Recently I’ve started receiving the Morningstar Portfolio Monitor. It’s a monthly pdf that Morningstar puts together for premium members who track their portfolio using Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager. Simply put, it’s an amazing look into an investment portfolio.

In this article we’ll walk through a detailed review of the Portfolio Monitor (including screenshots). At the end I’ll also provide an update to the Grow Your Dough Throwdown (a stock investing competition between a few of us personal finance bloggers), and an update of my LendingClub and Prosper experiment.

Listen to the podcast of today’s article

Morningstar’s Portfolio Monitor

The Portfolio Monitor is a pdf report that Morningstar sends out monthly. The report is generated from your portfolio entered into Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager. The report covers an incredible amount of detailed information about your investments.

Portfolio Performance

To start, Morningstar gives you a snapshot of your investment performance. Here’s mine from the June report:

As you can see, I’ve just started tracking my current portfolio in Morningstar. As it has more timed data, the performance figures will be available for longer periods.

Top Gainers and Losers

The report also gives you a snapshot of your top 5 winners and losers for the month. Fortunately, I only had 4 “losers” last month:

Projected Performance

You’ll also get projects of future account balances out 5, 10, 15 and 30 years. There are three projections for each time period based on probabilities ranging from 25 to 75%. It’s an easy way to get a guesstimate of future investment growth.

X-Ray Overview

The X-Ray tool gives you an inside look into a portfolio of mutual funds and ETFs. It first breaks down your asset allocation based on actual holdings of the funds you own (including how much cash they hold). It then provides the style boxes for both equities and bond holdings. These style boxes show the market cap and value vs. growth of equities, and duration and interest rate sensitivity of bonds.

Sector Weighting

This section shows your asset allocation by sector (e.g., financials, real estate, healthcare, etc.) and compares your allocation to the S&P 500:

Stock Statistics and Fees

The final section is arguably the most important. It shows you your expense ratio across all of your investments, valuation metrics such as P/E, and performance metrics such as ROA (Return on Assets) and ROE (Return on Equity). It shows you your yield and geographic allocation of your investments.

You can get more details of this tool from Morningstar.

Grow Your Dough Updated

In January a group of personal finance bloggers began a friendly investing competition. We each have invested $1,000 in whatever we choose and are comparing returns over the course of the year. My selections were simple: Apple (1 share, pre split), AT&T (8 shares), and Tesla (1 share).

I purchased these share though an account with OptionsXpress. I chose this broker because its prices are low and they offer a $100 bonus. I had been leading the competition until this month. Phil from PTmoney has now taken the lead! Here’s the leaderboard:

Blogger Value
Phil Taylor ( $1,258.51
Rob Berger (Dough Roller) $1,226.22
Miranda Marquit (Planting Money Seeds) $1,113.90
Joe Saul-Sehy (Stacking Benjamins) $1,095.00
John (Frugal Rules) $1,069.13
LaTisha Styles (Young Finances) $1,067.95
Tom Drake (Canadian Finance Blog) $1,061.41
The Military Guide $1,015.00
Investor Junkie $1,012.29
Luke Landes (Consumerism Commentary) $1,000.16

LendingClub vs. Prosper Experiment

Finally, a quick update on my Lendingclub vs. Prosper experiment. At the start of the year I invested $1,000 in each P2P platform. I’ve set up automatic investments into moderately risky loan portfolios. The results have been decent, but not extraordinary.

LendingClub is leading the results with a return of about 4.5% through six months. My account at Prosper has earned about 2.5%. Given the risk of P2P loans, I consider the LendingClub returns to be reasonable, but not Prosper. Of course, with just $1,000 in each my ability to diversify is limited.

You can visit LendingClub or Prosper if you’d like to invest or borrow from either platform.


  • Rob Berger

    Rob Berger is the founder of Dough Roller and the Dough Roller Money Podcast. A former securities law attorney and Forbes deputy editor, Rob is the author of the book Retire Before Mom and Dad. He educates independent investors on his YouTube channel and at