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  1. The Quintessential U.S. Equity Fund

    Video Reports

    Thu, 28 Aug 2014

    No other fund is as efficiently managed or offers such broad diversification to U.S. stocks as Vanguard Total Stock Market.

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    Mike Rawson: [TICKER:VTI] Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTI) is the quintessential U.S. equity fund . No other fund is as efficiently managed or offers such broad diversification to the U.S. stock market . By investing in every U.S.-listed security in proportion to its market capitalization, the fund gets close to the ideal market portfolio. In
  2. 3 Picks in a Richly Valued Market

    Video Reports

    Thu, 28 Aug 2014

    This health-care REIT, MLP, and oil-services firm stand out as relative bargains in today's richly valued market, says Morningstar's Matt Coffina.

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    I'm particularly favorable on right now would include [TICKER:HCP] HCP. That's a health-care real estate investment trust . To like HCP I think you have to have pretty moderate expectations for future total returns from the market as a whole.
  3. The Bear Doesn't Scare This Foreign Fund

    Video Reports

    Thu, 28 Aug 2014

    Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity may not be a big winner during rallies, but this conservative foreign-stock fund has more than made up ground in down markets.

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    Greg Carlson: The Medalist of the Week is [TICKER:MSIQX] Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity (MSIQX). Now, although it has "institutional" in the name, the fund is available in quite a few retirement plans . It's a relatively conservative foreign-stock fund; it lands in the foreign large-blend category. It's quite focused on large-cap stocks, particularly those that look undervalued relative to their prospects yet have sturdy balance sheets, solid margins, and great cash flow prospects. The fund doesn't tend to invest much in emerging markets because the managers haven't found much there that fits their criteria.
  4. A Moat 200 Years in the Making

    Video Reports

    Thu, 28 Aug 2014

    A long-trusted brand and unparalleled dealer network give ag-equipment maker Deere & Co. an edge over competitors.

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    This moat comes from two sources, including an intangible asset and a network effect . Founded in 1837, the company spent close to 200 years investing in both its brand and its technology to earn the trust and loyalty of American and Canadian farmers. In addition, the company enjoys a second moat source, which is its network effect . Throughout a network of 1,500 dealers, the company provides an unparalleled customer-service experience--such that both new- and used-equipment buyers can rest assure that they will enjoy maximum equipment uptime and low total cost of ownership. While the company has been highly successful throughout North America, [TICKER:DE] Deere is more than just a North American story. In fact, close to 40% of sales come outside of that region, and the company has made impressive market-share gains in both Western Europe and Brazil over the last several decades. We expect the company to continue to grow in the years to come. Currently, shares are trading at a modest discount to our fair value estimate of $90. This is due to a combination of excess global crops as well as reduced farmer appetite for incremental equipment. In this environment, we are looking for a 10% discount to our fair
  5. Benz: 7 Fund Favorites for the More Aggressive Retiree

    Video Reports

    Thu, 28 Aug 2014

    Retired investors with a stomach for more risk might consider easing into these funds, says Morningstar's Christine Benz.

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    investment be a good fit for this bucket? Benz: This is [TICKER:LSBRX] Loomis Sayles Bond . It's one that I have put, I believe, in all of the actively managed model bucket portfolios I have put together. I
  6. When Withdrawal Rates Could Be Higher

    Video Reports

    Mon, 25 Aug 2014

    The timing of retirement amid the market cycle, as well as allocation to stocks, are key drivers for retirement withdrawal rates, says Morningstar's Tim Strauts.

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    the lens of three different portfolios, with the S&P 500 as the stock index and the five-year U.S. Treasury as the bond index. When looking at the chart , you see a wide variability in maximum withdrawal rates, going from as high as 12%--which was only attainable if you had retired around 1932, right after the 1929 market crash, or in the early '80s at the beginning of a long 20-year bull market . A minimum withdrawal rate of 3% to 3.5% was only reached if you retired at the beginning of a bear market. And
  7. The Friday Five: HP Progresses; Target Misses the Mark

    Video Reports

    Fri, 22 Aug 2014

    Plus, an under-the-radar retailer looks undervalued, B of A stays under scrutiny, and rate hike talk heats up.

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    of problems regaining their footing, particularly after this data breach in the United States . Comparable-store sales were flat in the U.S. as profitability declined, as they were trying to be more promotional to get people into
  8. Building a Moat in Foreign Exchange

    Video Reports

    Fri, 22 Aug 2014

    OzForex's low-cost, online business model could prove to be a meaningful market disruptor, and the shares look like a bargain today.

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    Nathan Zaia: OzForex was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2013, and it operates in international money transfer and foreign exchange markets. The key difference between OzForex and the traditional players--such as the banks, Western Union, and the smaller stores you see in your mall or at the airport--is that OzForex has no branch network. It's purely an online business. So, utilizing this low-cost business model, OzForex offers its customers two key benefits: speed and price. And there are also the additional advantages that come with most online businesses, allowing a consumer to transact anywhere and at any time. So, given our positive view and belief that OzForex and other first movers like HiFX, WorldFirst and Xoom will prove to be meaningful market disruptors, we assign OzForex a positive moat trend. Given the scalable business model, there is no incremental cost the more money you
  9. Europe Growth: Gone for Good?

    Video Reports

    Fri, 22 Aug 2014

    Facing entrenched structural issues, the eurozone's days of robust growth are likely over, but there are some reasons for hope, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

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    about the European Central Bank, though? They've been less aggressive than the Federal Reserve . Is that having an impact? Johnson: They've been reluctant to do some of the quantitative easing--things that we've done in this country--that is, buying back bonds to try to reduce the long-term interest rates . Frankly, the reason is partially mechanical. It's very difficult [for them]. In the U.S., we have one currency and one thing to
  10. New Analyst Ratings for 2 Prominent Ivy Funds

    Video Reports

    Fri, 22 Aug 2014

    Shifts in management lead to a downgrade for Ivy High Income and a Neutral rating for Ivy Asset Strategy.

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    risk-management resources for the fund very thin at a time when its credit quality and less-liquid holdings have increased as a share of the fund--plus the fund has ballooned to over $11 billion as of late. For [TICKER:WASAX] Ivy Asset Strategy , we brought our rating back out from Under Review to Neutral, reflecting a couple of new manager additions to the fund in the wake of Ryan Caldwell's departure in June 2015. The two portfolio managers do bring a wealth of stock-selection experience, but it's going to take some time
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