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Morningstar Review 2022: Features, Pros, and Cons

Morningstar is an American financial services company providing an array of investment research and investment management service.

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Morningstar is one of the world’s most reputable market research companies. The firm’s Premium subscription provides investment insight and portfolio management tools to help individual investors take their trading to the next level.

But does Morningstar Premium live up to the hype? Is Morningstar’s market analysis worth paying for?

In this Morningstar review, we’ll address these questions and more. We’ll discuss the features, pros, and cons of signing up for a Morningstar Premium subscription so you can decide if it’s the right option for your investing needs.

Morningstar
3.9
3.9/5

on Morningstar’s website

Quick Summary: Morningstar is an American financial services company founded in 1984 offering an array of investment research and investment management services. Morningstar Premium is their flagship product.

Promotion: Free 14-day trial

Pros:

Cons:


What Is Morningstar?

Morningstar is a financial and investment research firm based in Chicago. The company was founded in 1984 by Joe Mansueto, an American entrepreneur and stock analyst. 

Mansueto realized that most individual investors don’t have the time needed to do in-depth market research on their own. So, he founded Morningstar to provide cutting-edge investment research for anyone that wants to make the most of their portfolio.

These days, Morningstar offers a suite of services for individual investors. One of the company’s most popular features is Morningstar Premium, a stock screener and portfolio management tool that helps you make the most of your assets.

Morningstar Homepage
Source: Morningstar

How Does Morningstar Premium Work?

Morningstar Premium is a subscription-based service for individual investors. When you sign up for an account, you get access to the company’s suite of investing tools, which includes a stock screener, portfolio analysis, and analyst opinions on thousands of mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs.

To make a Morningstar Premium account, you simply need to go to the company’s website and click the button to sign up. As part of the sign-up process, you’ll need to provide Morningstar with your name, email address, and payment information. 

Once your account is up and running, you can immediately start using all of Morningstar Premium’s different features and research tools.


Morningstar Premium Features

Morningstar Premium is a feature-packed subscription service for active individual investors. Here are some of the most important features you can look forward to if you sign up for an account.

Service Morningstar ratings, analyst reports, top investment picks, portfolio manager, screeners and more
Pricing Morningstar Basic: $0/month, and Morningstar Premium: $34.95/month or $249/year (save 41% over a monthly plan) or $399 for two-years or $499 for three-years
Plans Basic and Premium
Supported Securities Researched Stocks, ETFs, bonds, mutual funds
Mobile App iOS and Android
Promotions Free 14-day trial
Best For Intermediate-to-advanced data driven investors
Support Help center, Email (joe@morningstar.com), and Phone (+1 866 215 2503)

Morningstar Ratings

One of the biggest benefits of having Morningstar Premium is that it gives you access to Morningstar’s Ratings for stocks and funds.

Morningstar Ratings are considered the gold standard by many in the investment industry. These ratings are created by the company’s expert analysts to make it easier for you to find stocks and funds that have a high potential for future growth.

The company’s ratings for individual stocks are determined by a combination of three factors: the stock’s current price, Morningstar’s estimate of the stock’s market value, and the uncertainty rating of a stock’s market value.

Morningstar also has a handful of other stock-related rating systems, including its Economic Moat Rating and Quantitative Equity Rating. Each of these ratings provides insight into various aspects of a stock’s past and potential performance.

Meanwhile, the Morningstar Rating for funds is a measure of how well a fund has performed compared to its peers over the last three years. Generally speaking, funds with a four or five-star rating have outperformed most of their peers while funds with one or two-star ratings have underperformed.

Additionally, Morningstar Premium subscribers get access to Analyst Ratings for funds. Morningstar assigns ratings of gold, silver, bronze, neutral, or negative to funds depending on whether or not the firm believes a fund will outperform its competition. Gold and silver funds are expected to outperform their peers and the market in the long term.

Morningstar Fund Screener
Source: Morningstar

Analyst Reports

All Morningstar Premium subscribers can access the firm’s dedicated analyst reports for stocks and funds. These reports provide you with insight into different investments so you can decide if they’re right for you.

For stocks, Morningstar’s Analyst Reports provide the following information:

  • Current market price and historical data
  • Stock analysis including comprehensive analyst reviews and ratings
  • Recent stock news
  • Price vs fair value charts
  • Financial information, valuation information, and trailing returns
  • Operating performance insights
  • Dividend predictions, calendars, and information
  • Company ownership and leadership information

For funds, Morningstar’s Analyst Reports provide the following information:

  • Current market price and historical data
  • Fund analysis, including comprehensive analyst reviews and ratings
  • Morningstar analyst-evaluated fund risk and return charts
  • Pricing and fee information
  • Portfolio and allocation overview
  • Financial metrics and sustainability ratings
  • Fund management information

Of all Morningstar Premium’s features, its analyst reports are easily one of its most powerful tools for investors. They serve as a one-stop shop for investment information for traders that want a quick way to get insight from experienced financial analysts.

Top Investment Picks

To make it easier for you to find your next investment opportunity, Morningstar Premium provides all subscribers with a list of its Top Investment Picks. These picks are selected by the company’s analysts and they’re crafted to help you identify potential high-performing investments with the push of a button. 

Morningstar offers Top Investment Picks for stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. The company selects top picks for different investment styles and types. For example, you can search for emerging market funds, target-date funds, index funds, and undervalued stocks to help power your portfolio.

Morningstar Premium Fund Screener
Source: Morningstar

Portfolio Manager

With Morningstar Premium, you can track all of your current assets and evaluate your current investing strategy using the company’s Portfolio Manager tool.

With this tool, you can create multiple portfolios that track all of your stock and fund holdings. There’s currently no option to integrate your brokerage account with Morningstar Premium, but you can manually enter your current holdings or import your information from Excel.

Once you create your portfolios, Morningstar provides you with insight into your investments. You can access various information about your portfolios, such as insights, fundamentals, gains/losses, and recent news about your holdings.

Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager also comes with a feature called Portfolio Monitor. 

This tool provides you with customizable updates about your portfolio on a monthly or on-demand basis. You can choose to get either a full report on all of your holdings or just a quick overview that provides you with current analyst ratings and performance information for your assets.

Portfolio X-Ray

Portfolio X-Ray is another premium feature from Morningstar that makes it easier for you to fine-tune your investment strategy.

The Portfolio X-Ray is designed to help you understand the ins and outs of your portfolio. It gives you a quick look at your current asset allocations and concentrations, the fees and expenses you pay for your funds, as well as various financial and technical metrics for your assets.

Your Portfolio X-Ray also comes with a feature that highlights potential areas for growth in your portfolio. With this feature, Morningstar also compares your portfolio to a model portfolio benchmark so you can see how your investment strategy stacks up to the competition.

Morningstar ETF Screener
Source: Morningstar

Screeners

If you’re on the lookout for new investment opportunities, Morningstar’s screeners might be what you need. The company offers premium screeners for stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs to help you identify potential investments based on your unique criteria. 

You can filter stocks and funds using a variety of financial and technical metrics. Additionally, you can use this screener to select only assets that have specific Morningstar Ratings. For example, you can search only for stocks that have a specific Economic Moat Rating or you can filter for funds that have a Gold or Silver fund rating.

Similar Funds

One of the most challenging aspects of investing in mutual funds and ETFs is selecting the right funds for your portfolio. Since so many different funds share similar asset allocations, it can be tricky to know which options are best for your needs.

To help you out, Morningstar developed its proprietary Similar Funds tool. This premium feature lets you search for funds that have similar portfolio compositions. 

You can then compare each fund side-by-side to see how each option stacks up to the competition in terms of its overall performance, portfolio, risk levels, and expenses. Doing so can streamline your research process so you can quickly find the best asset for your investing strategy.

Cost Analyzer

When you invest in mutual funds, you often need to pay for fund management expenses. However, many fund rating systems, including Morningstar’s Analyst Ratings, don’t factor in the total cost of owning mutual fund shares, which can make it difficult to know whether a fund is a worthwhile investment.

But with Morningstar’s Cost Analyzer, you can get a quick snapshot of the total cost of owning a mutual fund. This analyzer takes into account different share classes, the fees that you’re charged for your shares, and even the fees that you pay for financial advice in managed portfolio accounts.

That way, you can compare your current holdings with different mutual funds or with different share classes of the same fund. The Cost Analyzer shows you the differences in the cumulative investment expenses for each of your funds over time so you can see which option might be best for your investing strategy.

Morningstar Ratings
Source: Morningstar

Mobile Apps

In addition to its web-based platform, Morningstar offers both iOS and Android apps for its subscribers. Both of the company’s mobile apps are highly rated and most investors find that these apps are user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Morningstar Premium subscribers can access a slew of features on these apps including real-time security quotes, analyst reports, curated news about your investments, and portfolio management tools. As a result, you can keep track of your portfolio and latest market news on the go.

Article Archive

Morningstar is one of the biggest names in market research. The company is particularly well known for its extensive library of investment-related news and informational articles that cover every sector of the world’s financial markets.

As a premium subscriber, you can access Morningstar’s complete archive of articles right from your account. With the company’s article archive, you can check out historical information about your investments or learn more about different trading strategies to help you make the most of your assets.

Morningstar Insights

One of the firm’s most popular features is Morningstar Insights, a collection of articles, podcasts, videos, magazines, and newsletters that are all dedicated to keeping you up-to-date with the latest happenings in the financial markets.

Your Morningstar Premium subscription comes with free access to the company’s huge library of financial information, which includes interviews with fund managers, quarterly stock and fund recaps, and market research. You can also choose to subscribe to Morningstar newsletters so you can get investing information delivered right to your inbox.

Morningstar X-Ray
Source: Morningstar

Morningstar Premium Pricing

A Morningstar Premium subscription costs $249 per year paid on an annual basis or $34.95 per month paid monthly ($419 annually). You can also pay for multiple years at once and get discount pricing of $399 for a two-year subscription or $499 for a three-year subscription.

This subscription includes access to all of the company’s features, including its Analyst Reports, Top Investment Picks, Portfolio Manager, Portfolio X-Ray, Screeners, and Article Archive.

Note that the firm has a free version called Morningstar Basic. But a Basic subscription doesn’t include access to most of Morningstar’s best features and tools besides its articles and educational content.


Morningstar Premium Promotions

For new subscribers, Morningstar offers a 14-day free trial so you can test out Morningstar Premium and see if it’s right for you. Note that you have to enter your payment information when signing up for the free trial, but you won’t be billed until your trial period ends.


Morningstar Premium Customer Support

All Morningstar Premium subscribers have access to the company’s customer support team. You can get answers to the most common questions at the Morningstar FAQs pages and in the firm’s user guide.

Additionally, Morningstar offers both phone and email-based customer support for all subscribers. However, note that it can take a while to receive a response from Morningstar’s customer service team and phone support is only available during business hours.

Morningstar Analysis
Source: Morningstar

Morningstar Premium Pros

  • World-class source of independent market research
  • Analyst reports provide in-depth information about stocks and funds
  • Access to industry-leading Morningstar metrics and ratings for funds and stocks
  • Superb array of articles, newsletters, podcasts, videos, and educational content
  • Quick access to potential investment ideas through Top Investment Picks
  • Portfolio Manager, Monitor, and X-Ray provide invaluable insight on your assets
  • Relatively affordable subscription when paid annually

Morningstar Premium Cons

  • No option to sync brokerage accounts to Portfolio Manager
  • Customer support can be slow
  • Doesn’t include access to customizable charts
  • Screeners can be difficult to navigate at first
  • Monthly payment option is substantially more expensive than annual payments

Morningstar Premium Alternatives

Don’t think Morningstar is right for you? Here are some top Morningstar Premium alternatives to check out instead.

The Motley Fool

The Motley Fool is a firm that provides investment advice and guidance to those primarily interested in trading individual stocks. With Motley Fool, investors can choose between a handful of different subscription packages based on their trading interests.

Most Motley Fool subscriptions, such as Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, give investors access to two new hand-selected stock picks each month as well as a list of best stock buys now. All of these stock picks are selected by the Motley Fool team for their potential for growth in the future.

When compared to Morningstar, most of Motley Fool’s subscriptions are similarly priced. The downside to Motley Fool is that the firm doesn’t provide stock screening, charting, or technical analysis tools for investors that like to do research. But if you want some direction and guidance as you choose your investments, Motley Fool is well worth considering. Read our full Motley Fool review to learn more.

Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha is a stock screener and market research tool that helps traders find and vet potential stock and ETF investments. The company offers many subscription-based services (including a limited free membership), each of which is designed for a different type of investor.

With Seeking Alpha, you get access to high-end stock and ETF screener tools, analyst newsletters, and portfolio management features. Seeking Alpha also has a proprietary stock and ETF rating system like you get with Morningstar and it has a huge collection of educational and informational articles for users to check out.

The main difference between Seeking Alpha and Morningstar is that the former doesn’t provide much information on mutual funds. Seeking Alpha’s market research content is also sourced from its author community rather than from pre-vetted professional analysts. However, if you want a slightly cheaper alternative to Morningstar, Seeking Alpha is a solid choice. Read our full Seeking Alpha review to learn more.

Morningstar Morningstar Motley Fool The Motley Fool Seeking Alpha Seeking Alpha
Our Rating
3.9
3.9/5
3.7
3.7/5
4.0
4.0/5
Pricing $34.95/month or $249/year (save 41% over a monthly plan) or $399 for two-years or $499 for three-years $199/year to $1,999/year $0/month (Basic), $19.99/month (Premium) and $199.99/month (PRO)
Stock Picking Yes Yes Yes
Promotion 14 day free trial (Premium) Get 55% Off 1st Year (Motley Fool Stock Advisor) Free to join (Basic) and 7 day free trial & 50% off (Premium)
Highlight Robust fundamental and portfolio analysis Premium stock-picking newsletters One of the largest investing communities in the world
Best For Long term data driven investors New investors looking for stock ideas Intermediate to advanced investors


Who Is Morningstar Premium For?

Morningstar Premium is designed for the self-directed individual investor that enjoys doing market research but also wants help from expert analysts. 

The company’s portfolio management tools are great for anyone that wants to analyze their investment holdings. Meanwhile, Morningstar’s stock and fund screeners are powerful tools that can make your investment research process as easy and convenient as can be.

But, Morningstar’s Analyst Reports and data can all feel a bit overwhelming to first-time investors. So the service is best for people who have at least a little trading experience under their belt. Additionally, the firm doesn’t offer much by the way of customizable charts, so it’s better for traders that invest primarily using fundamental, rather than technical, analysis.


Morningstar Premium FAQs

Here are our answers to some of your most commonly asked questions about Morningstar Premium:

Is Morningstar Premium Free?

Morningstar Premium is not free. A Premium subscription from Morningstar costs $249 per year. The firm offers a free Morningstar Basic account, though free accounts don’t include certain features like analyst reports and top investment picks. You can also get a free 14-day trial of Morningstar Premium to see if it’s the right stock screener for your needs.

Is Morningstar Premium Worth the Price?

A Morningstar Premium subscription can be worth the price if you’re particularly interested in the firm’s analyst insights and portfolio analysis tools. Morningstar’s market research is superb and a Premium subscription is one of the only ways to access this information. While the company’s subscriptions are expensive, they’re a good value for the money, especially if you pay annually.

Does Morningstar Premium Offer a Free Trial?

Morningstar Premium offers a free 14-day trial to all new account holders. You can sign up for a free trial on the Morningstar website by registering for a Premium account. Note that you have to provide your credit card information when signing up for the free trial, but you won’t be billed until your trial ends.

In A Nutshell

  • Pricing: Free (basic tracking), $34.95/month (advanced tracking capabilities)
  • Available: iOS and Android
  • Highlight: Comprehensive investment data covering stocks, mutual funds, ETFs

on Morningstar’s website


Final Thoughts

Morningstar is one of the most reputable names in market research. The company’s Premium subscription plan is a great way to get access to industry-leading insights into the world’s financial markets.

When compared to other market research tools, Morningstar Premium’s depth and quality of information are second to none. The company’s proprietary analyst ratings and its portfolio management tools are also some of the best on the market. 

That said, Morningstar Premium might leave you wanting if you’re primarily looking for charting tools for technical analysis. But if professional market insight is what you seek, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better platform than Morningstar.

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