DEFINITION of 'Morningstar Inc.'

Morningstar is a Chicago-based investment research firm that compiles and analyzes fund, stock and general market data. They also provide an extensive line of internet, software and print-based products for individual investors, financial advisors and institutional clients. The research reaches all corners of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Among its many offerings, Morningstar's comprehensive, one-page mutual and exchange-traded fund (ETF) reports are widely used by investors to determine the investment quality of the more than 2,000 funds. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Morningstar Inc.'

Morningstar is a respected and reliable source of independent investment analysis for all levels of fund and stock investors, ranging from inexperienced beginners to sophisticated experts. This extensive line of products empowers various financial professionals, including individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, retirement plan providers, and institutional investors. The data and research provided by Morningstar include insights on investment offerings, managed investment products, publicly listed companies, and real time market data. Its website includes free information on individual funds and stocks. Complete data is available through subscription services and publications starting at $199 for a one year membership. Many financial terminals like Bloomberg and FactSet distribute Morningstar publications. 

Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiary, with more than $200 billion in assets under management. The company continues to expand into new markets and now operates in 27 countries. 

Morningstar filed for an initial public offering in May of 2005 at $18.50 per share. They elected to follow a unique method of issuing public shares called OpenIPO, similar to Google (GOOGL) in 2004. It is a variation of the traditional method that treats all qualifying bids in an impartial manner. This provides individual investors equal access to bid on the price of the stock. Today, Morningstar is listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol MORN. As of January 2018, shares were trading below $100 with a market capitalization slightly above $4 billion. 

History of Morningstar

In 1984, Joe Mansueto left his job as a stock analyst when he realized investors lacked the necessary information to make intelligent investment decisions. At the same time, the mutual fund industry started to accelerate as retirement plans shifted from defined benefit like company pensions to defined contribution. These changing dynamics informed the foundation of Morningstar. Over the next 30 years, Morningstar continued to add products and services that help investors of various expertise. Today, Joe Mansueto is no longer the CEO of Morningstar but still holds the position of executive chairman.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Retail Fund

    A retail fund is an investment fund with capital invested by ...
  2. Comparison Universe

    A comparison universe is a comprehensive grouping of investment ...
  3. Advisor

    An advisor is any person or company involved in advising or investing ...
  4. Management Tenure

    Management tenure is the length of time that a manager has been ...
  5. Manager of Managers - MoM

    A manager of managers (MoM) approach is a type of oversight investment ...
  6. Managed Money

    Managed money is a means of investment whereby investors rely ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    300 Global ETFs to Get Morningstar Ratings

    Morningstar, an investment research provider, is adding 300 exchange-traded funds to its stable of 650 ETFs.
  2. Investing

    Bloomberg Vs Morningstar: Key similarities & Differences

    Bloomberg and Morningstar are established leaders in financial industry. They're similar but certainly not identical. Investopedia offers crib notes.
  3. Investing

    Morningstar: A Premier Mutual Fund Source

    Looking for current mutual fund information? Morningstar is one of the places to start your search.
  4. Investing

    Morningstar's Stewardship Grade Scores Big

    Morningstar's service gives investors an idea how well fund companies are safeguarding their interests.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Analyzing Mutual Funds: Lipper Rating Vs. Morningstar

    Read a comparison between the Morningstar and Lipper mutual fund rating systems and why it's important for investors to understand them.
  6. Investing

    Mutual Fund Ratings: Crucial or Insignificant?

    Mutual fund ratings can help investors, but they have their drawbacks as well.
  7. Investing

    Top 5 Websites for Finding Mutual Fund News (MORN, TRI)

    Discover the five top websites for finding mutual fund news, data and tools for researching the best mutual funds for current investment.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do I judge a mutual fund's performance?

    Evaluating a mutual fund's performance and choosing one or several that meet your investment goals and risk tolerance involves ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center