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Special Report

Morningstar Conference 2012's article, blog, and video coverage of the 2012 Investment Conference.

There are no small topics at the 2012 Morningstar Investment Conference. On June 20-22, fund industry luminaries--including Jeremy Grantham, Will Danoff, Mason Hawkins, Dan Fuss, Bill Bernstein, and Michael Hasenstab--will convene in Chicago to weigh in on the eurozone crisis, the retirement income challenge, as well as the prospects for equities, bonds, and cash in light of current market volatility, anemic bond yields, and 10 years of lackluster real returns for equity investors.

Morningstar moderators will host sessions on a range of topics. Director of personal finance Christine Benz will zero in on the challenges today's retirees face. Director of alternative fund research Nadia Papagiannis will focus on managed futures, and Tom Idzorek, the newly named president of Morningstar's global investment management division, will weigh in on diversification in a non-normal world. Other sessions will cover investments across the capital structure; equity valuations (good, bad, and ugly); dividend and moat strategies; emerging-markets stocks, bonds, and currency; risk and reward in tech stocks; and key themes in muni bonds. (Click here to see the full agenda.)

If you can't make it to this year's conference, you can still play along at home. will provide plenty of coverage, including on-the-spot blogs and video reports, featured here. Be sure to bookmark this page and return again over the next week, as even more reports will be posted. And Premium Members, stay tuned: You'll be able to watch a replay of Grantham's keynote and Christine Benz's retirement roundtable next week on'll post the links on this conference overview page. If you're not a Premium Member, click here to take a free 14-day trial.

 Grantham Keynote: Investing in a Slower-Growth World
Premium Member Video: In this special one-hour presentation, the GMO chief strategist highlights the factors behind the market's bullish bias, abnormally high corporate earnings, current valuation levels, and the great paradigm shift in natural resources. Not a Premium Member? Click Here to Start a Free 14-Day Trial.

Grantham: We're in the Mother of All Paradigm Shifts
The GMO chief investment strategist argues that the world is in the midst of a great paradigm shift driven by explosive population growth and its corresponding pressure on natural resources.



Hasenstab: No Armageddon in Europe
Markets are being too short-sighted about the European crisis, as recent stress may actually stir policymakers to enact meaningful change, says the Templeton Global Bond manager. (video)

Value Mangers Find Europe Attractive
Longleaf's Mason Hawkins, FPA Crescent's Steve Romick and Leuthold's Doug Ramsey all see value in slices of the equity world today.

If Not the Euro, Then What? A euro, even with its problems, is still better than the alternatives, says Thurnau Professor of Economics Jim Adams. (video)

Don't Count the Euro Out Yet
Rumors of the euro's demise are greatly exaggerated, said Jim Adams, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, in a keynote speech at Morningstar's Investment Conference Friday.

Today's Risks Not Lost on the Bond Markets
Risk markets are fairly to cheaply priced today because they are aware of the global uncertainties investors' face, says Western Asset's Steve Walsh. (video)

Fuss: Taking a Cautious Approach on Europe Geopolitical concerns surrounding a eurozone breakdown are a far greater risk than market volatility, says Loomis Sayles Bond manager Dan Fuss. (video)

Fuss: We're in the Foothills of a Long Rise in Rates But the upward trend in interest rates may be forestalled as the dollar remains a safe haven for fearful global investors, says the Loomis Sayles Bond manager. (video)

Fuss' Picks for Currency Exposure On the currency front, the Loomis Sayles Bond manager likes New Zealand, Canada, and Norway, but is more cautious about some emerging markets, including Brazil and Mexico. (video)

Hasenstab: U.S. Treasuries Are Risk-Free No More
With Treasury yields at historic lows, investors aren't being compensated for the extreme indebtedness and the excessive printing of money in the U.S., says the Templeton Global Bond manager.

Fixed Income Panel: Treasuries Used as Insurance, Not as Investments
Panelists Dan Fuss from Loomis Sayles, Penny Foley from TCW, and Steve Walsh from Western Asset Management talk Treasuries, emerging markets, corporate health, and the unknowable in Europe.

3 Thumbs Down on Treasuries
Yacktman Funds' Don Yacktman, PIMCO's Mark Kiesel, and Invesco's Meggan Walsh don't agree on much, but they all share the same view of Treasuries.

What's the Purpose of Your Fixed-Income Holdings?
Financial specialist and author Bill Bernstein says bonds should be a riskless ballast for a portfolio and offers three types of assets for investors looking for safety. (video)

Emerging Opportunities in Emerging Markets
A panel of emerging-markets investors shed light on the varied risk and rewards they encounter, as well as where today's opportunities lie. 

Cash and Money Markets
Help! What Should I Do With My Cash?
The credit crisis of 2007-08, along with potential money market reforms being debated in Washington, have drawn new interest to the subject of cash.

Money Market Funds: To Float or Not to Float?
Morningstar research experts debate whether the 'fiction' of a stable $1 NAV serves money market mutual fund investors well.

Diversification and Portfolio Planning
Key Tools for a Tough Retirement Environment
Sue Stevens of Stevens Wealth Management describes the role of fixed-income, developing-markets exposure, flexible withdrawal rates, and Social Security in today's retirement portfolios. (video)

Take Care When Looking for Retirement Income
Panelists caution investors seeking retirement income against chasing yield in investments they don't understand.

In Defense of Diversification
Recent attacks on modern portfolio theory have been overstated and unhelpful, said David Blanchett, Morningstar's head of retirement research.

The Challenge of Diversification in a High Correlation World
George Gatch, CEO of global fund management at JPMorgan, points to the importance of alternative asset classes and the same level of diversification care in fixed income as in equities.

Gaining Control of Your Investments in Tough Times
Author Carl Richards says investors need to look beyond the current economic dilemmas and understand what they can and cannot control in their portfolios. (video)

Yacktman: Taking Advantage of a Casino Mentality
Manager Don Yacktman says the decline in trading costs along with the natural volatility of stocks is creating opportunities for value managers focused on the long term.

Third Avenue Value Paring Concentration
Third Avenue Value manager Ian Lapey talks about some of the changes he's made at the fund since taking full control while staying clear of a benchmark.

Tech Sector Still Attractive to Value Investors
As some former upstart tech firms have begun to mature into industry behemoths--shoring up balance sheets, initiating share buybacks, and issuing dividends while maintaining attractive relative valuations--value investors have taken note.

4 Wide-Moat Stocks to Watch
Members of Morningstar's equity and credit research team name four wide-moat stocks worth keeping on your radar.

Rogers: Sports-Related Stocks a Score
Ariel's John Rogers discusses recent opportunity in Madison Square Garden and International Speedway, as well as the firm's analytical adjustments in the wake of the financial crisis. (video)

Finding Dividends in Health Care and Energy
Westwood's Susan Byrne says the shop's funds have balanced lower-volatility health-care stocks with inflation-resistant energy names, while banking on a good history of dividend increases in both sectors. (video)

Romick: Fed Experiment Won't End Well The Fed's attempts to manage risk assets could have severe ramifications, argues the FPA Crescent manager. (video)

Fund Industry Insights
The New Kids on the Block
The 'new bosses' of three legendary funds discuss how they are keeping their funds' legacies going and where they are finding opportunities today.

The Quarter-Century Club: Insights From Undaunted Veterans
Longtime managers Will Danoff, Susan Byrne, and Brian Rogers reflect on doing the right thing for investors, building an organization, and where they're seeing opportunities today.

Trading Costs: Pros Share Tips on How to Slap the Invisible Hand
Two experts share tips on how to limit the drag of trading costs on a portfolio's returns.

Thoughts From the Morningstar Investment Conference
CEF investors can benefit from the broader topics broached at our annual event.

What's New
Managed Futures: The Latest Trend in Liquid Alternatives
Panel covers three flavors of managed futures funds, the theory behind the strategy, and the importance of diversification within the category.

Time to Invest in ETF Managed Portfolios?
Exchange-traded fund managed portfolios are one of the fastest-growing segments of the asset management industry.