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Martha Conlon Mossmartha.moss@morningstar.com
Morningstar Introduces 529 Advisor to Help Advisors Choose College Savings Plans That

CHICAGO, Oct 10, 2002 – Morningstar, Inc., an independent global investment research firm, today introduced Morningstar 529 AdvisorSM, a new suite of 529 plan tools that help financial advisors select and recommend the best plan for their clients. 529 Advisor is available on MorningstarAdvisor.comSM, the company's Web site for financial advisors.

"In spite of the unprecedented growth of 529 plans, independent information on these plans is scarce and financial advisors have found it challenging to provide solid, complete advice," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's advisor business. "With 529 Advisor, we've developed the most comprehensive tool for advisors to evaluate and choose a 529 plan that best fits their client's college-savings portfolio." 

Morningstar's 529 Advisor includes: 

Tax-advantaged returns:

Exclusive built-in tax-benefit calculator for in-state programs. Allows advisors to quickly determine whether the tax advantages of an in-state plan outweigh the potentially higher returns of an out-of-state plan. 

Morningstar Reports:

Concise reports that offer a variety of information such as total returns, fees, Morningstar Ratings, portfolio and sector weightings, and asset allocation statistics on a 529 plan's underlying funds. Morningstar Reports also provide details on the plan's overall features and portfolio options. 

Plan Selector:

Allows advisors to quickly screen Morningstar's 529 database based on their specific search criteria. For example, an advisor may want to find a plan that offers low annual maintenance fees or is managed by a particular investment management firm. 

Funding Forecaster: 

Determines the likelihood of meeting college-savings goals. The Funding Forecaster takes a client's investment amount, time horizon, and savings goal, and calculates the probability that a particular plan will meet the target. Returns for in-state plans are adjusted to reflect tax benefits. 

Portfolio Illustrator:

Presents straightforward hypothetical reports that illustrate how recommended 529 plans would have fared in a variety of historical market conditions. 

An annual subscription to Morningstar 529 Advisor is $495. To subscribe, or see a demonstration and sample reports, advisors may go to www.morningstaradvisor.com/529 or call 800-735-0700. 

About Morningstar, Inc. 

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® investment management software, Morningstar Mutual FundsTM, the annual Morningstar Investment Conference, and the Morningstar Professional Education Series.

With more than 90,000 registered users, Morningstar's Web site for advisors, MorningstarAdvisor.com, offers Morningstar Reports on more than 40,000 stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, and variable annuity subaccounts. The site's Due Diligence Center provides answers from fund managers to most frequently asked questions, plus research reports, economic updates, and other educational materials. 

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