Friday Fundamentals Webinar: Portfolio Construction

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<p>Mark LaMonica, Individual Investor Product Manager, discusses the fundamentals of portfolio construction and walks you through the four important steps of building a diversified investment portfolio that meets your goals.</p> <p>Detailed information on each of the steps discussed in the video, as well as the worksheets, can be found in the <em>Morningstar Guide to Portfolio Construction</em>. This guide is exclusive to Morningstar Premium members &ndash; sign up for a Morningstar Premium subscription on the link below to instantly download the full guide and access all other Premium benefits.</p> <p>https://subscribe.morningstar.com.au/site/14-months/premium&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mark LaMonica</strong>: Thanks for joining this week's edition of Friday Fundamentals. Today, we're going to talk about the portfolio construction guide. About a year ago, we put out a portfolio construction guide. Since then, it's been one of our most popular features. So, we thought we'd spend some time today going in depth into what that is.</p> <p>So, really, when we talk about portfolio construction, many investors automatically jump to asset allocation and that's certainly important and we'll get there. But really, what we've done in the guide is taking a more holistic approach. Morningstar believes in a goals-based method of portfolio construction. So, we're going to walk you through four steps today, the four steps that are in the guide and we'll show you a couple of tools in the guide and we'll show you a couple of places you can use our website to find investments.</p> <p>So, starting out, we want to talk about really what the traditional approach is, and this is an approach that we disagree a little bit with. But the traditional approach to portfolio construction is you start with a risk tolerance questionnaire. What a risk tolerance questionnaire is, is it's an assessment of how much risk you would take and the way that they do that is they look through what you would do in hypothetical situations. So, the market goes down 25%, what would you do? Would you sell all of your investments and go 100% to cash? Would you stay in the market, would you buy more? So, you go through these series of questions. Generally, this is done either on a website or it can be done via an advisor. And at the end out pops out your risk tolerance. And then, immediately, what that allows you to do is go from that risk tolerance into selecting a portfolio. And that's great if you are really centered around investments. But in Morningstar we're centered around investors.</p> <p>So, we really get down to what is the purpose of a portfolio. And people that professionally manage portfolios have certainly different purposes. But for individual investors the purpose of a portfolio is to achieve something. The whole point of saving and investing is delay gratification now so that you can buy something else later. And really, the difference between the two is what the rate of return is and that's what your portfolio is supposed to do.</p> <p>So, first, let's walk through a couple of reasons why we don't think a risk tolerance questionnaire is a very good approach to take. So, the first reason is that people are very bad at assessing what their risk tolerance is. So, you go through these hypothetical scenarios and that's great, but as soon as there is any stress placed on you, any emotions placed on you, it turns out that what you said you were going to do is completely opposite from what you are going to do. So, if you think about times and the market is going down, every day you are logging on, looking at your account, seeing that you have less and less money; that can be a very stressful event for an investor.</p> <p>So, in cases like that people generally will sell. Same thing when the market is going up. You are sitting around, you are listening to all your friends, talk about about how much the market is going up. Generally, investors take on more risk when the market is going up. They want to invest more. So, that's really the number one problem is that we assume and just have a very poor ability to assess our risk tolerance.</p> <p>The second reason is, what I was mentioning before, we think that a traditional portfolio management or portfolio construction approach really doesn't think about people and doesn't think about goals. So, for example, a risk tolerance questionnaire, you could go in, it could spit out again that you have a very tolerance for risk. So, generally, what people would do is, they'd put you in a portfolio that was heavily weighted towards cash, fixed income, safer assets. Well, what if your goal needs you to earn a higher rate of return? So, we think the goal is most important, not this hypothetical risk tolerance questionnaire.</p> <p>Then, finally, the last reason is that a risk tolerance questionnaire assumes that you are investing for one goal. So, this works very well if you look at retirement, for example. So, it's a goal for most people far off in the future. You are looking for a set amount of money at a certain time in your life. But that's not how any of us live our lives. We have different goals. We want to save for a house. We want to save to help fund our children's education. We want to save for retirement. So, your risk tolerance is really different with all of these different goals because the timeframes are different.</p> <p>So, as I mentioned before, we really take a more holistic approach and that's really where we start out within the guide and selecting a goal. And we'll walk through with the steps that you need to go through, but I did want to acknowledge that really selecting a goal and defining a goal is a very difficult thing for people to do. And it's difficult for a couple of reasons, and we'll show you sort of what information you need to define, but it's difficult because it makes something concrete, right, defining something concrete, thinking about how much money you need for it, thinking about when you want to do it, is scary to a lot of people. So, a lot of people like to avoid this and talk in hypotheticals. When I retire, I'm going to spend three months a year traveling without ever thinking about what that's going to cost or what they need to save.</p> <p>So, setting a goal, sitting down either by yourself with your partner and defining a goal really means that you have to answer four questions. So, the number one question is, how much is this going to cost, and you need to obviously take into account inflation. So, at Morningstar, we have a projected future inflation rate at 2.6% a year. So, obviously, I think everybody knows this intuitively what something costs today does not equal what it's going to cost in 30 years. So, take inflation into account, but you need to figure out an estimate for what you think your goal is going to cost, whether that's saving for a home, whether that's retirement, whether that's a trip that you are saving for.</p> <p>Second thing you need to do is, you need to figure out when that's going to happen. So, when specifically do you want to retire, when specifically do you want to buy your home. It's very important to have an actual timeframe there. And the next thing you need to do is, you need to take stock of where you are financially right now. And we'll get into how the formula works in a little bit. But you need to know how much money have you already saved for this goal and then how much money can you save going forward to try to reach the goal.</p> <p>So, I'm going to jump in, show you a couple of worksheets that we have that helps with this whole process. I'll go through these quickly, but these are all available in the guide. So, I wanted to start out with the goal planning worksheet that you can see here. So, basically, everything that I just mentioned; defining the goal, the dates or when is that goal going to happen, the expected cost which is really important, and the duration is how long you actually want to spend if it's a case like retirement where there is additional spending. So, define your goals, come up with when they are going to be, come up with how much they are going to cost and we have a couple of different goal planning worksheets to look at, intermediate goals, long-term goals, short-term goals.</p> <p>The next thing that I talked about was net worth worksheet. So, really, what the net worth worksheet does for you is it finds what you have now. So, do you have anything saved for this goal? And many people have no idea of what their net worth is. So, this really forces you to go through looking at all the different categories of assets you may have and then also looking at all the different categories you have in debt. And that's really going to show you total assets minus total debt, gives you your net worth. So, that can show you what are the resources you have that can pay for these future goals.</p> <p>Then, finally, a personal cash flow statement. So, everybody hates this, everybody hates budgets. But you do need to figure out how much money you can save for your goal because that's a really important part of the formula that we're about to go through. So, pretty simple. It's looking at your income, looking at your expenses. We're certainly not asking you to categorize every one of your expenses or look at all of them. But you need to figure out how much you make, how much you actually spend every month or how much you're willing to spend, if it's a reduction and this will give you the total monthly cash flow you have that you can actually dedicate it towards savings.</p> <p>So, that's really an exercise, as I said, most people do not like going through. It is necessary for this process and we'll tell you a little bit about that now. And I'm going to talk a little bit about math, and I know everybody hates math. But the good thing is, you don't have to do any of this yourself. There are calculators, but I think conceptually it's really important to understand this.</p> <p>What we're talking about is the time value of money formula. So, we talked before about how savings has really just delayed gratification. So, what you are doing is, you are sacrificing a going out to dinner now for potentially a trip in the future, right, and the difference between those two amounts of money is the return that you actually get. And the time value of money formula is what shows you what you will have in the future. It's pretty simple. There are a couple of inputs that you have and luckily enough, all of the inputs actually just came off of the three worksheets that we talked through. So, if we do complete those, you will have all the inputs.</p> <p>Input number one is, you need to know how much money you have now that can be dedicated to that goal. So, whether that's zero or you've already started saving for something. You have to know the place you are going to start, and you get that off of the net worth worksheet that I showed you.</p> <p>The next thing you need to know is how long do you have to save. So, that's looking at your goal, how far in the future is it. So, you'll have that number. Other thing you need to look at is your &ndash; looking at the cost of the goal in the future. So, that's very important. That's also on that workshop. And then, the final part of this &ndash; I'm sorry &ndash; and the other thing is, how much you can save. So, how much you can save every month, a year, that's another component of the formula.</p> <p>And then, the final piece is that required rate of return. So, generally, if you sit there and look at a time value of money formula, what you are trying to calculate is the future value. So, you are saying that if have $1,000 now, I am going to save $1,000 a month, I am going to earn a 10% return. It will tell you what you have in the future as long as you define that timeframe. But back to the math component of things, I think as we all learned an algebra. If you rearrange all the variables, you can solve for any variable in that formula.</p> <p>So, the next step of this process in the portfolio construction guide is to calculate the required rate of return. Now, the required rate of return is the thing that's going to connect all of the things we just talked about; how much money you have, what you want to save, what the timeframe is and what the future value is. It tells you what you need to earn to actually achieve your goal. So, I'm going to show you a calculator. So, once again, you don't have to do any of this yourself, but I will go on to this third-party calculator that we've shown.</p> <p>It's calculator.net and there is a link to this in the guide. So, I put it in a pretty simple example here. So, future value, so this is what you want to save for. So, let's say, you are saving for a down payment for a house. In this case, you've got $100,000 that you need. What is the period? So, in this case, we're using years as period. So, in 10 years, you need $100,000. What do you have now? You have $50,000. What can you save in one of these periods? So, in this case, $1,000. And it spits out what your return is. So, in this case, you need to earn a return of 5.696%. So, now, you know &ndash; and we'll get into why that's important &ndash; now you know how much you actually have to earn from your investments, from your portfolio.</p> <p>Now, one thing that's important about this formula to realize is that if you start looking at the different variables in the formula, if any of them go up, that will increase the amount of money you have in the future. So, go through that one more time. If you have more money now, you'll obviously have more money in the future. This is assuming positive returns. If you save more, you will have more money in the future and if the time that you can save and invest increases, you will have more money in the future. So, that's really the important part about the time value of money formula because that's how you govern your life, right. So, if you think about people always talk about saving early. Why is it important to save early? Because you have more time to actually invest the money. And what that means in a practical sense is the earlier you start saving, the less you have to save. So, nobody likes saving money. If you don't want to save money, start saving earlier, right? So, that's really why I think it's important that conceptually people understand that formula.</p> <p>So, we'll get back to this required rate of return. So, calculating the required rate of return answers a pretty fundamental question for you. In some cases, it can answer, is your goal achievable? So, in this case, I calculated 5.6%, that's pretty achievable, I think if we look at historic market returns. What if this popped out 25%? Well, unless you are some sort of investing genius, you are not going to get a 25% return over 10 years. So, I think in that case, you really need to take a step back and say, is my goal actually achievable and what can I do to make it achievable? And once again, we talked about some of the different levers you can pull. You can save longer. So, instead of buying a house in 10 years, you can buy a house in 15 years. You can save more every month, right? So, if you are able to rein in your spending a little bit more, save more, maybe you can achieve that goal. It's pretty hard to have more money than you do now. But if somehow you can figure out a way, sell some possessions, I guess, have more money now that you can start out with, then that's great too.</p> <p>So, let me show you &ndash; I'm going to go back into the guide and let me show you, in a reasonable basis, where this return go. So, we have this chart in here that looks at different portfolios. So, you can see the different asset allocation we have between simple stocks and bonds, and it really looks at a 20-year period from 1996 to 2016. And we're looking at Australian investments only here, but it shows you what the different returns are. So, in all stock portfolio, return 9.4%. Obviously, there is now way to know what it will return in the future. So, let's say, your required rate of return that you calculated is below 9.4%. That means you probably have a pretty reasonable chance of achieving that. Once again, obviously, we don't know what future market returns will be and if you think about this was a pretty good period, but there is also global financial crisis you see here, so there was some turbulence around this period, but it can let you know sort of where you need to be. Now, you can see an all bond portfolio performed very well as well with 7%. So, at least it gets you to start thinking about where you need to be from an asset allocation perspective.</p> <p>One of the reasons why this is really important, and we talked a little bit about a risk tolerance questionnaire before, the reason that this is important, because your risk as an investor, if you think about it, or at least the way Morningstar defines it, your risk is not meeting your goal. So, if you took a risk tolerance questionnaire that said you are incredibly conservative, you could not &ndash; and I'll talk about sort of how risk is measured in the financial services industry &ndash; you are incredibly conservative, you should keep 100% of your money in the bank. Well, that's great. So, maybe that is your willingness to take on risk. You have no willingness to take on risk. But if the return you need is 5%, or in our example about 6%, that's the return you need, and you put all of your money into the bank and we all know that obviously the RBA just lowered rates that the yields on bank accounts are going lower and lower. You have a 0% chance of meeting your goal.</p> <p>So, what's really the risk. The risk is, and this is an absolute risk is it will not happen, you will not meet your goal. So, that's how we'd like to think about risk, risk of not achieving your goal. The financial services industry generally talks about risk in terms of volatility. So, volatility are the ups and downs that the market goes through. So, if you go back and look at that chart &ndash; so, we'll go back to this chart &ndash; and we think about volatility. If you look at this upper line, this is the return of stocks. You can see here in the global financial crisis, obviously, there was a lot of volatility, right? And that's the way that we measure things in a risk tolerance questionnaire, what would you do in relation to this volatility of the market going down. But in reality, obviously, if you held on the whole time, you earned a very strong return. So, we think that focusing on goals will make sure that you are not reacting in the wrong way to market volatility, because you understand that your bank account or your investment account may fluctuate up and down over time, but you are still locked into that goal that you are trying to achieve.</p> <p>So, I am going to go back into the guide and show you the next step. So, we've talked about you have now a required rate of return and you can have multiple, by the way. So, if you have multiple goals, you have multiple required rates of return, and what we've added into this guide is from Morningstar Investment Management, they've defined five different portfolios here. You can, obviously, see running from conservative to aggressive. And in each one of these portfolios, there is a different mix between growth assets and defensive assets. And most importantly, at the bottom, there are investment objectives in each one of these portfolios.</p> <p>So, CPI that is simply inflation. So, as I said earlier, Morningstar believes it's 2.6% or will be in the future. So, you can really see what the expected returns are just by adding that up. Now, one thing I would add is that &ndash; and we'll get into this later &ndash; valuation is very important. We do think the market is reasonably valued. So, we don't see a lot of opportunity for outsized investment returns in the future. So, you can see that we had 2.6% to 4%. We're really only expecting 6.6% in our aggressive portfolio in terms of returns going forward. So, that is something to take into account.</p> <p>But, really, we're at this asset allocation step rate now, and you can see there are suggested asset allocations. You can see the different asset classes. And when we talk about asset allocation, what we're really talking about is what is the mix of different assets that are going to be in your portfolio. So, on a very simple level, what are your stocks versus bonds. As we've defined in here, we've gone a step deeper and we started looking at global shares, Aussie shares, different types of fixed income, cash, of course.</p> <p>So, your asset allocation, once again, this is where most people start with portfolio construction, is pretty important. And there was a famous survey that came out. Roger Ibbotson, who is a professor at Yale and actually started Morningstar Investment Management, started Ibbotson Associates, which Morningstar then purchased. He has a famous survey out there saying 90% of the variability of returns comes from asset allocation decisions. So, this mix in your portfolio is very important. But most important, we think, is going through the whole goal definition process at the beginning.</p> <p>So, those are different asset allocations. So, you go through. You can select one of those portfolios if it meets your different objectives. And we do have some more documentation on what each one of those portfolios is trying to achieve. And then the final step and the last step of constructing a portfolio is, of course, finding the investments that you are actually going to put in there. And that's really, obviously, with Morningstar Premium, our research comes into play. So, we cover, from an equity perspective, 1,500 equities from around the world, 450 managed funds, ETFs. So, I do want to show you sort of how you pick investments to actually make your portfolio.</p> <p>So, I'll go back on to our website. We've got a tab called Discover Investments. From a stock perspective, we can start with some of our ratings, so 5-Star or highest-rated stocks. We also look at moats, which is an assessment of the competitive advantage. So, you can go through depending upon what your asset allocation is between Aussie shares, global shares. So, we've got North America; we've got Asia; we've got Europe. I think sort of more importantly, if you're trying to find these allocations, funds and ETFs can play a big role. We literally have all the funds and ETFs lined up in the different asset classes for you, so you can see our highest rated funds and ETFs, from our highest rated Gold down to Bronze. So, that's how you can access our research. It does line up with those different asset allocation targets that you have.</p> <p>And that really completes the last of the four steps that we have in the portfolio construction guide. There's obviously a lot more information in there than I could say today, but those are really the four steps.</p> <p>So, we're going to bring &ndash; I know we've had some questions that have come in. So, we're going to bring Emma out here to &ndash; she can navigate past the light pole &ndash; to see if I can answer any of these.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Yeah. So, first up, (Cazz) wants to know &ndash; she is watching, but she maybe missed the beginning &ndash; is there a repeat of this video somewhere?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Yeah, absolutely. So, the video &ndash; as soon as this Facebook Live ends, the video will be available on Facebook. We're also going to take the video, we will put it into the same video format that we have on our website, we'll send around an email to everybody, probably not till Monday, but we'll send that email around and you can certainly watch as many times on Facebook or on our website as well.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Okay. So, Matthew, wants you to put some of your, I guess, the theories you've been talking about into practice. He sent a long question. He says, I'll read it all and then maybe we can break it down. He says, how should someone construct a portfolio from scratch with say $1 million. Consider transaction costs and timing, should the investor buy up all elements of the portfolio on day one or work towards a model portfolio over time? And then, lastly, how should the investor prioritize what to buy first?</p> <p>So, maybe we should break that down. If you have $1 million how would you start thinking about constructing a portfolio?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Yeah. I mean, listen, not to repeat myself, obviously, I would go back and look at what is the goal of the portfolio. So, I think, we talked about this in the beginning that a portfolio is a means to an end. The end is what you are going to spend the money on or potentially leave it for your children, but what is the actual goal for the portfolio. So, I guess, I would start there and figure out &ndash; and perfect example of this is &ndash; so, let's say, you have $1 million portfolio. You do have a relatively limited amount of time until you need to actually spend the money on your goal and the goal is pretty close to $1 million, potentially, you could just leave it in cash. That's really why it's important looking at the goal. So, I would start there, I'd go through that whole &ndash; that goal definition.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: What are some of the goals that you can identify? I mean, if somebody doesn't know what a financial goal is? Do you have some examples?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Yeah. So, I guess, an important thing in that is, we think about financial goals, they're not financial goals, right, they're life goals. So, buying a house is a life goal; it's not a financial goal. There's obviously investment property, but presuming you want to live in your house, that is a life goal that impacts your life every day. So, I think, it's really thinking about like what do you want to achieve in your life. So, if we talk about retirement, retirement is a common one. What do you want your retirement to be? Do you want your retirement to be travelling all the time? Well, that's going to be a lot more expensive than staying at home. Do you want to buy a boat and go sailing on your boat? That's going to be a lot more expensive than staying at home. So, I think, it's really just thinking about and sitting down &ndash; if you have a partner, sitting down with your partner and defining what your life goals are.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Can you have multiple goals?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Absolutely. Well, we all have multiple goals. I think retirement and housing are probably two really good ones, because I think most people want to buy a house at some point in their life. So, that is generally a shorter-term goal. A longer term goal is retirement. But a goal can be going on vacation, a goal can be planning for an upcoming milestone birthday that you want to have a party for or go on a family trip for. So, a goal can be anything. You have multiple goals, you can have multiple time horizons, obviously, between your goals. They don't all happen at the same time. And because of that really the risk that you want to take on in different investments depending upon the goal can be very different.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Okay. So, let's try and deal with (indiscernible) this question. If he has &ndash; so, he has built his portfolio, he has decided his risk tolerance, he has decided his rate of return and the goals he wants to achieve. Should he go out there on day one and just buy everything or slowly invest the money?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Yeah, it is a good question. Well, I think there's two different ways to think about it. Maybe I'll quickly go through dollar cost averaging. Let me go through the problem. I guess, the problem with going out there and buying everything immediately. And we did have this question before, and I dug out a couple of stats. So, I looked at &ndash; and the ASX 200 is approaching it again &ndash; I looked at the ASX 200, local market indices, 200 biggest stocks trading on the ASX and it peaked in October 2007. So, we went back, we looked at State Street Global Advisors has an ETF, STW is the ticker on it. We went back and we looked at what would happen if we bought STW in October of 2007. So, it turns out the return today would have been negative 4.42%. So, that's 12 years &ndash; a little less than 12 years. Now, obviously, for people like no, right after that the market fell off a cliff because of the financial crisis but still if you would have gone in and invested your million dollars in October of 2007, you would not be very happy right now.</p> <p>So, what's really important is looking at valuation. So, that's what we believe in as a firm, that's what our equity analysts are doing all day. They are trying to value companies and looking at the valuation of the overall market. So, sometimes the market is expensive, sometimes the market is cheap. Valuation is really important. There is also &ndash; we use the term margin of safety when we are looking at individual investments. But as an investor you want a little bit of margin of safety, maybe you sit there and look at the market and say, I think it is reasonably priced today. Well, I think, you do have to consider the fact that you may be wrong. So, by investing the entire amount you are making a pretty big bet on your view of if the markets are attractive today. So, the idea of dollar cost averaging is instead you slowly invest this money. The markets are obviously going to continue to fluctuate. If you make a huge mistake, the market has a terrible next six months, you will still have some money to invest. So, you are investing at higher prices, lower prices, different prices as the market goes along and it can de-risk that investment a little bit.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: So, dollar cost averaging, is there a timeframe in which you are thinking?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: You know, it's really up to you as an individual. What I would say is dollar cost averaging in this scenario if you have $1 million, I wouldn't be talking in weeks. I think people get very caught up in market movements. Oh, the market was down 2% today, it is a great buying opportunity. There is this expression, buy at the dip. That works very well when the market is going up; it works really poorly if the market is going down.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Well, that leads into another question we've got. So, Rachel asks if she has built her portfolio, every day she should go and check the market to see what's happening.</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: First of all, I'll say that I check every day. Not that that is a good advice. The problem with checking every day is that people get very caught up in movements and there is a lot of &ndash; Morningstar does a lot of behavioral research to look at how people react to this. And the problem is that people see the market moving around and they think they have to do something. So, everything is sort of pushing you into action and generally, action is bad, because action creates trading costs, action means that you are probably likely going to &ndash; maybe likely is not the right word. You are going to buy things when they are high, and you are going to sell things when they are low and that is the exact opposite of what you want to do. So, I think the best thing to do is to walk away and not look at all these fluctuations.</p> <p>I mean, people talk a lot about housing prices, especially in Australia. That's the equivalent of imagining somebody came up and knocked on your door every day and told you how much your house was worth. Today, I'll give you $500,000 for your house. The next day they walk up, and they say I'll give you $450,000 for your house. That's not going to lead to good behavior, right? You're going to panic when it's going down. You're going to get really excited when it's going up. But none of that changes anything. It's still your house, you still live there. So, think of portfolio that way. Your goals in the future, check how you are periodically, check how you are moving towards achieving your goal, recalculate that required rate of return and go from there.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Yeah. I'm curious like how often would you say that somebody should reassess their portfolio or rebalance. The things in the portfolio are going to move around, so therefore, the percentages that you have are going to change. So, how often do you have to think about that stuff and make changes?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Yeah. I mean, listen, a lot of literature &ndash; there are different opinions about all of this. A lot of literature that I've seen says once a year. That's generally what I do. So, I'll sit down with my wife once a year in an activity that I'm sure she hates, and we'll go through this and really look at sort of are our goals still the same. So, you have to reassess your goals, people's goals can change, and then how you are tracking against those.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Okay. We're coming up to half an hour. So, I'm just going to ask one more question. Let me have a look here.</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Just try to find one that I won't be able to answer.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: So, Angus asked how do you decide between actively-managed or index funds or do you use a combination of both?</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: So, listen, I'm certainly not an expert on this. So, I'll just paraphrase what our manager research team does or what our manager research team says. So, as I mentioned before, they assess 450 different ETFs, funds in Australia, obviously run the gamut between passive, active. I think their opinion is that there are certain asset classes where it makes more sense to be in an active fund. And you can certainly go in and look at the way that they've assessed asset classes. So, you need to think about what you are doing. Like, many people say that from a bond perspective, if you want to go into fixed income, active might be more appropriate. If you're going to large-cap stocks, potentially passive might be more appropriate. But I think it's up to each individual investor. I guess, what I would do is, take a look at some of the different investments and the research that we have on them and see what our manager research team says.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Check the website.</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Check the website. Exactly.</p> <p>Emma Rapaport: Great. I think that's all.</p> <p>Mark LaMonica: Okay. Great. Well, thank you guys very much. Thank you, Emma, for only stumping me a little bit. We'll see you next time on Friday Fundamentals.</p>

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2 stocks for the e-learning boom
08/03/2021  E-learning has become the norm for young students and university-goers across the world. Morningstar analyst Michael Field looks at whether the trend is here to stay. 
February Reporting Season Wrap Up with Peter Warnes: Webinar
04/03/2021  Special guest Peter Warnes, our head of equities research, joins the Morningstar Foundations of Investing Webinar series to give his unique take on February Reporting Season and answer subscriber questions.
One year after the market crash, through the ETF lens
03/03/2021  The growth and adoption of exchange-traded funds has only accelerated as a result of the latest market crisis.
Brighter picture for big four banks
01/03/2021  Morningstar's Nathan Zaia on the outlook for the banks, dividend payouts and the move by the Bank of Queensland to acquire ME Bank.
One year on: lessons learned from the 2020 bear market
25/02/2021  The biggest takeaway from that period is not to panic when the market tumbles.
What if...I want to buy a gold ETF?
23/02/2021  From ETFs backed by bullion to miners with more upside potential - here's how to get yourself some gold.
'Full return to normal in 2021'
23/02/2021  If the US is to stage a recovery by mid-year, it will need the consumer services sector to fire, says Morningstar's head of economic research Preston Caldwell.
Google, Facebook versus Aussie news stocks
19/02/2021  Morningstar's Brian Han weighs up News Corp's deal with Google and examines the effect of Facebook's decision to block content from Australian media outlets.
Global real estate as a store of value
18/02/2021  Quay Global Investors' Chris Bedingfield explains how self-storage, data centres and industrial property can offer diversification and growth.
Spotting the 'covid winners'
16/02/2021  Uniti Group and Nextdc are among the companies that SG Hiscock's Hamish Tadgell says have flourished during the pandemic.
The transition from hope to growth
15/02/2021  Hamish Tadgell of SG Hiscock explains the portfolio changes he’s made in a bid to capitalise on the shift.
The future of the US economy
10/02/2021  Which pandemic-related trends have already passed, and which ones might be around the corner?
GameStop frenzy is history repeating
05/02/2021  The battle between the Reddit army and hedge funds is nothing new—the question is will regulators be willing to step in, says Morningstar's John Rekenthaler.
Who are the fast fashion winners?
03/02/2021  Competition is fierce for fast fashion retailers such as Asos, H&M, Zalando and Inditex. Morningstar analyst Jelena Sokolova takes a look at the sector.
Can your portfolio withstand volatile times?
01/02/2021  Volatility can be around any corner, says Morningstar director of personal finance Christine Benz.
How much equity exposure is too much in retirement?
28/01/2021  Retirees require stocks' growth potential, but they need a cash and bond buffer, too.
Key trends for China investors
27/01/2021  Rebecca Jiang, manager of the JPMorgan China Growth & Income Trust, looks at why Chinese stocks soared in 2020 and whether the trend can continue.
Redpoint's 3 top picks in industrials
25/01/2021  Redpoint's chief executive and portfolio manager Max Cappetta tells Lex Hall why he's got his eye on JB Hi-Fi, Goodman and Reliance Worldwide in 2021.
Looking for growth and income among industrials
21/01/2021  Redpoint CEO and portfolio manager Max Cappetta looks at the dividend potential of large-cap names, the resilience of Qantas, and the local tech landscape.
What we expect from oil prices
19/01/2021  Stocks still look cheap across all subsectors, especially oilfield services and refining, says Morningstar analyst Dave Meats.
What’s app-ening: investing from your phone
19/01/2021  What are the rewards and risks of using this technology?
A Democrat clean sweep and corporate America
15/01/2021  Morningstar's head of policy research Aron Szapiro explains what sort of changes a Biden government will make and how they will affect company valuations.
3 stocks for climate transition
14/01/2021  Freight-rail, building temperature efficiency, and carmaking are among the sectors Aviva Investors' Jaime Ramos Martin has his eye on.
The outlook for dividends
13/01/2021   Dividend investors had a hard time in 2020, but Morningstar analyst Dan Lefkovitz think the outlook is brighter for the year ahead.
3 themes for fund investors in 2021
11/01/2021  Morningstar Investment Management's Dan Kemp reveals the three investment themes on his mind for the year ahead.
What next for oil and gas companies?
06/01/2021  Morningstar equity analyst Allen Good looks at the prospects for oil and gas giants in the year ahead. 
China outlook 2021
05/01/2021  China had a strong year after a rocky start, but can it continue—and what does a US President Biden mean for the region? Morningstar analyst Lorraine Tan explains.
Tech, travel and trends for 2021
04/01/2021  Morningstar equity director Alex Morozov considers the outlook for tech, travel and beyond for the year ahead.
Money and investment lessons of 2020
01/01/2021  How to plan for things you can't plan.
Morningstar Year in Review 2020
25/12/2020  2020: we look back at the highs and lows of an unprecedented year in financial markets and explore the themes shaping 2021.
Are music streaming companies a big hit with investors?
22/12/2020  Music streaming companies have seen stellar growth in user numbers. We ask Morningstar equity analyst Neil Macker if the trend can continue.
What Tesla's inclusion in the S&P 500 means for investors
21/12/2020  While it stands as the largest addition in the index's history, this likely won't impact everyday investors all that much. 
Peter Warnes and the 2021 Forecast
18/12/2020  Will there be opportunities to deploy cash in the new year? Will there be a reprieve from covid? And what will the incoming Biden administration mean for markets?
Investing in the climate transition
18/12/2020  Companies that specialise in solar, building efficiency and renewables underpin Aviva Investors' Climate Transition Global Equity Fund, says Jaime Ramos Martin.
Why does liquidity matter?
16/12/2020  Why does liquidity matter to investors, and how can it affect your returns? Morningstar equities director Tom Whitelaw explains.
Introducing the Morningstar Capital Allocation Rating
14/12/2020  Learn what we look for when rating a company.
Incorporating ESG into our equity research process
14/12/2020  Morningstar's new approach unpacks the environmental, social and governance risks that companies face.
Tagliaferro: yield ideas for your portfolio
10/12/2020  Industrial companies typically generate better cash flows and can offer a steady income stream, says the IML founder.
Anton Tagliaferro on value versus growth
09/12/2020  The lofty valuations of Tesla and Afterpay typify the effervescence and speculation in the market, says the IML founder.
Can car companies be ESG investments?
08/12/2020  Car makers may not be an obvious investment choice for ESG-conscious investors, but Morningstar analyst Tancrede Fulop says some of the largest companies score highly in some measures such as safety and human capital.
The US and China under president-elect Biden
07/12/2020  Janus Henderson's Matt Peron considers how the relationship between the US and China will evolve under a President Biden.
Investing basics: what is active and passive investing?
04/12/2020  What is active investing, and what is passive investing? We're at the whiteboard to explain the pros and cons of each 
Why we still like Treasury Wine
04/12/2020  Treasury Wine Estates remains an undervalued stock in spite of China's demand-destroying tariff on Australian wine. Morningstar director of equity research Adam Fleck explains why.
What is gold worth?
03/12/2020  And do any other assets currently compare?
Why now is the time for ESG investing
02/12/2020  We're at an inflection point in ESG investing, says Sustainalytics founder Michael Jantzi. Here's why. 
10 stocks retail investors bought in covid sell-off
01/12/2020  Beaten-down travel stocks and BNPL providers featured heavily, says nabtrade’s Gemma Dale.
How retail investors seized on covid sell-off
30/11/2020  Many people were waiting for the opportunity to buy shares at historic discounts, says nabtrade’s Gemma Dale.
AMP: difficulties now, but dividends later
27/11/2020  The 171-year-old wealth manager has had its scandals but there's merit to its turnaround strategy and the quality of its other assets, says Morningstar's Shaun Ler.
'Be careful using buy now pay later'
27/11/2020  BNPL products such as Zip Co help boost consumer spending but they come with risks and are overvalued, says Morningstar analyst Shaun Ler.
Hamish Douglass: Winners and losers in the covid era
26/11/2020  The Magellan co-founder argues the ecommerce acceleration is here to stay and ponders the effect it will have on other sectors such as travel and commercial real estate.
A 'wonderful hunting ground'
25/11/2020  Greg Dean of Cambridge Global Asset Management explains why the consumer services sector has yielded healthy returns.
Hamish Douglass and big tech
25/11/2020  Magellan's co-founder explains which tech behemoth the Magellan Global Fund no longer owns, why one was too tricky to value, and why regulation is no threat.
Hamish Douglass: 'We're lucky this pandemic hit when it did'
24/11/2020  Magellan's co-founder on why 2020 resembles 2000 and why covid-19 is a dry run for something that could be much worse without proper planning.
Should you beef up your exposure to meat processors?
23/11/2020  Their shares have gotten hammered this year. Are they opportunities or value traps?
What is the Morningstar ESG Commitment level?
20/11/2020  Our new rating highlights the degree to which a fund or asset manager considers environmental, social, and governance issues.
What's driving the flows into ESG funds
19/11/2020  Morningstar's Grant Kennaway explains why sustainable funds are increasingly popular and why they're performing well. 
Too much upside baked into Bunnings: Morningstar
17/11/2020  Morningstar director of equity research Johannes Faul looks at home improvement retailer Bunnings.
What is ESG?
16/11/2020  From climate change to workers' rights, ESG is a big part of the investing world. We're at the Morningstar whiteboard board to explain what it means and why it matters.
"I'm still cautious": Peter Warnes' best ideas for income investors
12/11/2020  We're not out of the woods yet, says our head of equity research, as he looks for safety in businesses we can't live without and shies away from the banks. 
Is it time to get exposure to China?
11/11/2020  Perhaps it is time to have exposure to this economic powerhouse and its 1.4 billion population, says Morningstar's Peter Warnes.
Tapping into the contactless spending boom
10/11/2020  What happens when you buy something when your bank card? Morningstar analyst Niklas Kammer explains which companies are benefiting from your transaction.
Can luxury stocks recover from covid?
09/11/2020  With travel bans and economic lockdowns, the luxury sector has been hit hard in 2020. But there are still opportunities, says Morningstar analyst Jelena Sokolova.
US election scenarios and what they mean for investors
05/11/2020  A discussion of taxes, stimulus, regulation, and the likely market reaction as results from the 2020 poll come in. 
Don't try to time elections
03/11/2020  Why you should resist the urge to make predictions when there's a disconnect between the economy and security prices.
3 names on the alternative protein shelf
02/11/2020  Etoro analyst Josh Gilbert shares his thoughts on Beyond Meat and two other companies making inroads into the plant-based meat sector.
Hamish Douglass: I'd be super surprised if Trump won
30/10/2020  The Magellan rainmaker explains why he doubts the Republican leader will prevail and why investors should brace for volatility—and ignore it. 
Gauging the appetite for alternative protein
29/10/2020  The market for plant-based meat is worth $14bn today and is expected to grow massively, says eToro's Josh Gilbert.
Browsing the opportunities aisle in retailing
28/10/2020  Morningstar equity analyst Johannes Faul explores the flipside to the surge in growth in online sales.
3 top Asian picks on Longlead's radar
22/10/2020  China and Hong Kong have been a happy hunting ground, says Longlead Capital Partners' co-founder Andrew West, who singles out tech, pharmaceuticals and power tools.
3 undervalued travel stocks we like
22/10/2020  These names stand to benefit from a resumption of leisure travel - and are all trading below our fair value estimates.
3 reasons to like bonds
20/10/2020  Morningstar's Mark Preskett looks at three reasons why bonds are an important tool in your investment portfolio.
The monopoly asset that could boost Link
19/10/2020  A bigger stake in the online conveyancer PEXA could be the key to increasing Link Administration's revenue, says Morningstar's Gareth James.
How Longlead Capital defied the covid plunge
16/10/2020  Longlead Capital Partners co-founder Andrew West reveals how his Asia-focused fund managed to make gains during the historic covid-19 sell-off.
Investing basics: why invest in bonds?
16/10/2020  The investment board is back with an explainer on why you might invest in bonds.
Retiring during a pandemic
13/10/2020  How to handle this decision—even when it is made for you.
3 top picks in sustainability and software
12/10/2020  Nick Griffin of Munro Partners reveals why and where he sees opportunities in renewable energy, diagnostics and software. 
Investing basics: what's your personal inflation rate?
09/10/2020  Take stock of your spending to determine if inflation is an issue for you.
Ant Group IPO: What you need to know
09/10/2020  Morningstar analyst Chelsey Tam explains why investors are excited about the flotation of Ant Group and why it's different from Alibaba.
Spotting the winners of tomorrow
06/10/2020  Companies that address the growing demand for decarbonisation will have a 20-year growth opportunity, says Nick Griffin of Munro Partners.
An interview with Whitehaven Coal chief Paul Flynn
30/09/2020  EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT: Morningstar's Mat Hodge and Lex Hall talk to the CEO of the independent producer and exporter about the company's fortunes and its future.
How to get rich slowly
30/09/2020  Slow and steady wins the financial race.
3 top picks in global healthcare
29/09/2020  American Century Investments' low-turnover strategy invests in companies developing vaccines, treatments for neuro-cognitive diseases and innovations in telemedicine.
Investing in the healthcare needs of the future
25/09/2020  By 2050, almost 20 per cent of the global population will be over 65 and demand for healthcare will climb, says Michael Li of American Century Investments.
Morningstar's Mat Hodge on Rio's fortunes
22/09/2020  The destruction of an indigenous cave shelter was unforgiveable but there are other reasons why the iron ore heavyweight is overvalued.
Cannabis: the world in 2030
21/09/2020  Morningstar equity analyst Kristoffer Inton on the outlook for the seven producers under coverage.
3 top picks for the EV revolution
18/09/2020  Morningstar's Seth Goldstein singles out three undervalued stocks that span the entire electric vehicle supply chain.
The 2020 election and your portfolio
18/09/2020  The bumps and bruises of election time may tempt you to shift your portfolio strategy.  
'The tech rally has gone too far'
17/09/2020  UK-based Premier Miton's Simon Evan-Cook says the tech rally of 2020 is reminiscent of the dotcom boom, but inflation could be a bigger threat.
Why EVs will be a common sight on the roads of the future
16/09/2020  By 2025, the cost of batteries and manufacturing will fall and EV functionality will improve, says Morningstar's Seth Goldstein.
Using personal data to better estimate retirement savings
11/09/2020  Estimating the length of your retirement with personalized information will help you save the correct amount.
2 China stocks we like
09/09/2020  Morningstar's Chelsey Tam reveals which stocks and sectors have shone—and which have underwhelmed.
How to be a better investor: episode 3
28/08/2020  Products, services, what is what in the world of finance—and how to look out for yourself
Where to invest for income
24/08/2020  A raft of companies have cut their dividends this year, leaving income investors concerned. But Morningstar's Dan Lefkovitz says there are still plenty of options out there.
DNR Capital's eye for gaming, building supplies and software
18/08/2020  DNR Capital's chief investment officer Jamie Nicol profiles some of the top ten holdings in his Australian Equities High Conviction fund. 
The trouble on Telstra's horizon
17/08/2020  Morningstar's Brian Han explains why he has trimmed his fair value estimate for Australia's dominant telco and the future of its dividend payout.
Finding bargains the market overlooks
14/08/2020  DNR Capital's Jamie Nicol reveals how his Australian Equities High Conviction fund finds quality businesses that will endure difficult conditions.
How to be a better investor: episode 2
13/08/2020  Put your money to work if you're looking for financial freedom.
How to be a better investor: episode 1
10/08/2020  Learn how to picture your goals so you can better reach them.
3 undervalued names in childcare
05/08/2020  Morningstar's Gareth James identifies three sector names trading at attractive discounts in an increasingly 'essential' sector.
Is the 60/40 portfolio dead?
05/08/2020  Reports of the strategy's demise are greatly exaggerated, says Morningstar's Christine Benz.