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Morningstar Conference Highlights

MorningstarAdvisor.com's article, blog, and video coverage of the 2011 Investment Conference.

Morningstar Analysts, 06/13/2011

It often feels as if the market is at an inflection point when Morningstar hosts its annual Investment Conference--but it feels especially so right now. Is the economy going to strengthen and continue to provide a tailwind for the market or, as recent data have suggested, will we see the opposite happen? Meanwhile, stock investors are faced with a market that looks roughly fairly valued overall, and bond investors continue to rightfully worry about the possibility of rising rates and inflation wreaking havoc with their fixed-income portfolios.

Clearly, there was no shortage of questions for the group of topnotch investment managers and experts who convened in Chicago June 8-10 for the 2011 Investment Conference. We heard from Morningstar Fixed-Income Manager of the Decade Bill Gross on the bond market and economy, and got insights from Domestic-Equity Manager of the Decade Bruce Berkowitz on Fairholme's FAIRX latest bets and recent underperformance.

If you couldn't make it to Chicago for the conference, let us bring it to you. Get all the views, picks, strategies, and outlooks from the 2011 event in the blogs, articles, and video reports featured here. And be sure to bookmark this page and return again over the next week, as even more reports will be posted.

Top Conference Highlights
Bond King Prefers Dividends Over Coupons
PIMCO's Gross says that among U.S. investments, blue chip dividend-paying stocks look attractive relative to Treasuries' anemic real yields.

Gross: Treasury Investors Have to Look for Other Choices (video)
There are countries that have relatively liquid bond markets and offer a more attractive real rate of interest compared to the United States, says the PIMCO manager.

Sequoia's Health-Care Picks (video)
Sequoia's David Poppe says the fund likes the tailwinds in health care but has tried to avoid the reimbursement risks.

Berkowitz: Financials Not Going Away
While the sector faces economic, regulatory, and balance sheet headwinds, the Fairholme manager says these concerns are more than offset by the stock prices on offer. Plus, Berkowitz comments on St. Joe and Cisco.

Feinberg: Quality Franchises Will Be Key for Stock Investors (video)
Owning high-quality companies will be integral to achieving growth in a low-growth environment, says the Davis/Selected American manager.

Why Age Matters for Financial Decision-Makers
Declines in retired investors' cognitive functioning are much more widespread than assumed--and potentially very detrimental to their financial health.

Where Allocation Experts Are Placing Their Bets
With nothing a screaming buy today, investors will have to settle for relative values, say panelists.

All Conference Coverage
Berkowitz: Financials Not Going Away
While the sector faces economic, regulatory, and balance sheet headwinds, the Fairholme manager says these concerns are more than offset by the stock prices on offer. Plus, Berkowitz comments on St. Joe and Cisco.

Bond King Prefers Dividends Over Coupons
PIMCO's Gross says that among U.S. investments, blue chip dividend-paying stocks look attractive relative to Treasuries' anemic real yields.

What Gross Is Really Doing With Treasuries (video)
The PIMCO Total Return manager offers more definition on the fund's current Treasury positioning and the motivation behind it.

Gross: Fund Managers Need Not Restock Treasuries (video)
Investors don't have to buy overvalued U.S. Treasuries to stock up after the Fed's purchasing program stops, says the PIMCO manager.

Gross: Treasury Investors Have to Look for Other Choices (video)
There are countries that have relatively liquid bond markets and offer a more attractive real rate of interest compared to the United States, says the PIMCO manager.

The Only Things Worth Owning in the U.S. Equity Space (video)
GMO's Ben Inker says high-quality stocks are the only domestic-equity assets currently priced to deliver a decent real return.

Muni Sector Has Started to Heal (video)
Local finances are still strained and stressed, but the sector has fundamentally started to improve, says PIMCO's John Cummings.

Not All Doom and Gloom in the Muni Market
Panelists offer their take on state GOs, essential-services revenue bonds, and the likelihood of default.

Three Strategies to Diversify Your Bond Portfolio
These alternatives offer similar risk/return profiles to bonds but do not take on traditional fixed-income risk.

Poppe: We're Comfortable With Concentration (video)
The Sequoia manager discusses the fund's new research efforts, number of holdings, and 20% cash stake.

Sequoia's Health-Care Picks (video)
Sequoia's David Poppe says the fund likes the tailwinds in health care but has tried to avoid the reimbursement risks.

Feinberg: Quality Franchises Will Be Key for Stock Investors (video)
Owning high-quality companies will be integral to achieving growth in a low-growth environment, says the Davis/Selected American manager.

Why Would Anyone Own a Bank? (video)
Regulatory capital requirements, more government oversight, and fee reform will work against banks, says Davis/Selected American manager Ken Feinberg, but there are selective values.

The Problem with AIG (video)
With a low price/book value, the reward for AIG stockholders could be attractive, but the franchise has been weakened, says Davis/Selected American manager Ken Feinberg.

Feinberg: Why We're Trimming Berkshire (video)
There is still value in Berkshire, says Davis/Selected American manager Ken Feinberg, but there are better values elsewhere.

Feinberg: What Held Us Back (video)
If we're going to lag going forward, it's not going to be because of what made us lag the last three years, says Davis/Selected American manager Ken Feinberg.

Three Hidden Gem Managers
These managers lead funds with strong long-term track records but have remained under most investor radars.

Plan for Incapacity Before You Need To (video)
Every investor in their 60s should be prepared for the large possibility that they could experience a cognitive decline in their 80s, says Harvard professor David Laibson.

Why Age Matters for Financial Decision-Makers
Declines in retired investors' cognitive functioning are much more widespread than assumed--and potentially very detrimental to their financial health.

Where Allocation Experts Are Placing Their Bets
With nothing a screaming buy today, investors will have to settle for relative values, say panelists.

Where's the Value?
Tweedy, Browne's Will Browne, Selected Funds' Ken Feinberg, and Sequoia's David Poppe on adding value in active management.

Tight Supply Bolsters Commodities
Many commodities remain a compelling investment thanks to a tight supply-demand picture and their ability to be used as an inflation hedge, say Morningstar panelists.

Indirect Plays on Emerging Markets (video)
PIMCO EqS Pathfinder manager Anne Gudefin says the fund tends to find more value in some of the multinationals listed in the developed world--like Danone, Pernod Ricard, and Carlsberg--with strong prospects in emerging markets.

Global Opportunities: Large Caps, Beer, and Gold
A theme has already emerged at the 2011 Morningstar Investment Conference: Avoid the U.S. bond market and head toward large-cap companies with strong dividends.

The Asia Dividend Story
Asia is quite attractive from the perspective of an investor looking for both yield and growth in an underlying dividend, says Matthews' Jesper Madsen.

Investing for Yield in Asia
Matthews Funds' Jesper Madsen thinks that the best, and least volatile, way to get exposure to emerging markets is to find dividend-paying stocks.

Alluring Emerging Markets
Three fund managers offer up their favorite emerging-markets investment ideas.

How Risky Are Emerging-Markets Bonds?
They may be attractive, but panelists urge caution lest investors wind up owning debt of a country that may default.

Where to Find Yield
Investors need to focus on finding reasonable real returns instead of looking for a slam dunk.

Happy Together: ETFs and Mutual Funds
Panelists discuss when to use ETFs instead of active funds and along with them.

Is Momentum on the Comeback Trail?
Is the recent outperformance of momentum durable, and if so, how should such a strategy be incorporated into investor portfolios?

A New Day for Sustainable Investing
Experts and managers of sustainable investing funds defined "sustainable investing," its benefits, and some of the challenges of investing in this arena.

Tapping Into the Research Machine
Morningstar's Russ Kinnel checks in with managers from some of the largest and most respected investment firms in the industry. PAGEBREAK

Conference Preview
A Bushel Full of Questions for Investors
Where are we headed? The conference knows.

Which Global Issues Will Top Managers Tackle in Chicago?
At the Morningstar Investment Conference, Europe's debt woes, gold's rally, and China should get their due.

No Shortage of Tough Questions for Top Investors (video)
We'll hear from Fairholme's Berkowitz, PIMCO's Gross, and other topnotch managers on the market's opportunities, risks, and uncertainties at this year's Morningstar Investment Conference.

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