Morningstar celebrates its 35th anniversary today. In 1984, Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto began a quest to bring some much-needed transparency to the nascent mutual fund industry. He published quarterly "sourcebooks" that gave investors access to data and information that had been heretofore out of reach. Eventually, Morningstar launched its ubiquitous "star rating" for mutual funds, providing a visual representation of risk-adjusted historical return.
Over time, Morningstar began analyzing closed-end funds, variable annuities, ADRs--and eventually, stocks and exchange-traded funds, too. Additional investor-friendly innovations soon followed: the Morningstar Style Box, meaningful fund category comparisons (rather than the prospectus objective), tax-adjusted returns, the Morningstar Rating for stocks, and Morningstar Analyst Ratings, to name just a few.
Susan Dziubinski has a position in the following securities mentioned above: VINIX. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.