Morningstar Investment Conference Online

Morningstar presents the latest developments on financial advice from the industry’s top minds. Discover new perspectives on the market and ideas to put into practice.

On the Agenda


Investment Factor Exposures Beyond Size and Value

Morningstar Research Showcase–Active Track

Timothy Strauts, Morningstar

Investment factor analysis has evolved beyond value and size. Morningstar has expanded its lineup of investment factors to include momentum, quality, low volatility, yield. In this session advisors and gatekeepers will learn how to use these new dimensions to evaluate and monitor portfolio manager processes.

Morningstar Ratings for Funds & ETFs: Methodologies and Performance

Morningstar Research Showcase–Active Track

Jeff Ptak, Morningstar

Join Jeff Ptak, leader of Morningstar's global manager research team, as he reviews Morningstar's tools for evaluating managed products and reviews how well Morningstar ratings have performed.

Risks and Opportunities in the Transition Economy

Breakout–Active Track

Moderator: Shannon Zimmerman, Morningstar / Lori Keith, Parnassus Investments / Karina Funk, Brown Advisory

What is the role of sustainability in the search for sustainable competitive advantage? In this session, we’ll hear from two portfolio managers who have integrated the assessments from material ESG issues into their company evaluation processes.

Is Corporate Debt a Threat to Your Stock Investments?

Breakout–Active Track

Moderator: Kevin McDevitt, Morningstar / Charlie Dreifus, Royce & Associates / David Green, Hotchkis and Wiley / Amy Zhang, Alger

After years of low interest rates, many companies have fueled growth with cheap debt. Is corporate debt an equity risk? Would an economic downturn mean bankruptcy for some or many? Our panelists will discuss how they assess company balance sheets and shape their portfolios with debt in mind.

Rates, Spreads & Credits: What’s Next for Taxable Bonds?

Breakout–Active Track

Moderator: Sarah Bush, Morningstar / Michael Collins, PGIM Investments / Laird Landmann, TCW / Sonali Pier, PIMCO

Do investors have more to fear from rising bond yields or from slowing growth and a buildup of leverage on corporate balance sheets? Join three talented bond-fund managers as they share their expectations for fixed-income markets and where they are finding value a decade into the current economic expansion.

Uncovering Value in a Changing Muni Market

Breakout–Active Track

Moderator: Elizabeth Foos, Morningstar / Bob DiMella, MacKay Shields / Carol Flynn, DWS / Peter Hayes, BlackRock

The $3.8 trillion municipal debt market includes well over a million individual bonds from more than 50,000 entities. The muni market is fragmented and opaque, offering plenty of opportunity—and potential pitfalls—for investors. Join three veteran muni portfolio managers to discuss how they’re uncovering value and avoiding mistakes through the muni market’s changing legal and technical environment.

Tools for Choosing the Best 529 Plans, HSAs and Target-Date Series

Morningstar Research Showcase–Outcome-Oriented Investing Track

Leo Acheson, Morningstar / Jeff Holt, Morningstar / Madeline Hume, Morningstar

Morningstar has been researching and rating goals-based investments for nearly two decades. Our research leaders will share the latest best practices in choosing a 529 college-savings plan, health savings account, or target-date retirement strategy.

Cracking the Retirement Nest Egg

Breakout–Outcome-Oriented Investing Track

Moderator: Jeff Holt, Morningstar / Kelli Hueler, Hueler Companies / Anne Lester, JP Morgan / Brett Sumsion, Fidelity Investments

After decades of saving for retirement, investors face the daunting task of translating a sum of money into recurring income. There are many strategies that attempt to address this challenge--each with its own spin. Our panel of experts discuss existing options, cutting-edge solutions, and the evolution of retirement income.

Are Dividends Overrated? Are Buybacks Misunderstood?

Breakout–Passive Track

Moderator: Alex Bryan, Morningstar / Meb Faber, Cambria Investments / Janet Johnston, TrimTabs Asset Management / Philip Straehl, Morningstar

Dividend stocks have long been darlings for investors seeking income, but are they all they are cracked up to be? More recently share buybacks have achieved lightning rod status. Is this means of returning cash to shareholders being wrongfully accused of distorting markets and stifling job growth? This panel will try to sort fact and fiction and drill down into the investment implications.

Integrating Impact, Climate and Gender Into Your Advisory Practice

Breakout–Practice Management Track

Moderator: Jon Hale, Ph.D., Morningstar / Sonya Dreizler, Independent Consultant / Anna Snider, Merrill Lynch

Interested in integrating sustainability, impact, or ESG into your practice and curious about recent developments in the space? Anna Snider, Merrill Lynch Head of Due Diligence for Global Wealth and Investment Management, and Independent Consultant Sonya Dreizler join Jon Hale for a discussion of key trends shaping the ESG investing landscape in 2019.

The Psychology of Investing


Morgan Housel, The Collaborative Fund

Investing is not just the study of finance. It's the study of how people behave with money. And because it's the study of human behavior, it incorporates the lessons and rules from a variety of other fields, like psychology, sociology, history, politics, and so on. Using five true stories that have nothing to do with investing, Morgan Housel shows how people think about risk, and what we as investors can do about it to make better-informed decisions with our own money.

The Wisdom of Crowds and the Fallibility of Markets


Daniel Needham, President & CIO, Morningstar Investment Management, LLC

Markets behave as complex adaptive systems, with many agents acting, learning, and evolving within the environment at once. This session covers the psychology and dynamics of investing, including how contrarians may benefit over the long-term.

Innovation in Healthcare and How We’re Going to Pay for It

General Session

Karen Andersen, Morningstar /Christine Benz, Morningstar / Damien Conover, Morningstar

Healthcare spending in retirement is a part of every client’s financial plan. Clients are living longer, and although growing healthcare costs continue to be a concern, innovation in medicine has never been stronger, enabling clients to survive formerly deadly diseases. This general good news is tempered by the uncertainty it brings to planning for clients. How much money will they need for healthcare in retirement, and how much further change should we anticipate? In this session, members of our healthcare equity research team focus on innovations in pharmaceutical therapies, where there have been huge technology breakthroughs and significant ongoing investment, but also where patients bear the largest share of the cost. We will then transition into a discussion of tools and strategies to help advisors create financial plans that help account for these spending uncertainties, explore current options for long-term care insurance, and managing the increasing challenge of cognitive decline.

Changing Definitions of Equity Value

General Session

Moderator: Katie Reichart, Morningstar / David Giroux, T. Rowe Price / Jean Hynes, Wellington Management

What does value investing mean in 2019? And how does a company like Amazon find its way into “value” strategies? The value factor has languished for more than a decade. In the meantime, self-described value investors have evolved their processes to take into account dimensions of value that don’t fit the traditional definition. In this session, we explore the concept with two highly-rated portfolio managers whose strategies don’t reside in traditional value sleeves, yet who express their true north in value terms. How do names like Anthem and Abbott Labs find their way into both managers’ portfolios? We’ll explore these questions and more in this year’s keynote portfolio manager panel.

The Morningstar and Mercer Alliance: A Bridge to a World Gone Institutional

Breakout–Solutions Track

Moderator: Stacy Scapino, Mercer / Daniel Bristow, Mercer / Scott Burns, Morningstar

Sophisticated investors must be able to evaluate an increasing and changing universe of investment managers and products. The boundaries between institutional and individual investors are blurring as intermediaries face pressure to deliver high-quality products at lower, more-transparent prices to their clients. Having the right tools to save time when creating customized analysis and reporting, as well as deliver distinctive institutional investment opportunities for clients, is critical. Learn how Morningstar and Mercer are aligned to deliver better investor outcomes through our new offering in the web-based editions of Morningstar Direct.

Outcome-Oriented Investing in the Mainstream

Breakout–Solutions Track

Moderator: Andrew Lill, Morningstar / Paul Arnold, Morningstar / Marta Norton, Morningstar

Outcome-oriented investing has graduated from the innovation lab to join the suite of core offerings of advisors. These strategies are key tools in the secular trend of financial advice that is motivated by lessons from behavioral economics and goal-based advice frameworks. For some advisors, meeting client needs involves environmental, social, and governance, or ESG, strategies; for others, it means benchmark-unaware income or decumulation strategies supporting millennials or retirees, respectively. In this session, investment professionals from Morningstar Investment Management discuss the strategies being built using Morningstar research to support advisors' transition into the new advice framework.

Worst-Case Scenario: How to Answer Client Questions About Today’s Headlines

Breakout–Solutions Track

Glenn Laatsch, Morningstar / Michael O’Leary, Morningstar / Tom Whitelaw, Morningstar

What is market-driven scenario analysis and how advisors can use it to have more confidence in answering clients’ questions around how today’s headlines affect their portfolios? We’ll also explore how changes to market indexes can impact portfolios, how to create custom events based on user-defined shock sizes and time periods, and evaluate the impact of scenarios, such as an S&P 500 crash, on index, region, and sector-exchange traded funds.

The Growing Role of the Advisor in Delivering Retirement Plan Advice

Breakout–Solutions Track

Moderator: Matt Rafferty, Morningstar / Scott Matheson, CAPTRUST / James Smith, Morningstar

Advisors have long played a significant role in designing, building, and monitoring institutional retirement plans. Increasingly, advisors are designing new ways to expand their role by delivering personalized advice to plan participants. James Smith, head of product strategy and business development for Morningstar Investment Management’s Workplace business and Scott Matheson of CAPTRUST will discuss how their firms are working together to enable CAPTRUST’s advisors to offer high-quality investment advice to participants at a reasonable cost.

Thank You to Our 2019 Sponsor

State Street Global Advisors

See You Next Year.