Did you miss Morningstar’s Money Smart Week Presentation?


7 habits of smart investorsThis presentation was part of Chicago’s Money Smart Week and took place in Morningstar’s Chicago Headquarters on April 22, 2015.

Christine Benz and Adam Zoll presents “7 Habits of Successful Investors.”

View it now! Morningstar Investment Research Center is available free 24/7 365 days a year with your library card at LVCCLD. Just one more reason you need a library card.

For additional resources on investing please visit Hot Topic – Investments and Investing, where we have put together a host of great resources.

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Join Morningstar Investments for Money Smart Week 2015


money smark week 2015Money Smart Week training for Morningstar Investment Research Center. Learn how to use Morningstar Investment Research Center, available at the LVCCLD Virtual Library, free with your library card.

On Friday, April 24th at 12 PM Central.  (9 a.m. PDT)

They’ll focus on navigating the database, using the screening and portfolio analysis tools, and where to find helpful information.

Login to the webinar and call in to our teleconference information is listed below.

Go to www.morningstar.com/goto/mswmirctraining
Call in to listen: 866-844-9418
Access Code: 745 931 533
Password: Mirc15

Future Upcoming Schedule of Events
Financial Literacy Series webinars:

July 22: 5 Keys to Retirement Investing
October 21: Stock Valuation

What’s new in Morningstar?


market sharesNew Sector Reports in the Markets Section

Have you explored the Markets tab of Morningstar Investment Research Center recently? You have always seen the most active stocks of the day, sector and style return data, and quarterly industry reports. Morningstar’s most recent addition is a list of detailed sector reports.

Check back each quarter for the newest research and analysis from Morningstar’s equity analysts. See a quick overview of the data and then read through specific industry updates, key investment considerations, and more. Reports are available on the following sectors: basic materials, communication services, consumer defensive, consumer cyclical, energy, financial services, health care, industrials, real estate, technology, and utilities.

While you’re logged into Morningstar Investment Research Center, don’t forget to look at the Help & Education tab for information on our database training webinars. All training sessions are available to users and are offered every month. Our next session is June 26 at 3 p.m. Central Time. Click here to attend. Call (866) 844-9418 to listen to the teleconference, and utilize the access code and password below.

Access Code: 630 837 4334
Event password: mirc

We hope you can attend to learn more about the many features of Morningstar Investment Research Center.

Are you using Morningstar Mutual Funds in the Library?


We recently were notified that Morningstar has decided to retire the print version of Morningstar Mutual Funds on December 24th but you can still access Morningstar Mutual funds in Morningstar Investment Research Center online using the Virtual Library. We do have limited licenses to the product, so if you cannot get in, wait 15-30 minutes and chances are a license will free up so you can get use it. I will be monitoring the turn-a-ways and if it’s happening too often we will add additional licenses.

If you have never used Morningstar Investment Research Center checkout the Help & Education tab. Here you will find how-to guides to print and monthly online workshops on how-to use Morningstar Investment Research Center .

Introducing Morningstar’s New Stewardship Rating for Stocks


In May,Morningstar Investment Research Center launched a new stewardship rating system, the Morningstar Stewardship Rating for Stocks. They have transitioned from the previous stewardship grade system, which was derived from a somewhat more quantitative measurement of corporate governance practices, to one that focuses more heavily on the quality and depth of a company’s management and board of directors in their roles as stewards of investor capital.

The new system will require their analysts to assign one of three Stewardship Ratings–exemplary, standard, or poor–based on their assessments of how each firm stacks up in regard to capital allocation decisions and stewardship of shareholder capital. They believe their stock analysts have a unique advantage in assessing and communicating a rating of this nature, given their focus on economic moats and credit quality, and they expect it to be applicable for all companies, regardless of domicile, which is something that was not fully attainable with their old system.

New Focus: Capital Allocation
The new system allows them to get right to the heart of the matter, evaluating whether management teams are good stewards of shareholder capital, rather than indirectly trying to assess management by evaluating all the individual control mechanisms that could (but may not necessarily) affect capital allocation and shareholder returns. Under the new, more holistic methodology, Morningstar equity analysts assess companies on items such as: financial leverage, investment strategy, investment timing and valuation, dividend and share buyback policies, execution, compensation, related-party transactions, and accounting practices. Since the new methodology is more holistic and doesn’t hone in on particular governance practices, it will be applicable globally, whereas the previous methodology was relevant only in the United States and Canada.

New Methodology Specifics
Under the new stewardship methodology, analysts will assign each company one of three ratings–exemplary, standard, or poor–based on their assessments of how well a management team protects shareholder interests. The default rating for all companies will be standard, with firms receiving this rating in the absence of extraordinarily good or extraordinarily bad management and/or capital allocation decision-making. They anticipate most companies will receive a standard rating.

As part of the transition, the previous stewardship grades–denoted as A, B, C, D, or F–will be replaced with one of the three new ratings–exemplary, standard, or poor–with the rating for companies that have not yet been addressed by an analyst denoted as N/A. They feel it would be inappropriate to have an automatic translation of the current letter grades into the new rating labels because the two systems are measuring two different things, with the previous system focused more heavily on corporate governance issues and the new system weighted more heavily toward management quality and stewardship of shareholder capital.

Ratings under the new methodology are now available on more than 400 companies, with supporting written analysis in the Management & Stewardship section of the company reports. Analysts will roll out the methodology to the remainder of Morningstar’s coverage universe throughout 2012. Stewardship grades assigned under the previous system will be removed from company reports, as the old grades aren’t translatable into the ratings assigned under the new methodology. Morningstar Investment Research Center users can access the Stewardship Ratings in the Analyst Research section of stock reports . The stock screener has also been updated to reflect the new rating system.