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  1. Friday Five: Heinz-Kraft Deal Makes for a Tasty Combo

    Video Reports

    Fri, 27 Mar 2015

    The packaged-foods merger makes sense from a strategic standpoint, says Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glazer. Plus, the Fed guessing game continues, and more.

    federal reserve found at 8:58

    about what the long-term trajectory is of Fed increases to the short-term interest rates , you should really spent some time about where inflation is going. Benz: All market participants experienced some volatility this past week. Let's talk about your take on what was driving some of that rockiness. And also, is it here to stay, in your view? Glaser: We did have some more volatility this week than we've seen recently. And really, the last couple of weeks have been more volatile as people seem laser-focused on what's happening with the Federal Reserve and also focused on what's happening in Europe and China and elsewhere. This week, there were some growth concerns--things like the durable-goods
  2. First Movers Likely to Reap Benefits of New Cancer Drugs

    Video Reports

    Fri, 27 Mar 2015

    In the immuno-oncology market, first movers and companies that can aggregate a portfolio of these types of therapies will probably be the long-term winners.

    immune system found at 0:25

    out a report on immuno-oncology drugs, which represented a new way to treat cancer , which we think is going to really revolutionize the way the disease is going to be treated and, of course, have implications for the moats of companies in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector . Immuno-oncology drugs work by basically harnessing the patient's own immune system to target their tumors. The results from these drugs have been remarkable, and it's really one of the rare cases where we might be seeing a paradigm shift in how a very serious disease is being treated. This, of course, has important implications for investors. So, one of the key takeaways from our research is that the market for these drugs is larger than people currently appreciate. We see aggregate sales in 2022 of about $33 billion versus consensus of about $20 billion currently. This is driven by our expectations for very strong
  3. Johnson: Slow-and-Steady Economy Continues in 2015

    Video Reports

    Thu, 26 Mar 2015

    Recent data looks a little soft, but a better housing market should buoy up the weaker areas of the economy and make for a steady, staid 2015, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

    federal reserve found at 0:06, 5:21

    Jeremy Glaser: For Morningstar, I'm Jeremy Glaser. Many people, including the Federal Reserve , are beginning to get worried that the U.S. economy is slowing down. I'm here with Bob Johnson--he is our director of economic
    it would be a better series to have because it includes people buying homes that are already completed and sitting on a lot, or it's [a home] that's on the drawing board but hasn't even been started yet because it's a lot number on a map. And so this tends to be a little bit more comprehensive, but it also is more volatile. Glaser: Let's look at inflation, then. Obviously, a concern. The Federal Reserve is concerned about not being at their 2% target yet. What do we see from inflation data? What does it say about economic growth ? Johnson: I think you've always got to be careful about looking at a single month of data; but certainly after several months
  4. First-Quarter Leaders and Laggards: Equity Funds

    Video Reports

    Thu, 26 Mar 2015

    International funds outpaced domestic, small-cap bested large-cap, and growth beat value.

    cap growth found at 0:43

    among the best-performing funds in the manager-research coverage universe. On domestic shores, small- cap growth was the best-performing category, but also funds that had healthy allocations to health care and, particularly, biotech stocks did very well. A case in point is [TICKER:CSMVX] Century Small Cap Select (CSMVX), which not only is a small- cap growth fund but also had a very healthy weighting of health-care stocks. In fact, seven of its 10 top-performing stocks of the quarter were from the health-care sector. Another strong-performing small- cap growth fund was [TICKER:WAAEX] Wasatch Small Cap Growth (WAAEX) and it was helped by a 10% stake in India--which was, of course, one of the best-performing international areas as well. Among the poorer-performing funds of the quarter were funds that were focused on commodities, energy, and Latin American stocks . But we also had some high-conviction value managers who lagged for a variety of reasons. For example, [TICKER:FPPTX] FBA Capital (FPPTX), which held a lot of cash--about 25% of its assets--and a lot of energy, performed poorly relative to its peers and in absolute terms it was down about 2%. David Winters at [TICKER:WGRNX] Wintergreen Fund (WGRNX) also underperformed, largely because of positions in gaming stocks such as Wynn Macau and Galaxy Entertainment. Yacktman Fund (YACKX) also underperformed. They had some losing positions in large-cap media stocks, consumer-products stocks, and tech stocks. A word of caution about quarter-end results: Three months is a very short
  5. The Future Looks Bright for This Wide-Moat Utility

    Video Reports

    Thu, 26 Mar 2015

    ITC boasts much higher returns on capital and significantly lower risk than other utilities thanks to its friendlier regulatory situation, says Morningstar's Matt Coffina.

    interest rates found at 3:36

    have come back out of favor because of a rise in long-term interest rates . A drop in interest rates largely took credit for the 2014 strong performance, but interest rates are coming back up now. Utilities have fallen back out of favor, and ITC has been dragged along with its industry, both
  6. Heinz Deal Beefs Up Kraft’s Growth Prospects

    Video Reports

    Wed, 25 Mar 2015

    Leveraging Heinz's more extensive global footprint and efficient operations should help Kraft expand its earnings and competitive advantage, says Morningstar's Erin Lash.

  7. Wait for a Price Cut on Organic-Food Stocks

    Video Reports

    Wed, 25 Mar 2015

    Sales growth in the organic-food space should prove to be sustainable over the long term, but the related stocks are currently overvalued.

    natural foods found at 0:04

    Ken Perkins: Organic and natural foods have gotten a lot of attention recently, and that's primarily because sales have grown by about 10% a year for the last decade. A lot of investors are skeptical about these trends and how sustainable they are, but we actually think that these growth rates can be sustained, primarily because consumers are more focused on health and wellness now than they have been in the past and many consumers are willing to pay premium prices for the perceived quality of these products. Of course, affordability is an issue that organic food suppliers need to think about because some consumers may not be able to afford the premium prices that they have to pay in order to have access to these products. However, we think that there is still a lot of room for organic food to grow. There are many consumers who could afford it and haven't been buying it yet, and so we see a lot of room for growth on the demand side. On the supply side, we do think that there could be some limitations in terms of keeping up with the pace of the demand. However, with less than 1% of all U.S. farmland being allocated toward organic food products, we think that there shouldn't be any problem, at least over the near to medium term, with supply keeping up with the demand. So overall, this is a very positive opportunity for food manufacturers and retailers, but we don't think that all firms will benefit equally. We think that retailers such as Whole Foods (WFM) and [TICKER:KR] Kroger (KR) could benefit disproportionately as they expand their products in the space. But we think that food manufacturers could be more challenged over time. This is primarily because most firms will use the term "organic" to try to command a price premium ; but other firms can do that as well, and so that could actually dilute the value of using the term organic and, ultimately, lead to a lot more price competition in the organic space. Not to mention, there are also high valuation multiples on any stock that has these growth prospects. So, while we're very confident that the organic - food space will remain in demand and that sales growth will be robust over the near term, we're less optimistic about the stocks.
  8. An Alternative Fund That Takes the Edge Off Equities

    Video Reports

    Tue, 24 Mar 2015

    Silver-rated Gateway Fund's 30-year track record demonstrates viability across full market cycles.

    track record found at 0:15

    it, which caps both the upside and the downside. This fund's 30-year track record demonstrates viability across full market cycles. The fund is currently on its second generation of management; however, we feel the transition was made seamlessly, and the process remains unchanged. This fund delivers approximately 35% of the upside of an S&P 500 portfolio and 35% of the downside. The fund's option collar, however, protects a little more on the downside in market downturns and will cap the upside in a frothy market environment such as 2013. With its low market exposure, the [TICKER:GATEX] Gateway Fund is a good choice for investors looking to take some
  9. Converting to a Roth? Answer These 3 Questions First

    Video Reports

    Tue, 24 Mar 2015

    Ask yourself when you'll need the money, what your future tax bracket may be, and where you'll find the money to pay the taxes due upon conversion, says retirement expert Ed Slott.

    tax bracket found at 2:40, 4:04, 7:10

    the next question-- Slott: --is what. What do you think your future tax bracket will be? That's really the biggest question, but the problem with that question is nobody knows. Benz: Absolutely. Slott: But yet, a
    70 1/2. So, that's [the "what" question]--what do you think your future tax bracket will be? Benz: And the final question, where? Slott: Where are you going to get the money from to pay the tax?
    have a big 401(k) so far, or they are in a low tax bracket . This is the opportunity of a lifetime to start building tax-free. I wish I'd had that opportunity. I had to pay a
  10. Volatility and Risk: Know the Difference

    Video Reports

    Tue, 24 Mar 2015

    Investors should control for real risk--namely, the risk of losing money--at all times in their portfolios, says Oaktree's Howard Marks.

    fire insurance found at 3:09

    think about risk all the time, you should – a portfolio should incorporate risk control all the time because risk is the potential for loss. Loss is what happens when risk collides with a bad environment and we never know when that's going to happen. Wall : And you have quite nice analogy about car insurance and risk. Marks : Well that's right, or home insurance. Everybody has a home, everybody has insurance on their home against fire and nobody curses themselves at the end of the year that they had fire insurance and the house didn't burn down. It is part of prudence. Similarly, investing should incorporate risk control all the time. It's an essential part of prudence. Wall : And then to call up another analogy that you've just
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