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Morningstar launches alternative investments centre

Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Opalesque Industry Update - Morningstar Inc, a provider of independent investment research, has launched a new alternative investments center as part of several enhancements to MorningstarAdvisor.com, a free website that provides financial advisors with practice management information, investment trends, and industry insights.

"Advisors play a crucial role in educating their clients about alternative investments because these vehicles are increasing both in popularity and complexity," said Nadia Papagiannis, Morningstar's director of alternative fund research. "Now, advisors have a comprehensive resource for providing clients with a more complete perspective on alternative investments."

In addition to the new Alternatives tab, the site now contains Morningstar market tools and an expanded video library featuring interviews with top portfolio managers and newsmakers, analysts, and some of the leading voices in the advisory community, along with access to select research reports on funds, stocks, ETFs, closed-end funds, and alternatives.

"We want to create a destination site where financial advisors can find timely information to improve their practices as well as help investors who depend on their guidance," said Chris Boruff, president of Morningstar's software division. "Our free portal connects with the Morningstar advisor software platforms they use every day for their financial planning and portfolio management tasks."

The site currently has three main content tabs: Alternatives, Practice Management, and Research and Insights.

Alternatives, the site's newest tab, provides detailed educational information and analysis of alternative investments, in vehicles such as hedge funds, ETFs, mutual funds, and separate accounts; weekly articles discussing the latest on alternative investment topics and trends; access to Morningstar's comprehensive quarterly Alternative Investments Observer newsletter; video interviews with alternative investment managers; downloadable handbooks explaining different alternative strategies; and a Solution Center featuring videos and slides designed to help advisors educate their clients about alternative investments.

The recently expanded Practice Management tab includes advisor profiles, fiduciary topics, technology news and reviews, and best practices for building an advisory business.

Research & Insights features in-depth interviews with leading portfolio managers, research on college savings plans, screening tips for the best stocks and funds for a client portfolio, sector spotlights, and commentary from Don Phillips, Morningstar's president of fund research.

The enhanced site also features additional components for social interactivity, a discussion feature allowing advisor dialogue and debate on articles and industry issues, a webinar audio archive, and links to Morningstar's advisor services, publications, and software platforms—Morningstar Advisor Workstation, Morningstar Office, and Morningstar Principia.

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