After two years of development, Morningstar has announced the launch of a modern, easy-to-use research portal built specifically to meet the informational needs of financial advisors.
Marc DeMoss, head of Morningstar research products, says that for the first time ever, the customizable research platform gives users access to Morningstar’s robust research database and analysis, alongside other features such as market tracking and charting. Users also can track news and investments, create stock watchlists, and get live quotes on stocks, funds, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and commodities. Subscribers can also access financial filings from public companies and easily pull cash flow statements, balance sheets, and other financial information.
“[The portal] connects the best of what Morningstar thinks about the investing world with [the things that] an advisor needs to keep tabs on the market on a daily basis,” DeMoss says. “It provides pretty much anything you would want to track, including cryptocurrencies, commodities, and stuff that’s beyond just pure stocks, funds, and ETFs.”
DeMoss says the new portal can replace websites such as Yahoo Finance and Marketwatch and act as an alternative to the Bloomberg Terminal for financial advisors.
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The new portal is also the first and only place that aggregates all of Morningstar’s global research in one place. “We have researchers and editorial people all over the globe, writing different content for our local websites,” DeMoss said. “It’s the first time all of the research content and editorial content that our global teams [create] is accessible in one stop.”
The platform, which costs $1,750 annually per advisor, was created to replace Morningstar’s now defunct web-based research portal, the Analyst Research Center. (Costs for enterprise clients are prorated based on company size.)
DeMoss isn’t afraid to admit that the previous research portal was built on outdated technology and was underutilized by advisors. According to DeMoss, one of the goals of building the new platform was to create a site where advisors could leave it up on their desktop and reference it throughout the day.
The company began migrating its existing research center clients in August, followed by integration with Morningstar Direct in October and, more recently, Morningstar Advisor Workstation users.
The platform is currently used by about 15,000 financial advisors, and DeMoss believes that number could rise to 50,000 by mid-next 2023. Current integrations are bringing hundreds of new users to the platform every day.
“We’ve seen engagement that is beyond our goals for the initial launch period,” DeMoss says. More than 60 percent of users come back to the platform multiple times a week, with others returning multiple times a day, and Morningstar has plans to grow the platform. In 2023, the company hopes to add real-time market monitoring configurations to provide real-time quotes. (Currently, the portal’s quotes update every 15 minutes.) In addition, new features will include premium news content and AI-driven investment suggestions based on advisor preferences.