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Investing Specialists

Morningstar Runs the Numbers

We take a numerical look through this week's Morningstar research. Plus, our most popular articles and videos for the week ended March 17.

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Inspired by Harper's Index (with a tip of the hat to FiveThirtyEight's Significant Digits blog), Morningstar Runs the Numbers uses a numbers-based approach to highlight recent Morningstar research, along with some outside news stories.

75-100 basis points
As widely expected, the Fed raised the target interest rate to a range of 75-100 basis points Wednesday. Director of economic analysis Bob Johnson says the Fed's plan for stair-step rate hikes to a 3% level in the coming years will likely be derailed by economic reality.

"I think it either will have some type of spurt or stimulus or something happen with oil prices that will force their hand and make them work faster, or that we'll have a slowdown, which will make them move slower and then maybe start again. But in any case I think that we won't get the stair-step that they're predicting."

3 Upgrades, 9 Downgrades
In February, we upgraded the Morningstar Analyst Ratings of three funds, downgraded the ratings of nine funds, and affirmed ratings on 75 funds. The team also assigned new ratings to four mutual funds and 12 exchange-traded funds and placed one fund under review. Read February's highlights and the full list of ratings changes here.

Director of healthcare equity research Damien Conover sees a lot of opportunity among large-cap biotechnology firms and large-cap pharmaceutical stocks. He thinks there are three firms in particular that are selling at a discount and command strong pricing power. 

"When we think about which firms are really well-positioned, we think about Roche as a dominant force in oncology. We also think about Pfizer that has a wide group of products in oncology as well as in several other areas that have strong pricing power such as vaccines. And then lastly, one other name we're highlighting is Celgene, a very strong position in oncology as well."

Mental Floss published a list of 13 lucky facts about St. Patrick's Day. Some little known facts about the widely celebrated holiday include: The original color associated with the holiday was light blue; it was originally a "dry" holiday on which pubs were closed; and St. Patrick's real name was Maewyn.

Director of personal finance Christine Benz says one area of confusion for many investors has nothing to do with investments at all. Rather, it's figuring out which financial documents they need to keep--and for how long--and which they can safely toss or shred. She offers clarity on how to handle eight types of key financial documents: which ones you need to hang on to (and where/how to store them), as well as which you can safely trash.

Retail real estate investment trusts have been the subject of some pretty dour headlines lately. We have a differentiated take, however, especially when it comes to high-quality, so-called Class A mall REITs. Real estate equity analyst Edward Mui believes high-quality, well located, and compelling physical retail environments will still be successful even as online shopping grows. We think the industry turbulence is giving investors an opportunity to pick up shares of some of these three high-quality REITs on sale

Most Popular Articles, Videos, and Securities

Most Popular Articles 

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Berkshire Hathaway
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Simon Property Group
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Vanguard 500 Index
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Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF
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Vanguard REIT ETF
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF
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Schwab US Dividend Equity ETF does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.