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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 Jan. 12.

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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.

This week, Morningstar's manager research group announced the finalists for Morningstar Fund Manager of the Year awards in all categories. In this article, we take a closer look at the four nominees for the Domestic-Stock Fund Manager of the Year award. 

"Our finalists navigated geopolitical challenges at home and abroad, high valuations often belied by only modestly improving earnings and increasing debt, and a rising market tide that lifted almost all boats regardless of quality. Although it has been hard for active managers to beat U.S. stock indexes in recent years, these managers' rigorous research, time-tested processes, and investment skill have set them apart in today's market."

Morningstar's PitchBook team, which tracks public and private equity markets, attended CES--a huge consumer technology convention and trade show in Las Vegas. Read their take on the five major emerging technology trends at the event. 

Director of manager research Russ Kinnel named three key themes for fund investors in 2018. Among them, Kinnel thinks investors shouldn't give up on the small-value category despite its relatively weak performance in 2017. 

"Historically, [small value's underperformance is] a good thing. It 1999, it did much worse than large growth and then came back for a long-running stretch of outperformance versus large growth."

The Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index added six stocks and dumped six stocks in December. Read about the additions and deletions, and take a look at the 10 cheapest stocks in the index.

$6.3 trillion
 BlackRock (BLK) closed out its fourth quarter with a record $6.3 trillion in managed assets. This was about $170 billion higher than our forecast, with most of the difference coming from market gains, said financial services sector strategist Gregg Warren. 

"There was little in wide-moat-rated BlackRock's fourth-quarter earnings that would alter our long-term view of the firm. We recently raised our fair value estimate for the company's shares to $550, after adjusting our assumptions not only to reflect the close of 2017, but also to account for the reduction of the statutory U.S. federal income tax rate this year to 21%, compared with our previous estimate of 25%." 

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Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.