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Commentary

Morningstar Analyses: New and Improved

It's fun being a Morningstar analyst. Our mutual-fund analysts interview fund managers, visit mutual-fund companies, and voice their opinions on individual funds and the industry at large. On the stock side, our analysts dig through financial statements, listen to conference calls, and give their take on a stock--without the conflicts of interest that beset analysts working on Wall Street.

There's just one thing that's not so enjoyable: Trying to squeeze everything you know about a fund or a stock into a single Morningstar analysis. For Fidelity Magellan or Cisco, 300 words isn't much, believe me.

Starting now, though, Morningstar is giving its analysts a bigger platform to work from. We're launching a greatly enhanced version of the Morningstar analysis page, which will allow you to get the most out of what our analysts know about the funds and stocks under their coverage. Don't worry, we'll still publish the analyses you're used to: in-depth, concise looks at mutual funds and stocks that get to the heart of why someone should (or should not) consider a given investment.

Take a look at Morningstar's new fund grades

We're simply expanding on that base. We've broken down each company and mutual fund into its constituent parts, with room for commentary from the analyst. We've also given the analyst room to comment immediately on news that affects funds and stocks. Click on these links to see examples of the new format for Cisco and Fidelity Magellan. (If you're not a Premium Member, you can still view these and all other analyses by signing up for a free 30-day trial membership.)

Kudos/Concerns and Bulls/Bears
In the first part of our new enhanced analyses, we lay out the positives and negatives of each investment. Why are investors bullish--or why should they be bullish--about a stock? What concerns should shareholders have about a mutual fund?

In our stock analyses, we call this section The Bulls Say and The Bears Say. For funds, we call it Kudos and Concerns.