Investing Specialists

Morningstar Runs the Numbers

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Inspired by Harper's Index (with a tip of the hat to FiveThirtyEight's Significant Digits blog), Morningstar Runs the Numbers uses a numbers-based approach to highlight recent Morningstar research, along with some outside news stories.

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Target-date funds are a great all-in-one, hands-off option for investors saving for retirement. But not all target-date series are created equally. From fees to the mix of asset classes it owns to how that mix changes over time, there could be a lot to consider. Our analysts share three of their favorite series

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March was a busy month for Morningstar manager research analysts. They assigned new Morningstar Analyst Ratings to nine funds. They also upgraded the ratings of seven funds, downgraded the ratings of eight funds, and placed 10 funds' ratings under review. In addition, the manager research group also affirmed ratings for 149 funds and two target-date series. 

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The Morningstar Exponential Technologies Moat Focus Index focuses on finding high-growth companies that are in the early stages of developing technologies that are expected to have a broad impact on society and transform the way we live and work, with quality and valuation overlays. We list the 10 cheapest high-quality stocks in the index currently, along with the technologies they are expected to benefit from. 

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Business Insider published a collection of 45 winners of the World Press Photo contest. Founded in 1955 by a group of Dutch photographers, the contest has grown into one of the world's most prestigious photography competitions. This year, the competition received 73,044 images taken by 4,548 photographers from 125 countries, the article said. (Business Insider cautions that some of the images may not be suitable for younger or sensitive viewers.)

$198
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's congressional testimony Tuesday did not impact equity analyst Ali Mogharabi's wide-moat rating and $198 fair value estimate for  Facebook (FB). While the recent data breach may have led to skepticism regarding Facebook's user growth and engagement, along with more demand for a GDPR-type of regulation in the U.S., Mogharabi says he's confident that data breach issue won't have a significant long-term negative effect on Facebook's platform and operations. 

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HSAs have a lot going for them: They are the only triple-tax-advantaged vehicles in the whole tax code. That means you contribute dollars on a pretax basis, your money compounds on a tax-free basis, and withdrawals for qualified healthcare expenses are also tax-free. If you're interested in investing in HSAs for the long term, you'll need to develop a plan regarding asset allocation and investment selection, in-retirement withdrawal sequence, and more. Director of personal finance Christine Benz outlines five key steps to take to make the most of an HSA as a long-term investment vehicle.  

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Funds that focus on dividend yield may look appealing to those seeking a consistent, stable source of income. Done well, they can deliver on this objective, but a shoddy process can expose investors to large amounts of risk and lead to poor long-term outcomes. Analyst Daniel Sotiroff compares two high-yield-oriented dividend ETFs--one with a highly rated process and one with less favorable characteristics—to help illustrate some of the nuances that can make or break these strategies. 

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