Large investment firms around the world trust Morningstar’s research, expertise, analysis, and tools. Through Morningstar Investor, small investors can get the same information.
At $249 per year ($199 for moneysmylife readers), it’s not for investors who just want to put their money in and forget about it. But if you’re ready to start picking your own stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, manage your own portfolio, and look for ways to diversify, Morningstar Investor could be a good investment. Start a free 7-day trial of Morningstar Investor.
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Morningstar Investor Ratings: What You Should Know
Investors often use Morningstar’s star rating system to help them choose from the thousands of mutual funds that are out there. The 1 – 5 rating is based on the fund’s historical risk-adjusted return and is made entirely by math, not by human analysts.
The formula is complicated, but let’s just say that it’s a good way to figure out how well a fund has done in the past given how much risk investors take when they buy it. Funds are put into groups, and a star rating of 5 means that it is one of the top 10% of funds in that group with the best return for the amount of risk it takes. The next 22.5% of funds in that category get 4 stars, the next 35% get 3 stars, and so on.
This rating is a good place to start your research, but it’s important to remember that it’s based on the past, and past success is never a guarantee of future success.
This is where the Investor offering from Morningstar really beats the free offering. More than 150 independent, unbiased analysts talk about mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs and give their thoughts on them.
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Morningstar’s Portfolio Analysis
The tool that Morningstar uses to look at a portfolio is called X-Ray. It’s called “X-Ray” because it can look at your portfolio to see if you have too much of some investments.
For example, you might own 10% of Microsoft (MSFT) as a stock but not know that you also own a fund with a large amount of MSFT. That means you have more than 10% of Microsoft’s stock.
X-Ray will show you how much weight each position has, so you can see if they are weighted correctly. You’ll also see the sectors your positions are in, where they are located, how sensitive they are to changes in interest rates, how much they are worth (on a scale of growth vs. value), and more.
Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager helps you properly diversify your holdings, evaluate asset allocation and sector weightings, and keep track of your financial goals.
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Screeners let you look through thousands of stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds to find the ones that meet your criteria. You can also save your screening criteria so that the next time you want to find those investments, it will only take a few clicks.
The Morningstar screener only works with the metrics that Morningstar gives. That is, you can’t use broad metrics to filter. You can sort by performance, ratings from analysts, or financials.
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Morningstar Vs. Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Morningstar is very hands-on, and if you want to invest, you’re the one that makes the decisions.
If you want a similar level of analysis and someone else to come up with a conclusion for you, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor may be a better choice. You can pay someone else to do the analysis for half the price ($99 per year to start). Find current Motley Fool Stock Advisor discounts here.
Who Is Morningstar Best For?
Morningstar’s tools aren’t really meant to help day traders or swing traders choose stocks. Rather, it is for people who want to invest for a long time, especially those who are interested in fundamental analysis.
Morningstar also focuses on stocks, exchange-traded funds, and funds. Morningstar won’t help you in any way if you want to invest in things like forex, futures, or options.
Try the Investor service’s free 7-day trial to find out if Morningstar is right for you. And if you use the link on our site to sign up for your free trial, you’ll get $50 off. Start a free 7-day trial of Morningstar Investor.
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Should You Use Morningstar Investor?
If you actively manage your own portfolio, Morningstar’s research, analysis, insights, and commentary can help you feel more confident when choosing investments, setting an asset allocation, and building diversification. It’s also a great way to learn about investing and managing your portfolio if you want to do it yourself but haven’t started yet.
But you should always think about your return on investment. Do you think that the investment decisions you make with Morningstar’s help will cover the cost of the service each year? If so, Morningstar could be a very useful tool for you, especially as the amount you have invested grows over time. But if you only invest small amounts of money and keep the possible returns small, the cost may not be worth it for you.
Morningstar Investor Vs. Morningstar Basic
Only if you subscribe to Morningstar Investor are there any costs. But you can try it for free for 7 days. After that, you can save $50, bringing the annual cost down to $199.
You can join Morningstar’s “Basic” service for free. You’ll get a taste of what Morningstar has to offer with the free subscription.
But you’ll find out quickly that the Basic tier isn’t enough to do meaningful analysis. In the free version, the only thing you can read in full is editorial articles. Everything else has some kind of limit.
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Morningstar is an excellent resource and tool for self-directed investors, especially if you like to see the big picture and want to ensure a balanced portfolio. The Morningstar Investor membership could be worthwhile if you manage your own investments and do in-depth research. You can try it for 7 days and test the full array of features before committing to it.
For stock advice, picks and analysis, also check out Motley Fool Stock Advisor. It’s available now for $99 a year (normally $199) with a 30-day 100% refund period.
If you prefer a more hands-off approach, you’ll want to consider a robo advisor, like Wealthfront or Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, that will do the investing for you.
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