Investment Help

If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Tool for DIY Investors - Morningstar X-Ray

DIY Investor's client portfolios are like people - they come in all shapes and sizes. One of the first steps DIY Investor undertakes for a new client is to work up an asset allocation for all of the client's assets. Then the actual asset allocation is compared to the desired allocation, which produces a road map for our destination. After all, as we all know, asset allocation - the percent invested in stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate etc.- is the primary determinant of investment performance.

But what do we do about mutual funds? After all, mutual funds don't invest solely in what you think they invest in. How can the DIY investor find out the asset allocation of a mutual fund?

Let's illustrate with an example.

A recent client had stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds. Everything asset-allocation-wise was straightforward except for the mutual funds. The client held $31,700 market value of BlackRock Global Allocation Fund (ticker symbol MALOX), $20,800 First Eagle Global Fund (SGENX), and $31,700 T. Towe Price Emerging Markets Fund (PREMX).

Source: Morningstar

 To work up the asset allocation, go to Morningstar's x-ray tool. Simply put in the values as shown.

Scroll down and click "Show Instant X-Ray.:  The upper left hand portion of the page gives you the asset allocation as shown:

Source: Morningstar

As you'll see, there is a lot more information on the page. Notice the "Fees and Expenses" section on the left hand side as you scroll down at the site.