Analyzing stocks can be a time-consuming process. But for those who do it, there’s generally a passion associated with the process. While it would be great to have a team of analysts on your side to spread the workload around, that simply isn’t practical for the individual investor.
Morningstar has the next best thing to a team of analysts. Its premium service, which recently rebranded and is now called Morningstar Investor, has already done much of the necessary analysis for stocks, ETFs, and funds. You just need to go through the analysis and decide if an investment has potential or not. In this article, we'll go through what Morningstar has to offer.
You might also want to dive into our list of the best investing and stock newsletters.
Right now, you can start your 7-day free trial and save $50 on an annual Investor subscription with code COLLEGEINVESTOR.
- Limited free version
- Excellent fundamental analysis
- X-Ray can analyze assets within your portfolio
Stock, ETF, Mutual Fund, and Portfolio Analysis
Basic (Free) and Premium
Annual: $249 $199
Premium Free Trial
7 Days (and then $50 off)
Students can receive a full year for only $25 (a 90% discount).
Save $50 on an annual Investor subscription with code COLLEGEINVESTOR.
Who Is Morningstar?
Morningstar is an investment rating platform for stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. It's based in Chicago, IL, and was founded in 1984.
Over the past 35+ years, it has developed a swath of independent research, ratings, and tools. Today, Morningstar is one of the most respected stock market analysis firms in the U.S. and is trusted by individuals and professional investors alike.
Morningstar's workforce of more than 5,000 employees conduct research all over the world (in 27 countries) on over 620,000 investments. It also has about $215 billion in assets under management through its investment subsidiaries.
What Do They Offer?
Morningstar provides ratings and analysis on stocks and funds. Its ratings are widely quoted on other websites and sometimes in the financial media. The site is oriented towards fundamental investors.
Fundamental investing is a type of analysis that looks at a company’s financials, management, industry, and growth prospects. This is in contrast to technical analysis, which analyzes stocks using charts. If you use purely technical analysis, Morningstar doesn’t really have anything to offer.
Morningstar will save any fundamental investor a lot of time by providing high-quality analysis. Once you type in the symbol of a stock, ETF, or mutual fund, you'll see information at a glance that allows you to assess the asset quickly.
From there, you can decide to move onto the next asset or dig deeper through Morningstar's commentary and other analysis features. Some of those other features include:
Morningstar’s portfolio analysis tool is called X-Ray. It’s named X-Ray because it can look into your portfolio to determine if you have overexposure to some investments through duplicate holdings.
For example, you might hold 10% Apple (AAPL) as a stock and not realize that you also have a fund that holds a large portion of AAPL. That means you're actually holding more than 10% in Apple.
X-Ray will show the weighting for each position, which allows you to see if positions are properly weighted. You’ll also see the sectors your positions are in, geographic locations, interest rate sensitivity, valuation (growth vs. value scale), and more.
X-ray does not offer insight into diversification, at least not from a modern portfolio theory perspective. In other words, it doesn’t provide any correlation information between investments in the portfolio.
A screener lets you put in certain characteristics of an asset and find those that match. The Morningstar screener is specific to the metrics provided by morningstar. Meaning, you can’t filter on broad metrics. You can filter on performance, analyst-grade ratings, or financials.
Related: 5 Tools Every Investor Should Use
Morningstar offers a free (called Basic) and paid (called Premium) membership levels to its service. The free subscription can give you a taste of what Morningstar has to offer. (There's also a student discount for only $25—more on that below.)
However, you may quickly find that Basic is too limiting to perform meaningful analysis. The only thing in the free version that you’ll have full access to is editorial articles. Everything else is restricted in some way.
Pricing And Plans
There are fees only if you go with the Investor membership. However, there is a 7-day trial. After that, you can enjoy $50 off, making the annual rate $199. Morningstar also added a new student subscription. Students can receive an entire year of Morningstar for only $25—that's 90% off!
Check out their various plan options in the table below.
$25 a year
The monthly plan is by far the most expensive option. In just one year, you'd spend $419.40 in membership fees. On the flip side, if you sign up for the annual plan, you'd receive $50 after the 7-day trial and pay $199 for the year. Try Morningstar Investor free for 7 days >>>
Morningstar Investor for Students
Students with a valid .edu email address can get Morningstar Investor for 90% off for the first year - this means that the normal $249 price tag will drop to just $25.
For everyone else, save $50 on an annual Investor subscription with code COLLEGEINVESTOR. Get started here >>
How Does Morningstar Compare?
Morningstar is very hands-on and requires that you come to a conclusion on any potential investments. If you want a similar level of analysis and someone to provide the conclusion for you, the Motley Fool Stock Advisor may be a better choice.
For half the price (intro price of $99 per year), you can offload the analysis onto someone else. The service also comes with a 30-day trial. Check out the Motley Fool here >>>
Motley Fool Stock Advisor doesn’t have all of the various analysis levers that you can pull and tweak to go in-depth. Instead, they send you monthly stock picks via lengthy reports. In other words, it’s a one-and-done type of service.
You get the report and decide if you want to invest in the pick. The reports go deep, and there’s plenty to read on each pick.
Annual Membership Fee
7-Day Free Trial
30-Day Free Trial
Is It Worth It?
Morningstar's tools aren't really meant to provide stock picks for day trading or swing trading. Rather it's for long-term investors and, specifically, those interested in fundamental analysis.
Morningstar is also focused on stocks, ETFs, and funds. If you're looking to invest other instruments such as forex, futures, or options, Morningstar won't provide any benefit.
To really determine if Morningstar is for you, it's best to try out the Investor service's free 7-day trial. And by signing up for your free trial with our site's link, you'll qualify for $50 off. Start your 7-day Morningstar Investor free trial here.
Also, don't forget about the steep student discount. You can get an entire year for only $25.
Premium Free Trial
Mutual Fund Analysis
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Mon - Fri, 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM (CT)
Customer Service Email
Mobile App Availability
iOS and Android
Pricing and Fees
Ease of Use
Tools and Features
Products and Services
Morningstar helps long-term investors uncover value in stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds through its exclusive research, ratings, and tools.
- In-depth research of stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds
- X-Ray portfolio analysis
- User-friendly interface
- 7-day free trial
- Minimal access to rating and tools for Basic members
- Monthly Investor membership costs $249 per year (but after the 7-day trial, you can receive $50 off)
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared toward anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.