Learn 100% online from anywhere in the world. Enroll today!

Morningstar Inc.

A Chicago, Illinois-based international financial services firm offering financial and investment research and investment management services

What is Morningstar Inc.?

Morningstar Inc. is an international financial services firm offering financial and investment research and investment management services. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the firm’s services typically include the analysis and compilation of data for stocks, funds, and market data. Also, it offers wealth management, indices, fund advisory, and financial planning services.

 

Morningstar Inc.

 

The firm also offers several products for the individual investor, including software, wide-ranging internet lines, and some print media products. A popular publication of Morningstar is its one-pager on ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and MF (mutual fund) reports. They are widely used by investors to determine the investment worthiness of about 2,000 funds and more.

 

Summary

  • Morningstar Inc. is an international financial services firm offering financial and investment research and investment management services. The firm is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois in the U.S.
  • Morningstar’s services typically include the analysis and compilation of data for stocks, funds, and market data. The firm also offers wealth management, indices, fund advisory, and financial planning services.
  • A popular publication of Morningstar is its one-pager on ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and MF (mutual fund) reports. 

 

Company History

 

The 1980s

Morningstar Inc. began as an idea for American entrepreneur Joe Mansueto in the mid-1980s. After working for the investment firm, Harris Associates, Joe left to establish Mutual Fund Sourcebook Inc. Using his personal savings, Joe published The Mutual Fund Sourcebook, which is a mutual fund survey for individual investors.

In 1986, the name was renamed to Morningstar Inc. The name is an inspiration drawn from Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau. The first line of Walden reads, “The sun is but a morning star.”

 

The 1990s

During the 1990s, Morningstar Inc. experienced notable evolution. The firm introduced several new products, including the Morningstar Mutual Fund publication. The publication was released on a bi-weekly basis and featured a report on close to 1,700 mutual funds.

During the same period, the firm also launched a CD-ROM product, named “Mutual Funds OnDisc.” It was later changed to “Morningstar Principia.” Other noteworthy releases and publications during the first half of the decade included the Morningstar FundInvestor, The Morningstar Mutual Fund 500, the acquisition of MarketBase, and Mutual Fund Documents OnDisc.

The second half of the decade saw a migration to the internet. The firm launched Morningstar.net. Towards the end of the decade, more noteworthy events transpired. Morningstar Inc. concluded a joint venture with Softbank Corporation (Tokyo), which was named “Morningstar Japan K.K.”

The new venture made provisions of all existing Morningstar products, while also including some tailored offerings to suit the Japanese market. During the same period, an individual investment newsletter called “Morningstar StockInvestor” was published. Further expansion of Morningstar Inc. into New Zealand, Australia, and Canada also occurred during the 1990s.

 

The Early 2000s

During this decade, Morningstar expanded further and continued to set up and establish Morningstar Europe, Morningstar Korea, and Morningstar Asia. Morningstar Japan held its IPO. Morningstar Norge AS – a joint venture between Morningstar Europe and Storebrand subsidiary Finansbanken – was formed to help address the information gap in Norway.

The firm also launched the Morningstar ClearFuture. It was more suited for the 401k market, as it provided investment guidance, research, and education to partakers. A Web portal called “MorningstarAdvisor.com” was established for investment advisors and was designed to enable direct communication between advisors, funds, other advisors, etc.

Other milestones for Morningstar Inc. during the 2000s include (but are not limited to) the establishment of DataLab (a research platform), Morningstar stock ratings, Morningstar Advisor Workstation, The Morningstar Managed Portfolio, Morningstar 529 Advisor, a publication called “The Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success,” the Morningstar Managed Retirement Portfolios, and the Morningstar Advice Statement.

 

Services Offered by Morningstar Inc.

Morningstar Inc. provides a wide range of services that address the needs of different individuals, such as investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement professionals.

The financial services firm helps investors find new investments and support them in expanding their portfolios. It offers tools that help investors in monitoring their own investments. The firm also helps in identifying which investments fit clients’ strategies to meet their financial goals.

Morningstar Inc. offers professional and investment management solutions to financial advisors who need a personalized and holistic approach to understand the overall financial picture of clients. It also provides research insights that help advisors meet their clients’ requirements and reduce risk in their practices.

Morningstar Inc. also works with asset managers. Through mutual fund research and ratings, they can help financial services marketing teams in showcasing the performance of asset managers in developing investor-friendly products and supporting their clients’ long-term interests.

When it comes to retirement professionals, Morningstar Inc. provides personalized retirement saving strategies for employees who are planning for their future. It also offers fiduciary services on employee retirement plans.

 

Important Dates for Morningstar Inc.

1984: Joseph Mansueto established the Mutual Fund Sourcebook Inc. In the same year, he released the Mutual Fund Sourcebook.

1986: The company was renamed to Morningstar Inc. The company went on to introduce “Mutual Funds OnDisc,” which debuted as the companies first CD-ROM merchandise.

1997: Morningstar established its online presence and set up the “Morningstar.net” website.

1998: Morningstar Japan K.K. was created.

2000: Morningstar expanded and established Morningstar Europe, Morningstar Norge AS, Morningstar Asia, and Morningstar Korea.

2004: Morningstar began to prepare for its IPO.

 

Additional Resources

CFI is the official provider of the global Certified Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

  • Assets Under Management (AUM)
  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)
  • No-Transaction Fee (NTF) Mutual Fund
  • Top 5 Sovereign Wealth Funds

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!