Skip to Content
Special Report

2013 Morningstar Investment Conference

Join the 25th anniversary of our annual Investment Conference with's on-the-spot reports and one-on-one interviews with some of the industry's best investing minds.

Last week, the Morningstar Investment Conference celebrated its 25th year of bringing together the most innovative minds in investing.

There was no shortage of big topics to discuss in this silver-anniversary year. The conference featured keynote presentations from founder and former chief executive of Vanguard John C. Bogle, investing perspectives from Michael J. Mauboussin, a look at the fund industry from Fidelity president of asset management Ron O'Hanley, and tips for advisors to simplify their financial-planning approach from Behavior Gap columnist Carl Richards.

Morningstar analysts also led panel discussions featuring notable investors such as former Fund Manager of the Year Bill Nygren, GMO's James Montier, and TCW's Tad Rivelle, and covering a wide variety of topics including proven active management strategies, the macroeconomic landscape, corporate bonds, dividend-paying stocks, international opportunities, and more.

You can read our on-the-ground coverage of the entire conference, including analyst blogs from top panels and more than 20 video interviews with featured managers. Check back here for the latest, and return again over the next week, as even more reports will be posted.

Conference Coverage

Bogle: The Problems With 401(k)s
The 401(k) is really a thrift plan that we've tried to redesign into a retirement plan, and it needs to change, says the Vanguard founder.

Bogle: Yield Seekers Shouldn't Go Out on a Limb
Investors may need to stretch for a bit more yield, but to get entirely out of a very safe bond index fund and into riskier fare should be unacceptable, says the Vanguard founder.

Bogle: We Must Act With Money-Fund Reform
The Vanguard founder says all money markets, not just prime funds, should publish floating NAVs, and those opposed are 'leaning on a weak reed.'

Quotable Bogle
Never one to mince words, the grandfather of index fund investing had no shortage of quotable moments at the Morningstar Investment Conference Thursday.

A Wider Growth Perspective
Fidelity manager Steve Wymer makes the growth case for some well-known companies and addresses why he looks at a larger basket of stocks than the average fund. 

Nygren: Value Managers Love Growth but Don't Overpay for It
The Oakmark manager discusses a value case for Google, his team's three-pronged investment approach, and why capacity is not a major issue for the Oakmark Fund.

Nygren, Wymer: Active Management at Its Best
The noted value and growth managers had more of a discussion than a debate, finding lots of common ground.

De Vaulx: There's Still Value in Japan
After a nasty 25-year bear market, Japan is still far cheaper than both U.S. and European equities, despite its huge rally, says IVA CIO and portfolio manager Charles de Vaulx.

Outlook for Japan in the Eye of the Beholder
Is Japan a buying opportunity or a market to avoid? The answer depends on which of these three international-fund managers you ask.

Jain: Emerging-Markets Consumer a Secular Growth Story
Emerging-markets consumer stocks are one of the few areas of long-term growth as the people are buying, eating, and drinking better, says Virtus Foreign Opportunities manager Rajiv Jain.

Compelling Investment Opportunities Still Lacking, Say Macro Managers
The 'Exploring the Macro Environment' panel at the Morningstar Investment Conference looked at generating real returns in the current low-interest-rate environment, though the results aren't particularly encouraging for investors.

Can the Fed Stick Its QE Landing?
TCW's Tad Rivelle, Brandywine's Steve Smith, and PIMCO's Curtis Mewbourne focus on the paramount importance of the Fed's policy in fixed-income investing today.

A Dress Rehearsal for the End of QE3?
MetWest's Tad Rivelle says recent swings in the fixed-income market are representative of conditions when QE3 ends, and he is eyeing asset classes with low Treasury correlations.

Despite Macro Concerns, Compelling Opportunities Remain in Corporate Bonds
Three leading managers share their thoughts on the corporate bond market.

Looking for Distress
Some of the best opportunities are when people are trying to run away from situations that are uncertain, says Third Avenue's Tom Lapointe. 

Has the Dividend Bubble Burst?
No, say three income-focused managers.

Finding the Best Dividend Values Across the Globe
Tweedy, Browne manager John Spears touches on his team's process in finding yield opportunities, and also his appreciation for Wells Fargo.

Cohen: Dividends Have Decidedly Not Had Their Day
Long-term investors shouldn't sell out of solid dividend-payers just because of temporary price dislocations, says the ClearBridge Equity Income Fund Manager.

Finding New Dividend Growth in Tech
ClearBridge Equity Income Fund Manager Hersh Cohen on technology dividend-payers and new additions to his fund's portfolio.

O'Hanley: Retirement Risk Burden Now on Individuals' Shoulders
Fidelity president of asset management Ron O'Hanley on the democratization of investing, Japan, corporate earnings, unemployment, and more.

Four Questions for Fidelity
Fidelity's Ron O'Hanley answers our questions on the balance between consistency and outperformance, the role of its multi-manager funds, enhancements to its fund boards, and the firm's vision for ETFs.

The Importance of Total Return
As rates remain low, many investors overlook the risks of higher-yielding fixed-income assets; instead, they should maintain low-cost, well-diversified portfolios, says Vanguard's Fran Kinniry.

Why Yield-Seekers Should Eye Foreign Dividend Stocks
JP Morgan's Ann Lester says the relative advantage of high-yield assets is waning and that non-U.S. dividend-paying stocks can offer broader diversification and better total return.

Calling All Assets in the Quest for Yield
In today’s market, yield-seeking investors may have to open their minds and look beyond the usual suspects.

Tactical and Fundamental Closed-End Fund Strategies to Boost Income
With closed-end fund discounts widening during the last two weeks on sentiment surrounding a potential increase in interest rates, panelists offer insight into discounts, leverage, and interest-rate risk.

How to Manage Exploding Alternative Growth
Panelists discuss how they think about and use alternatives with their clients and how they manage clients' understanding of these vehicles.

A Solstice in Alternatives
Why the hedge fund and mutual fund worlds are finally colliding.

How Much Luck in Investing Success?
Michael Mauboussin explains why humans tend to overweight the role of skill and underestimate the role of luck in investing success--and how we can correct for our perceptions.

Luck and Skill: Can You Tell the Difference?
Whether in sports or investing, the role of luck in winning streaks is both underappreciated and increasing, said Credit Suisse managing director and author Michael Mauboussin.

Simplify, Simplify
If advisors can help people focus on the things that matter and the things that they can control, they will be happier, and as a byproduct, they can be better investors.--Carl Richards giving the 2013 Morningstar Conference closing keynote.

Avoid These Behavioral Investing Traps
Author Carl Richards urges caution of the many biases that can creep into investors' mind-sets, noting the potential hazards of overconfidence, pattern recognition, and more.

Rethinking Retirement Strategies in the Low-Yield World
T. Rowe Price senior financial planner Christine Fahlund discusses how low interest rates may impact annuity decisions, asset location, and the timing of Social Security.

A Bucket Approach in Practice
Financial planner Roger Wohlner describes his bucketing strategy for clients' near-, intermediate-, and long-term needs.

Bruno: 4% Rule a Good Starting Point, but Mind Allocation
Many retirees are creating hybrid withdrawal plans--with ceilings and floors--to adjust for market volatility, but a balanced portfolio is key amid fluctuating rates, says Vanguard's Maria Bruno.

Annuities, 4% Rule in Focus at Retirement-Planning Session
Annuities can be a great way to insure against longevity risk, but not in all cases, a panel of retirement experts agreed.

Adding Retirement Income With 'Gamma'
The benefits derived from good financial planning are a win-win, says Morningstar head of retirement research David Blanchett.

Conference Preview
Ahead of the conference, we sat down with Morningstar analysts to get their takes on the pressing issues facing investors today, how those concerns have changed during the last quarter century, and what they are expecting to hear during the three-day confab.

Getting Your Arms Around Risk
Fund investors should think beyond volatility measures alone when sizing up the risk in their portfolios, says Morningstar's Shannon Zimmerman.

Is Optimism Fading on International Risk?
With fears of an impending Japanese sell-off and a China slowdown, as well as ongoing sovereign debt woes in Europe, many fund managers are seeking more safety when investing abroad, says Morningstar's Bridget Hughes.

Sophisticated Strategies for the Masses
Henry P. Davis, managing director at Arden Asset Management, discusses misconceptions of alternatives, the rise of alternatives through mutual funds, challenges to today's climate, and more.

Head-On Approaches to Fixed Income
As investors debate the challenges of interest-rate and credit risks, they should also understand the role bonds play in their portfolios, says Morningstar's Sarah Bush.

No Shortage of Investment Challenges Today
From high correlations to macroeconomic uncertainty to rock-bottom interest rates, investors face a large number of headwinds today, says Morningstar's Shannon Zimmerman.

The Changing Investing Landscape
Morningstar's Shannon Zimmerman discusses the rise of passive investing, changes in the fixed-income environment, the search for yield, and the lasting impact of Jack Bogle's 2002 conference keynote.