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Martha Conlon Mossmartha.moss@morningstar.com
Morningstar and Financial Planning Association Form Strategic Alliance to Offer Broker-Dealer Center

CHICAGO, Feb 04, 2002 – Morningstar, Inc., a global investment research firm, and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), a membership organization for the financial planning community, today launched the Morningstar/FPA Broker-Dealer Center on both organizations' Web sites. The new center allows financial advisors to evaluate the benefits and features of the products and services offered by participating broker-dealers.

The Morningstar/FPA Broker-Dealer Center, accessible from www.morningstaradvisor.com or www.fpanet.org, helps financial advisors simplify the process of researching and comparing broker-dealers by collecting and organizing key information in one place. Each participating broker-dealer completes a questionnaire containing 28 questions and 46 data points regarding its background, investment products and services, technology, and production and compensation. This standardized questionnaire allows for direct comparisons among the providers and their offerings. Advisors can also contact a broker-dealer directly with follow-up questions.

"Advisors and their clients have counted on Morningstar for reliable investment information and analysis for many years," said FPA President Bob Barry, CFPTM. "The Morningstar/FPA Broker-Dealer Center will serve as a great resource to our members who are evaluating different broker-dealer offerings or those trying to attract new representatives." 

"Our strategic alliance with FPA combines the strengths of two organizations that are dedicated to advancing the planning profession by providing innovative advisor resources," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business. "The Morningstar/FPA Broker-Dealer Center will greatly enhance the process of evaluating, comparing, and selecting a broker-dealer by providing standardized information in one convenient place."

The Morningstar/FPA Broker-Dealer Center also provides a cost-effective way for broker-dealers to distribute information to more than 70,000 advisors registered with MorningstarAdvisor.com and FPA's approximately 29,000 members who visit www.fpanet.org. The new center makes the process of comparing and contacting preferred providers more accurate, fast, and convenient. Broker-dealers interested in participating may contact Morningstar at (312) 696-6161.

About the Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is the membership organization for the financial planning community. Its members are dedicated to supporting the financial planning process in order to help people achieve their goals and dreams. FPA believes that everyone needs objective advice to make smart financial decisions and that when seeking the advice of a financial planner, the planner should be a CFP professional.

About Morningstar 
Chicago-based Morningstar, Inc. is a global investment research firm. Morningstar supplies a variety of products and services to professional investment advisors, including Morningstar® Advisor WorkstationSM, Morningstar® Principia® Pro investment management software, Morningstar Mutual Funds , the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, and the Morningstar Professional Education Series

The Morningstar Advisor Workstation combines daily updates of stock and mutual fund information, daily security and portfolio level alerts, automated investment suggestions, portfolio analysis and asset allocation tools, hypothetical illustrations, client management tools, and individual and batch report processing capabilities -- all in one Web application. 

Morningstar's Web site for advisors, MorningstarAdvisor.comSM (http://www.advisor.morningstar.com), was launched in mid-2000 and currently has nearly 70,000 registered users. MorningstarAdvisor.com offers Morningstar Reports on more than 40,000 stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and variable/annuity subaccounts. 

CFP™, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and the federally registered CFP (with flame logo) are certification marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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