Morningstar Professional Investment Research Tools For the Private Investor

in Investment

After years of losing money to a series of investment professionals from various banks and brokerage firms, I decided to use their tools on my own to see what kind of results I could achieve. Hopefully you can do the same. This is not a system or a get rich quick scheme. This is hard work but it will get you the results that your broker cannot provide. 

Does this sound familiar? I have lost thousands of dollars or more in the markets and I was investing through a reputable broker or financial expert. I made this statement around the year 2000 after firing my 3rd broker on three years. After all the lying, arrogance, misrepresentation and down right dishonesty, I was through with brokers and brokerage firms. They had unwittingly given me the tools that I needed to take control of my own portfolio and out perform any result that I ever achieved with a brokerage firm.

Most investors have received the basic education from the investment professional about asset allocation, investment mix and risk tolerance. These are the foundation of good long term investment. You can easily do this for yourself and save the broker or management fees. When the average investment is returning less than 10 percent, what sense is it to give away 2 or 3 percent to some guy in a suit just for doing some paperwork? There is just one last thing that the professionals know that we don't. What are the good investments and how do we pick them?

One common tools that all of my former investment professionals used bar none were Bell Charts. These nifty charts were a rating system for mutual funds that took into account everything from the profitability of a fund to the expense ratio to how they perform against funds in the same category. This way, if you want to put say 20 percent of your portfolio into a bond fund, you could see at a glance which funds were performing the best for that category of investment. The biggest mistake that my last brokers made was to say that they would never let my money stay in an under-performing fund. When I fired them, most of my funds had slipped into the bottom 25 percent of the fund categories and they could not give me a good reason why.

So, I opened an online brokerage account and moved all of my investments into it. Over two years I sold off my old investments.

They were mostly rear loaded so I timed selling them when fees were lowest. I used my cash from these sales to buy new funds that I selected using information from Morningstar. This is a site that offers Bell Charts that you and I can use! Within a short time it was obvious that my brokers picks were not performing half as well as what I had selected using the Bell Charts from Morningstar. I had to figure out my asset mix but that only took a few minutes. Now I am making money and I am left wondering what I used to pay those guys in suits for anyway?

Morningstar has a variety of powerful investment tools for the private and professional investor. Give them a look to see what they can do for your portfolio. At very least you can use the Bell Chart information to question your present investment professional more thoroughly. It is free to join, but the data will be a few months old.

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Jim Wilkson has 1 articles online

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Morningstar Professional Investment Research Tools For the Private Investor

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This article was published on 2010/03/29