CHICAGO, March 6, 2012—Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, has launched a new alternative investments center as part of several enhancements to MorningstarAdvisor.com, a free website that provides financial advisors with practice management information, investment trends, and industry insights.
“Advisors play a crucial role in educating their clients about alternative investments because these vehicles are increasing both in popularity and complexity,” said Nadia Papagiannis, Morningstar’s director of alternative fund research. “Now, advisors have a comprehensive resource for providing clients with a more complete perspective on alternative investments.”
In addition to the new Alternatives tab, the site now contains Morningstar market tools and an expanded video library featuring interviews with top portfolio managers and newsmakers, analysts, and some of the leading voices in the advisory community, along with access to select research reports on funds, stocks, ETFs, closed-end funds, and alternatives.
“We want to create a destination site where financial advisors can find timely information to improve their practices as well as help investors who depend on their guidance,” said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar’s software division. “Our free portal connects with the Morningstar advisor software platforms they use every day for their financial planning and portfolio management tasks.”
The site currently has three main content tabs: Alternatives, Practice Management, and Research and Insights.
- Alternatives, the site’s newest tab, provides detailed educational information and analysis of alternative investments, in vehicles such as hedge funds, ETFs, mutual funds, and separate accounts; weekly articles discussing the latest on alternative investment topics and trends; access to Morningstar’s comprehensive quarterly Alternative Investments Observer newsletter; video interviews with alternative investment managers; downloadable handbooks explaining different alternative strategies; and a Solution Center featuring videos and slides designed to help advisors educate their clients about alternative investments.
- The recently expanded Practice Management tab includes advisor profiles, fiduciary topics, technology news and reviews, and best practices for building an advisory business.
- Research and Insights features in-depth interviews with leading portfolio managers, research on college savings plans, screening tips for the best stocks and funds for a client portfolio, sector spotlights, and commentary from Don Phillips, Morningstar’s president of fund research.
The enhanced site also features additional components for social interactivity, a discussion feature allowing advisor dialogue and debate on articles and industry issues, a webinar audio archive, and links to Morningstar’s advisor services, publications, and software platforms—Morningstar Advisor Workstation, Morningstar Office, and Morningstar Principia.
RAMP, a web content optimization company based in Woburn, Mass., worked with Morningstar to develop the new user interface and menu navigation, adding faster search and browsing capabilities, and integrating an iPad-enabled video player with a searchable transcript feature.
About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 375,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 5 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment management subsidiaries and has more than $180 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2011. The company has operations in 27 countries.
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