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Special Report

2016 Morningstar Investment Conference

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

On June 13-15, the Morningstar Investment Conference brought together the most innovative minds in investing.

From continued questions about global growth and the path of interest rates to elevated stock valuations, there were no shortage of big issues to tackle this year. Attendees heard keynote presentations from Franklin Templeton's Michael Hasenstab, University of Chicago's Austin Goolsbee, and Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb.

Morningstar analysts also led panel discussions featuring notable investors, such as Research Affiliates Rob Arnott, AQR's Cliff Asness, IVA's Charles de Vaulx, Rick Reider from BlackRock, Morgan Stanley's Dennis Lynch, and many more. They tackled a wide variety of topics, including finding bargains in the chaos; high-yield bond funds; asset-allocation;economic moats; and sustainable investing. offered on-the-ground coverage of the entire conference, including analyst blogs from top panels and video interviews with featured managers.

Investing in the Banking Revolution
Low valuations, strong capital, high asset quality, liquidity, and well-funded balance sheets make some banks attractive today, says fund comanager Dan O'Keefe.

Why Artisan Funds Is Now Investing in Emerging Markets
Manager Dan O'Keefe explains the firm's change of heart and what stocks they've purchased.

Has 'Low-Beta' Become High-Risk?  
Research Affiliates' Rob Arnott discusses how valuations shape long-term future returns.

Arnott: There's Some 'Silliness' in Smart-Beta Land
A proliferation of products has blurred the lines between "smart beta" and factor-based investing, says Research Affiliates' Rob Arnott.

The Promise and Peril of Long-Short Equity Funds
Portfolio managers from PIMCO, Diamond Hill, and Boston Partners show their differences in approach and emphasize sizing a short position to mitigate risk.

De Vaulx: 'As a Value Investor, We Remain Disciplined'
IVA's Charles de Vaulx distinguishes himself from peers by holding big cash stakes and gold bullion, and by using a flexible hedging strategy.

Proven International Managers with Relatively New Funds
Sound and varied approaches from three experienced managers with new funds who are worth watching.

Ultimate Stock-Pickers: Active Management Not for All
Plus, Yacktman, Lynch, and Harriman share the importance of position sizing and insight on current holdings.

Growth of Passive Management No Problem for Active Yacktman
Amid volatility, Yacktman finds success with downside protection and eye on risk.

Lynch: 'Active Management Is a Tough Business'
The secular trend toward passive investments won't affect how Dennis Lynch and his team run Morgan Stanley Institutional Growth Fund.

How One Fund Harnesses Changing Trends
A focus on identifying "disruptive change" across sectors and industries has helped Morgan Stanley Institutional Growth avoid losers and sniff out opportunities.

Quality Focus Helps This Foreign-Stock Fund's Defense
Fidelity Overseas manager Vince Montemaggiore discusses his valuation-sensitive, high-quality approach to stock picking.

Asness Firmly in the Middle on Efficient Market's Hypothesis
There are fewer large market inefficiencies than many think, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t behavioral biases that investors can exploit.

Opportunities and Pitfalls for Bottom-Up Stock-Pickers
Brown Capital's Keith Lee, Artisan's Dan O'Keefe, and Invesco's Meggan Walsh discuss where they see value, and where they don't.

Stock Picks from Morningstar Analysts
A trio of Morningstar analysts share their outlooks for and opportunities in the healthcare, consumer, and basic materials sectors.

Finding Bargains in a Downturn
Three money managers share their favorite stocks, what they’ve purchased and sold recently, and what role macroeconomic issues play in their investment decisions.

Arnott and Asness: Can You Time Strategic Beta?
Rob Arnott and Cliff Asness agree on many fronts, but they have different views on how carefully you should consider valuation when deciding to invest in a factor strategy.

BlackRock CIO: Get Ready for Rising Rates
BlackRock's Rick Rieder says the Fed will still try to raise rates, and investors should diversify their fixed-income exposure and be thoughtful about where interest-rate risk is held.

PIMCO Sees More Muddling, Higher Rates Ahead
PIMCO's investment committee expects more sluggishness for the U.S. and global economy, the Fed to hike rates once or twice this year, and headwinds on U.S. dollar strength, says managing director Mihir Worah.

Inside the Evolution at PIMCO
Mihir Worah says some changes to PIMCO's Investment Committee have been subtle and some obvious, including the incorporation of analytics, risk management, and specialist input into the process.

High-Yield Has Its Place, But Takes a Long-Term Commitment
Though it has its hurdles, the high-yield bond market can be an effective asset allocation tool in the right dose for long-term investors, says T. Rowe Price's Mark Vaselkiv.

Landmann: Opportunities in Today's Bond Market
TCW's Laird Landmann discusses why he likes nonagency mortgages, what others are missing in the emerging-markets debt story, and where he thinks interest rates are headed.

High-Yield Bonds at a Crossroads
Three high-yield bond managers discuss the current state of the high-yield market and the role high yield should play in an investor's portfolio.

Navigating Today’s Challenging Bond Environment
Bond market experts discussed their expectations of the Fed this year, risks inherent in the bond market today, and how investors can manage those risks going forward.

Hasenstab: Extreme Undervaluation in Emerging Markets
Massive mispricing in Mexico and Brazil have created investment opportunities even in the face of rising rates, says Franklin Templeton’s Michael Hasenstab.

Kinnel: Emerging-Markets Debt a Reminder to Buy the Unloved
Hasenstab keynote takeaway: The most beaten-up asset classes are often where the best opportunities are.

Hasenstab: Time to Rope Up
Select emerging market bonds look like the most attractive bet today in the face of artificially low rates in the U.S.

Future of the Fund Industry
What's Next for Vanguard
CEO Bill McNabb discusses how Vanguard plans to meet the needs of accumulators and retirees in the next decade.

Active Management 2.0
The popularity of strategic-beta strategies risks dooming these funds to underperformance.

The Means of Investing Sustainably Continue to Grow 
But implementation remains client-specific.

Does Sustainability Weigh on Fund Performance? 
Ingrid Dyott from Neuberger Berman thinks considering ESG factors makes them more thoughtful investors.

Where Vanguard’s CEO Sees The Fund Industry Going
Vanguard CEO Bill McNabb gives his take on the fiduciary rule, pricing for advice, expected market returns, corporate governance, and target-date funds.

How the Fiduciary Rule May Cause a 'Disruption'
Panelists at the 2016 Morningstar Investment Conference discuss how the DOL's fiduciary rule may change the financial-services industry.

Will Sustainable Investing Go Mainstream?  
At the Morningstar Investment Conference, panelists see a growing role for sustainability factors in some investors' process.

Rekenthaler: Practical Advice for an Evolving World
Indexing, automated advice, and the new fiduciary standards are top of mind for advisors.

More Conference Coverage
Retirement Planning Assumptions Revisited
Going beyond the 4% rule for retirement withdrawals.

Kinnel: Be Skeptical of Alts' 'Free Lunch' Promises 
Russ Kinnel shares his Morningstar Investment Conference take-aways including not losing sight of quality when bargain-hunting, being skeptical of hot stocks, and finding value in TIPS.

How Portfolio Managers Tackle Asset Allocation 
Many right answers but different investor experiences along the way with a variety of stock/bond asset allocations.

Securing Retirement Success for Women 
Panelists at the Morningstar Investment Conference discuss ways advisors can potentially help women.

Bernstein: High Valuations No Reason to Stray 
Equities in the U.S. may be set for low returns, but that isn't a reason to deviate greatly from your policy asset allocation.