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The Benefits of the Premium Version of Morningstar compared to regular version.

The cost of the Premium version of Morningstar is $169. The regular version is free.
What specifically as a mutual fund and ETF investor benefits me with the premium version?

Comments

  • edited February 16
    Premium is FREE if you own X dollars' worth of shares with TRP. (Like me.) There are analyses and rankings which become readable with premium. Typically, they are careful not to bad-mouth ANY manager or fund. For novices, simply reading the analyses can be a good exercise in picking-up the jargon, and learning to read between the lines--- like reading a diplomat's speech (or a Vatican pronouncement.) The very specific, sometimes arcane stuff that ISN'T mentioned is just as important. The more of this stuff you consume, the bigger and greater will be your frame of reference.

    I like Morningstar just because of its ease of use. I'm comfortable with it--- despite needing to uncover previously un-hidden info and stats, following their stoopid website shake-up a while back. The star and medal rankings are a good rule of thumb, but should not be read as "gospel truth." Updates often don't happen until the next day. That's something to consider. Overall, if I were you, I might skip the premium, and ask your questions and seek guidance on this discussion board. Just use the FREE version for starters, then get clarification here at MFO.
  • .....And, once again, there's a problem this evening, trying to log-into my own "Portfolio Manager" at Morningstar. Yet another drawback. And I might add that there are not rare instances, as you go looking to research and compare stats, when Morningstar's numbers are way out of line. In that case, just use a different website. There truly might not be a benefit which is cost-effective, when you pay for premium Morningstar.
  • A lot of peeps cancelled their premium membership after MS re-did the website and forum (making everything worse) last year.
  • yes, indeed.
  • msf
    edited February 16
    Regarding the medal ratings - the old style analysis page of a fund still includes a list of all medalists in the same category as the fund being described. The analysis text itself seems the same as on the new version of the analysis page.

    Premium also gets you access to M*'s "similar fund" tool - fairly quirky, but it does not suffer the limitation of comparable tools on brokerage sites, i.e. it is not restricted to NTF funds offered by the given brokerage.

    While some of the old style pages seem to be current (why not, since the data is filled in from the same common source), I'm not sure about the "purchase" tab. As noted in another thread, SDMZX is a favorite of Schwab's, which means that it's NTF for retail customers there. But M*'s old purchase page for the fund says that Schwab offers the fund only to Institutional clients.

    M* SDMZX purchase page
  • In msf's post make sure you click on the "purchase price" and not the fund symbol. Two different results and one won't get you what you want.
  • edited February 16
    It was going bad for YEARS. I'm still not sure if they ever got all the data problems worked out .. but after a decade+ I quit a few years ago, and the forums there are a shadow of their former lively selves --- many of the regular posters there, including me, threw up our hands in disgust at their new horrid forum site.

    If M*Premium was $50/yr I'd consider re-upping and paying for a few years at once. But IMO it is NOT worth the price they're charging for it, especially given many of the useful features/data they had have been removed and switched over to their professional platform instead.
    Low_Tech said:

    A lot of peeps cancelled their premium membership after MS re-did the website and forum (making everything worse) last year.

  • edited February 16
    prinx said:

    The cost of the Premium version of Morningstar is $169. The regular version is free.
    What specifically as a mutual fund and ETF investor benefits me with the premium version?

    I don't know exactly which benefits are included with Morningstar Premium membership since I've never been a member. You may want to check if your local library system offers Morningstar Investment Research Center online. This tool provides access to Mutual Fund Analyst Reports and to several monthly newsletters (Dividend Investor, Fund Investor, Stock Investor, ETF Investor).
  • edited February 16
    FWIW, I'm a Schwab client and they have everything I need there. I fish around here and there online for fun, but I don't really need much more fund info than Schwab provides.
  • prinx said:

    The cost of the Premium version of Morningstar is $169. The regular version is free.
    What specifically as a mutual fund and ETF investor benefits me with the premium version?

    Umm . . . You won't be bothered with their advertising to become a member?

    I think they're aiming past the retail investor market these days. They stopped covering closed end funds, closed comments on their articles, disrupted their online community, then hid them far away; then they decimated the data they delivered, all while claiming it was for your own good.

    Their IT operation is so dysfunctional that it's not at all surprising they have left ways to get to the old data pages you used to get. But by the end, I wasn't sure I could trust it. It's just not worth the hassle.

    Use up all the free information before you start paying for what you feel you are missing.

    For starters, pick the symbols for the top five funds in any category you are considering from your broker and enter them in the free search this site offers here: dinky linky.

  • edited February 17
    Does MFO premium have charts of mutual funds and CEF total returns, taking into account dividends? This is especially important for bond funds. For me this was one of the reasons to visit Morningstar so often.
  • finder said:

    Does MFO premium have charts of mutual funds and CEF total returns, taking into account dividends? This is especially important for bond funds. For me this was one of the reasons to visit Morningstar so often.

    I just sort of assumed that dividends are included in their return calculations. But now I'm thinking I don't actually have dead certain knowledge.

    Lipper is their main data-source. You can ping the admin here: [email protected] to see how they handle dividends in calculating retutns.

    No charts. Although you could download your results, and render them to suit you.
  • WABAC said:

    finder said:

    Does MFO premium have charts of mutual funds and CEF total returns, taking into account dividends? This is especially important for bond funds. For me this was one of the reasons to visit Morningstar so often.

    I just sort of assumed that dividends are included in their return calculations. But now I'm thinking I don't actually have dead certain knowledge.

    Lipper is their main data-source. You can ping the admin here: [email protected] to see how they handle dividends in calculating retutns.

    No charts. Although you could download your results, and render them to suit you.
    LOL, rant coming. "Total return" is supposed to be price change plus interest/divvies reinvested. The difference between TR and price change can be significant, and I almost always want to know what the TR of a fund is. The price change is something I'm rarely interested in.

    The internet is full of fund charts, but good luck trying to figure out if a chart is TR or price change. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes you can't tell. Sometimes it's price but if you add in a comparison then it changes to TR.

    I'm not sure why this should be so confusing to the chart makers, unless they're just geeks and don't know anything about investing.
  • edited February 17
    Regarding mfopremium and Total Return, it reports APR % / yr and the definition at https://www.member.mfopremium.com/definitions/ says:

    "Annualized Percent Return (APR)
    A fund’s annualized average rate of total return each year over period evaluated. It is an abstract number, or so-called "geometric return," since actual annual returns can be well above or below the average, but annualizing greatly facilitates comparison of fund performance. APR is equivalent to CAGR, or compound annual rate of return. It reflects reinvestment of dividend and capital gain distributions, while deducting for fund expenses, fees, but excluding any load."

    Hope this helps.
  • The premium M* only goes out 5 years in the comparison so it misses the 2008 bear market. So better to go to Yahoo for APR!
  • Here's a M* chart comparing the performances of PIODX and MITTX over the lifetime of the younger fund (PIODX, starting February 10, 1928).

    PIODX gained 2,911,544%, while MITTX gained a mere 241,202%. At least if I got my decimal points in the right place.

    M* provides data encompassing not only the Great Recession but the Great Depression. Admittedly, if you zoom in, you'll see that for some funds (here, PIODX), the granularity way back then was only at the annual level.
  • Thank you for the clarification perrwinkle. Much appreciated.

    I am very happy with my subscription to MFO Premium.

  • I use to have a M* Premium Membership when I used T.RowePrice extensively for my investments. T.Rowe would pay for that M* membership, and I enjoyed it, but I primarily valued the M* section that was free. Eventually, I switched to a full brokerage service, and TRP stopped paying for my Premium Membership. I pondered paying for the Premium Membership, but I just did not find enough value to do that. I still use M* free services extensively with the portfolio management section--I have my own portfolio there with a detailed section using their customized "view" section. I have a significant number of Portfolio watchlists, in which I monitor funds that I have screened and want to keep up with for potential changes in my portfolio, and to reference in the few discussion threads that I participate in. M* still has extensive information, on a very large number of funds, that I use in due diligence data gathering, and that is free for me. As a free service, I have actively participated in their Discussion Forum for years, but my participation has dwindled significantly in recent months. Daily, I still go the M* website for the free services they offered, but I have lost all interest in paying for their Premium services. I now visit websites of funds I am interested in, to get more information on specific funds I am interested in. I am now at Schwab brokerage for all of my investment holdings, and Schwab has a good Screener section I use extensively. So, I still find M* free services valuable, but there are plenty of other options at other websites, to get any additional information I want, without paying or M* Premium.
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