CHICAGO, Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, announced the speakers and agenda for its third annual ETF Invest Conference Oct. 3-5 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago. The conference will feature key thought leaders in the exchange-traded fund industry, investment experts, and Morningstar's ETF analysts, gathering together to provide detailed discussion and debate for financial advisors, money managers, and ETF investors.
"The 2012 ETF Invest Conference will help ETF investors to sort out the complexities, alternative theories, and investing strategies so they can better deploy these investments in a portfolio," said Scott Burns, Morningstar's director of fund research, North America. "Based on rapid growth of this conference in its first two years, we've expanded this year's program in an effort to deliver one of the most comprehensive events in the ETF industry."
Liz Ann Sonders, senior vice president and chief investment strategist, Charles Schwab, will deliver the opening keynote address on Wednesday, Oct. 3; and Christopher Gardner, CEO of Gardner Rich LLC and author of the best-selling book The Pursuit of Happyness, will speak during a keynote luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 4.
General sessions at ETF Invest will feature some of the ETF industry's top strategists and thought leaders:
- With the election just around the corner, Russ Koesterich, managing director and global chief investment strategist, BlackRock, will kick off the Oct. 4 sessions by discussing the relationship between government and the economy, and what sectors stand to gain or lose depending upon the outcome in November.
- Paul Hatch, vice chairman, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney; and Mark Wiedman, managing director, iShares; will survey the changing landscapes for the advisor practice, and how ETFs and ETF managed portfolios fit in to this new paradigm.
- On Oct. 5, Vineer Bhansali, managing director and portfolio manager, PIMCO; will discuss the future of active ETFs.
- Matt Hougan, managing director of ETF analytics, IndexUniverse; Paul Justice, director of passive fund research, Morningstar; and Tom Lydon, editor and publisher, ETF Trends; will close the conference with the popular "Meet the Pundits" roundtable. Moderated by Jeff Benjamin, senior editor, InvestmentNews, this wide-ranging panel discussion will review the state of the ETF industry and look at what's next for ETF investors.
Breakout sessions covering a wealth of timely ETF topics include: Oct. 4:
- Juliana Bambaci, senior associate for index research, MCSI; Craig Lazzara, product manager, Standard & Poor's Indices; and Jeremy Schwartz, director of research, WisdomTree Asset Management; will discuss the best ways to implement both high-dividend and low-volatility strategies, which have grown in popularity in a low-growth climate.
- Kevin Carter, cofounder and CEO, Baochuan Capital Management; and Daniel Rohr, senior securities analyst, Morningstar; will talk about investing in China, including current opportunities and pitfalls to avoid in the market.
- Thomas Crandall, portfolio manager and director, Quantitative Advantage; Brian Huckstep, portfolio manager, Morningstar Investment Management; Michael Jones, chairman and CEO , Riverfront Investment Group; and Michael Vogelzang, president and chief investment officer, Boston Advisors; will shine a spotlight on global all-asset ETF strategies and offer insights on these "go-anywhere" investments.
- David Mazza, principal, State Street Global Advisors; and Rodney Sullivan, head of publications, CFA Institute; will focus on rising correlations across asset classes, and how investors can adjust to this new reality.
- Matthew Tucker, managing director, BlackRock; and Kenneth Volpert, principal and senior portfolio manager, Vanguard; will examine the best ways for investors to position their bond portfolios in an uncertain interest-rate environment.
- Sean Clark, chief investment officer, Clark Capital Management; Kevin Simpson, president and chief investment officer, Capital Wealth Planning; and Christian Wagner, founder and chief investment officer, Longview Capital Management; will explore the new crop of alternative ETFs that provide exposure to commodities, currencies, leverage, volatility, and other risk premia factors.
- Mark Carlson, senior vice president and fixed-income investment strategist, Northern Trust; Christopher Goolgasian, vice president, State Street Global Advisors; and Axel Merk, president and chief investment officer, Merk Investments; will discuss a variety of methods for investors to shield their portfolios from inflation.
- Sal Gilbertie, founder, president and chief investment officer, Teucrium; and Martin Kremenstein, chief operating officer and chief investment officer, PowerShares/DB Commodity Funds, will focus on the best ways to select an investment from the dizzying array of new commodity-focused ETF products that have recently hit the market.
- Gerald Buetow, founder, Innealta Capital; Mitchell Reiner, managing partner, Wela Strategies; and Robert Williams, principal and director of research, Sage Advisory Services; will debate fixed-income managed portfolio strategies.
- Philip Guziec, derivatives strategist, Morningstar; and Rob Stein, senior managing director and head of global asset management, Astor Asset Management; will discuss how ETF investors can incorporate options, margin, and short sales to help hedge their portfolios.
- Brett Manning, senior market analyst, Briefing.com; and Kevin Orr, senior vice president, F-Squared Investments; will explore how to use momentum indicators as a tactical strategy to increase returns and reduce portfolio volatility.
- James Breech, founder, Cougar Global Investments; Paul Ingersoll, co-CEO and senior portfolio manager, Good Harbor Financial; and Sharon Snow, CEO, Metropolitan Capital Strategies; will show how they blend technical and macroeconomic factors into their portfolio construction process.
- David Mann, director, iShares; and John Hyland, chief investment officer and portfolio manager, United States Commodity Funds; will provide a look into the regulatory and capital market considerations involved in ETF investing.
- Matt Duda, portfolio manager and research analyst, Western Asset; Rick Harper, director of fixed-income and currency, WisdomTree Asset Management; and Kevin Petrovcik, senior client portfolio manager, Invesco; will provide a glimpse beyond traditional bond markets to find the next frontier in fixed-income investing, such as bank loans, international high-yield, and emerging-markets bonds.
- Robert Brooks, national sales director, Invesco PowerShares; David D'Amico, president and chief market strategist, Braver Capital Management; and Kian Rafia, director of advisory and brokerage investment products, Cetera Financial Group; will survey the future of the ETF managed portfolios industry.
Registration Information The Morningstar ETF Invest Conference costs $495 per person and includes the preconference workshop, two breakfasts, luncheons, and receptions. Two pre-conference workshops will be held from 1- 4 p.m. Wed., Oct. 3 at the Radisson Blu Aqua. Attendees will be able to choose one of two workshop tracks. The first workshop, "The ABCs of ETFs," will be moderated by Morningstar ETF Analyst Michael Rawson, who will guide advisors through a history of how ETFs have evolved and provide a practical review of ETFs by asset class, including benefits and limitations. The other workshop, "Applied ETF Investing Strategies," will hone in on tools and data points investors can use to evaluate and select ETFs. Moderated by Justice, the workshop will also review several model-based and analyst-driven strategies to provide the basis for investment selection. Admission to the workshops is included with registration to the ETF Invest Conference, and participants are eligible for three hours of continuing education credits. To register for the conference, call toll free at 866-839-9729.
More information about the 2012 Morningstar ETF Invest Conference, including the full agenda, hotel accommodations, and complete registration information, is available at http://global.morningstar.com/2012ETFInvest. Live updates from the conference can be followed on Twitter with the official conference hashtag: #ETFInvest.
Press Registration Information Full-time members of the news media may receive complimentary registration to the Morningstar ETF Invest Conference. If you are a journalist and want to attend the conference, please e-mail Shawn Malayter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 more than 385,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 8 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 registered investment advisor subsidiaries and has more than $186 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2012. The company has operations in 27 countries.
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