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Margaret Kirch Cohenmargaret.cohen@morningstar.com
Morningstar Associates Implements New Methodology, Offers Optimal Investment Advice Across Multiple Retirement Plans

CHICAGO, Apr 23, 2001 – Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc., today announced it has implemented a new online-advice methodology that offers Morningstar®  ClearFutureSM clients optimal investment advice across multiple retirement plans. The first application of this methodology in Morningstar ClearFuture, an online retirement-planning service, provides advice to retirement plan participants in multiple defined-contribution plans including any combination of 401(k), Thrift, Profit Sharing, and Money Purchase Plans.

"During the past five months, we have made more than 25 enhancements to our retirement- planning service, representing a period of rapid product development for ClearFuture," said John Rekenthaler, president of Morningstar's Online Advice business unit. "Morningstar ClearFuture is the first online-advice service to help investors create diversified portfolios by controlling for industry sectors, investment style weightings, and asset classes. If investors know what they own, they can avoid mistakes that derail even the best-intentioned retirement investing plans. By considering all plans--and each investment's underlying holdings--we build balanced portfolios that ensure our clients are not overexposed to any given market sector."

Morningstar ClearFuture, currently available through more than 8,700 corporate retirement plans throughout the United States, offers sophisticated research, education, investment guidance and advice to all levels of investors. ClearFuture uses a goals-based approach, allowing plan participants to examine the relationships between long- and short-term risk, asset mix, and retirement income, so they can determine the probability of reaching their financial goals. The service then provides either asset-allocation suggestions or specific investment advice by creating one diversified, optimal portfolio using the best investment options available in the participant's company-sponsored retirement plan or plans. 

The Morningstar ClearFuture methodology continues to employ the world-class, proprietary data of Morningstar, Inc., which includes the performance and portfolio holdings of more than 12,000 mutual funds, 7,300 stocks, 600 closed-end mutual funds, and more than 16,000 variable annuity/life subaccounts.

The latest enhancements are available through the institutional version of Morningstar ClearFuture, which is sold directly to retirement-plan providers and plan sponsors. Individuals may access the 401(k) advice-only version of ClearFuture at http://www.morningstar.com.

About Morningstar Associates, LLC
The Morningstar® ClearFutureSM retirement-advice program is provided by Morningstar Associates, LLC, a registered investment advisor and a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc., an independent provider of reliable, unbiased investment information and analytical tools. Morningstar Inc.'s extensive line of Internet, software, and print services offers news, data, and analysis on stocks, mutual funds, closed-end funds, and variable annuities. Neither Morningstar Inc., nor Morningstar Associates, LLC, owns and operates, or holds any interest in investment products. The financial data and methodology used in ClearFuture are proprietary to Morningstar, Inc., and Morningstar Associates, LLC. Although the data are gathered from reliable sources, neither Morningstar, Inc. nor Morningstar Associates, LLC guarantees their accuracy, completeness, or timeliness. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

(c) 2001 by Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

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