How to Use Morningstar
Morningstar.com is the premier online resource for financial news, information, and independent investment research to help people reach their financial goals, including a wide range of online portfolio management tools, financial data, unbiased stock and mutual fund analysis, video commentary, and much more for beginners and experienced investors.
I regularly use Morningstar.com when I’m searching for information to do my company research with, so I thought I would give a quick how-to guide on getting the most out of Morningstar.
The first thing you’ll want to do is type your stock’s ticker symbol at the top in the QUOTES box.
If you have don’t have the symbol you can also do a quick search in the the SEARCH box. I decided to use my favorite email provider Google as the example in this article. Note that I am not endorsing the purchase or sale of GOOG shares and I do not currently own any stock in Google. Check the full disclaimer for further details. When you type in the ticker GOOG, you will be redirected to the details page, or what I like to call the ‘snapshot’. It’s basically a quick glance at the major details. What you might want to know immediately will be on this page. Notice the chart and the price information. There are also a few key ratios including P/E, price to book, price to sales and price to cash flow. You will also notice news and events and Morningstar’s take on Google, where they will provide their opinion to premium membership holders.
There are a few tabs and if you click on the PERFORMANCE tab, you will get a view of the growth of Google compared to its industry and the S&P 500. If you look at the chart you will notice that although Google outperforms both its industry and the S&P 500, it closely follows the movement of both.
Another key point you may want to research is the compensation of the key executives. You can get to this information by clicking INSIDERS. You should expect to see compensation grow if the company is growing as you will see in the chart below.
Another benefit of Morningstar.com is the ability to track the put and call movement. If you click the OPTION tab, you will notice the listing of the calls and puts.
But you haven’t even seen one of the best features of Morningstar. If you know anything about options you know that you should be familiar with the Greeks, Delta, Gamma, Vega, Rho and Theta. And no, that’s not a sorority. I’ll write something up explaining them later but for now you should know that Morningstar lets you calculate the greeks, based on the interest rate you provide, and even gives you the chance that you’ll breakeven. This definitely comes in handy when you are trading options.
Morningstar.com offers plenty of free features, like the wealth of information that we covered today, so you should definitely register for a free Morningstar.com account, but if you want to upgrade to a premium account you will get so much more. They offer a free trial and offer in-depth reports and their analysts ratings on each asset that they cover. Check it out today!
Morningstar Investment Research: Free Online Trial. 4,000 In-Depth Reports, Ratings. Data on 20,000+ Stocks and Funds.
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