Morningstar to Hold Free Conference for Individual Investors on March 22

Feb 20, 2014, 09:35 ET from Morningstar, Inc.

CHICAGO, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Analysts from Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, and other top personal finance experts will help investors create and implement a better investment plan on Saturday, March 22, 2014, during the company's annual online conference for individual investors. The conference is a webcast that will be available on®, the company's investor website, at no cost to registered participants.

"Last year's conference was well attended, with more than 4,300 individuals tuning in. This year, we've prepared another agenda of practical, engaging sessions to help investors navigate today's challenges," Jason Stipp, editor of, said. "Attendees will hear from leading investment experts about macroeconomic concerns, opportunities in today's market, health-care costs, stock investing, index funds, portfolio allocation in retirement, and more. We'll share insights and concrete steps investors can take to feel more confident in their ability to reach their financial goals. Throughout the conference, viewers will be able to submit questions and get answers in real time."

The conference will kick off at 9 a.m. Central Time with an overview of today's market and economy. "Put the Big Picture in Perspective" will feature Bob Johnson, director of economic analysis, Morningstar, and Heidi Richardson, managing director and global investment strategist, BlackRock. The session will help investors put today's macroeconomic headlines in context, isolate the world's trouble spots, set realistic expectations for economic growth, and maintain a long-term perspective.  

Other sessions will follow:

  • 10 a.m., "Navigate Today's Market: Morningstar Strategist Q&A": In this session, moderated by Morningstar Markets Editor Jeremy Glaser, conference attendees will have the opportunity to ask live questions of Morningstar's Elizabeth Collins, director of basic materials equity research; Russ Kinnel, director of mutual fund research and editor of Morningstar FundInvestor; Sam Lee, ETF strategist and editor of Morningstar ETFInvestor; and John Rekenthaler, vice president of research. In addition, these strategists will suggest attractive investment opportunities in today's market and help investors best position themselves for long-term success.
  • 11 a.m., "Get a Handle on Health-Care Costs": Carolyn McClanahan, M.D., CFP®, founder of Life Planning Partners, Inc., and Mark Miller, author, columnist for Reuters and Morningstar, and blogger for, will offer practical strategies to help retirees meet health-care funding needs by making smart use of Medigap policies, health savings accounts, long-term insurance, and more.
  • Noon, "Why Moats Matter": In a 30-minute video featuring Morningstar analysts, fund managers, and corporate executives, learn more about the concept of economic moats, or sustainable competitive advantages, which is central to how Morningstar identifies companies worth investing in for the long term.
  • 12:30 p.m., "Build a Moat in Your Portfolio": Morningstar StockInvestor Editor Matt Coffina will provide a hands-on tutorial for investing in great businesses for the core of a stock portfolio. He'll also cover how to identify an economic moat and the best way to value a business, as well as answer viewers' stock-investing questions.
  • 1:30 p.m., "Become a Better Index Investor": Christine Benz, director of personal finance for Morningstar, will moderate a panel to help passively minded investors navigate the proliferation of index funds to make better investment selections. Panelists Mark Balasa, CPA, CFP®, principal and co-CEO, Balasa Dinverno Foltz LLC; Ben Johnson, director of passive funds research for Morningstar; and Jared Watts, portfolio manager, Morningstar Investment Management, a unit of Morningstar, Inc., will tackle how to better pick index funds, blend passive and active strategies, and size up the latest "smart beta" offerings.
  • 2:30 p.m., "Ready Your Portfolio for Retirement": Benz will close the conference with a practical rundown of key tasks investors nearing retirement should complete to ensure they are prepared for the shift from wealth accumulation to retirement income.

Registration Information Registration for the Morningstar Individual Investor Conference is free; please visit

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 individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors. Morningstar provides data on approximately 446,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 10 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 had approximately $159 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Dec. 31, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.

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