Investing

Making the Most of Morningstar: Portfolio Manager

How to manage your investment portfolio for free at Morningstar

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The Morningstar User’s Guide is a series of articles discussing how to make the best use of the tools, research and analysis available at Morningstar.com.

In the last article we covered a basic Introduction to Morningstar.com. Today we look at adding our portfolio to Morningstar. After you register with Morningstar (which is free), adding your portfolio takes just a few steps. If you've just registered as a free member, at the end of the registration process, Morningstar gives you an option to input your portfolio into Morningstar. If you've already registered, you can input your portfolio by clicking on the blue portfolio tab near the top of the home page. In either case, you have two choices to make when creating a new portfolio: (1) whether to upload your portfolio or input it manually; and (2) whether to create a Transaction Portfolio or a Watch List Portfolio:

You can upload your portfolio from Quicken or Money, from several finance websites, or from excel. I chose to upload my portfolio from excel, which took some trial and error. The worksheet needs to be formatted as follows:

Next, you'll need to decide whether to setup a Transaction or Watch List Portfolio. A Transaction Portfolio allows you to enter each individual transaction, including reinvested dividends (which it automatically downloads for you). The Transaction Portfolio allows you to track in detail your investment returns. For our purposes, I've chosen the Watch List Portfolio, which simply tracks the number of shares you own in each investment. Morningstar gives you the option of selecting which investments you uploaded from the spreadsheet to include in your portfolio. I included all of mine, and here is the result:

With our portfolio entered into Morningstar, in the next article in this series we will begin to explore some of the rich features Morningstar's Portfolio Manager has to offer.

Morningstar Premium

While Morningstar offers many of its services to customers who don’t pay for a subscription, signing up for Morningstar Premium unlocks some of its most useful features and tools.

Premium members get full access to the company’s analyst reports and investment picks, giving them a leg up on other investors when it comes to researching new investment opportunities.

Morningstar Premium also gives members additional tools in Portfolio Manager so they can learn more about how their portfolio is performing.

Typically, Morningstar Premium costs $199 per month, but Dough Roller readers can get a special discount on the service. You can save $30 on a one-year subscription, $70 on a two-year subscription, and $100 on a three-year subscription.

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