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Mid-Year Update of Most-Researched Investments in Morningstar Platforms Shows Investors Focused on Large-Cap Equities, Institutions Moving Toward International Exposure


CHICAGO — Individual investors, advisors, and institutions continued to show interest in large-cap equity strategies in the first half of 2013, according to a list of the most-researched investments in Morningstar’s platforms. The mid-year snapshot also finds individual investors seeking dividends, financial advisors exploring allocation funds and income investments, and institutions searching for opportunities internationally.

Highlights of the most-researched investments in Morningstar platforms during the first half of 2013 include:
• Seven of the 10 most-researched separate accounts by institutional investors were large-cap growth strategies. Two value strategies also ranked in the top 10.
• A bank loan strategy made the list of both the top funds and ETFs researched by individual investors—no bank loan strategies made the individual investor lists in 2012.
• Financial advisors’ most-researched mutual funds focused on large-cap equity and allocation funds, while the number of fixed-income funds on the list declined from 2012.
• Emerging-markets ETFs were most popular among individual investors, while advisors showed particular interest in bond ETFs and large-cap strategies; though an energy sector ETF topped the advisor list after not making the list during the previous period.

“Core equity and bond strategies largely remain the most-researched investments across our main product platforms, but changes to the number of searches in niche categories indicate that investors were switching gears in the first half of the year,“ Paul Justice, director of fund research for Morningstar, said. “In the institutional segment, we saw a dramatic increase in interest in international preferred stock and junk-rated domestic bonds, likely because of the rapid shift in interest rates in the United States.”

“Within separate accounts, the new additions to the list indicate how institutions have changed sentiment,” Justice added. ”According to searches in our software platforms, portfolio managers seem to be reinvigorating their search for income and international exposure following the rise in interest rates and perhaps the overheated performance of U.S. equities relative to the rest of the world.”

Morningstar compiled the list by totaling the most-researched mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and separate accounts from Jan. 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013, on Morningstar Direct, its global investment analysis platform for institutional investors. Morningstar also assembled a list of the most-researched mutual funds and ETFs from Morningstar Advisor Workstation, its investment planning and research platform for financial advisors, and, the company’s site for individual investors, for the same time period.

Click here to view the most-researched investments on Morningstar platforms:

About Morningstar, Inc.
Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment research in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company offers an extensive line of products and services for individuals, financial advisors, and institutions. Morningstar provides data on approximately 433,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on nearly 10 million equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and has approximately $166 billion in assets under advisement and management as of June 30, 2013. The company has operations in 27 countries.

The above is for information purposes only and should not be considered a solicitation to buy or sell any security or to participate in a managed separate account program noted.

©2013 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.


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