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Press release from PR Newswire

Morningstar Announces Speakers and Agenda for Jan. 21, 2012 Individual Investor Conference

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Morningstar Announces Speakers and Agenda for Jan. 21, 2012 Individual Investor Conference10:47 EST Wednesday, December 07, 2011CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As many households take stock of their financial picture at the start of a new year, Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, announced it will host a new Individual Investor Conference on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012. The conference will bring together personal finance experts and Morningstar analysts to cover a broad range of topics for investors looking to take better control of their portfolios and meet their financial goals. Investors may attend the conference in person at Morningstar's headquarters, 22 W. Washington St., Chicago, or view the event online via a live webcast. At the conference, panelists will tackle a variety of subjects, including evaluating a portfolio for strengths and weaknesses, keeping investments on track without a heavy time commitment, implementing new diversification strategies, uncovering top fund and stock picks for income and growth, setting up a sensible withdrawal plan from a retirement portfolio, and maximizing Social Security benefits after retirement."We've designed this conference based on the feedback of our Morningstar.com subscribers," said Jason Stipp, Morningstar.com site editor. "For this inaugural event, we've gathered top thought leaders in personal finance and investing to address today's critical portfolio topics in a one-day, flexible format that investors can more easily work into their busy professional and family schedules." The conference will kick off at 9 a.m. Central time with a keynote address from Joel Greenblatt, managing principal and co-chief investment officer for Gotham Asset Management. A noted value investor who developed the "Magic Formula Investing" strategy, Greenblatt will put current market valuation levels into historical perspective and discuss value-weighted investing strategies.Two breakout sessions will follow Greenblatt's address: Mark Miller, nationally syndicated retirement columnist and author of the book The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security; and Mary Beth Franklin, retirement and tax planning specialist for InvestmentNews and former retirement editor for Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine; will detail practical strategies for retirees to get the most out of their Social Security benefits, long-term care insurance, Medicare/Medigap policies, and more. In a separate session, Mark Balasa, principal, co-president and CIO of Balasa Diverno Foltz, LLC, who has been named seven times as one of the "Best Financial Advisors" in the U.S. by Robb Report Worth Magazine; Leisa Brown Aiken, founder of Veo Financial Counsel, LLC, a fee-only, hourly financial planning service; and Laura Lutton, Morningstar's editorial director of fund research and lead author of the company's annual 529 College Savings Plan ratings study; will discuss ways to maximize finances during peak earning years, whether an investor is saving for a child's college education, investing for retirement, or assisting family members with their own financial affairs. Christine Benz, director of personal finance for Morningstar.com and author of the book 30-Minute Money Solutions, will host a general session at 11 a.m. to help investors tune up their portfolios for 2012 by assessing their asset allocation strategies, sector exposure, and other data using Morningstar research and tools. Following a lunch break, Benz will also speak during an afternoon breakout session, discussing how investors can establish a sustainable withdrawal plan from a retirement portfolio using a "total return" approach to tap into the right mix of assets. In the opposite breakout session, William Harding, head of manager research for Morningstar's investment management division; Nadia Papagiannis, Morningstar's alternative investments strategist and editor of Morningstar Alternative Investments Observer;  and Timothy Strauts, Morningstar ETF analyst; will outline new diversification strategies including the best ways to incorporate alternative investments into a portfolio. The conference will close with a free-wheeling panel discussion featuring Morningstar's senior analysts. Scott Burns, director of ETF, closed-end, and alternatives research; Russ Kinnel, director of mutual fund research, editor of Morningstar FundInvestor, and author of the book Fund Spy: Morningstar's Inside Secrets to Selecting Mutual Funds That Outperform; Paul Larson, equities strategist and editor of Morningstar StockInvestor; and Josh Peters, equity income strategist and editor of Morningstar DividendInvestor; will offer investment ideas and portfolio building blocks for the current market environment. They'll also discuss some of their favorite "unloved" investments that have proved successful despite being in out-of-favor sectors and industries. Registration InformationRegistration to the Morningstar Individual Investor Conference is included with an active Morningstar.com Premium membership (this includes all current Morningstar.com Premium subscribers). A one-year subscription to Morningstar.com Premium costs $185 through Dec. 18, and will be $189 after that date. For on-site attendees, registration for the conference also includes lunch.  More information about the 2012 Morningstar Individual Investor Conference, including the full agenda, hotel accommodations, and complete registration information, is available at http://www.morningstar.com/conference.Press Registration Information Full-time members of the news media may attend the Morningstar Individual Investor Conference at no cost by contacting Shawn Malayter at shawn.malayter@morningstar.com. Please specify if you plan to attend in person or via the web.  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 330,000 investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on more than 5 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 investment management subsidiaries and has more than $167 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2011. The company has operations in 26 countries.©2011 Morningstar, Inc.  All rights reserved.MORN-PMedia Contact:Shawn Malayter, 312-696-6050, shawn.malayter@morningstar.com   SOURCE Morningstar, Inc.