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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 June 15.

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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.

At our 30th annual Morningstar Investment Conference in Chicago, we worked as hard as we could to bring the event to you: We filmed more than 20 videos featuring notable investors and speakers, and we published 15 recaps of roundtable discussions with investing experts. 

One way to assess whether your portfolio is diversified is to examine how the pieces of your portfolio work together. We pulled the correlations data on 13 asset classes over various time periods to see which asset classes have been the most (and least) reliable ways to diversify equity risk in a portfolio.

A new breed of strategic-beta funds has moved in: alternatively weighted bond index funds. (You knew it was coming.) Our passive investment analysts came up with four questions that help investors easily evaluate strategic-beta fixed-income funds' appeal and usefulness.

Your portfolio balance has gotten larger and larger. You've crunched the numbers, conferred with your spouse and family, and set a tentative date to retire. But before you pull the rip cord and start relying on your portfolio--rather than your salary--for living expenses, it's wise to make sure you're not missing anything on the financial front, says director of personal finance Christine Benz. Here are five trouble spots that have the potential to catch retirees off guard.

So-called core plus fixed-income strategies invest in typical "safe haven" core bond fare, such as intermediate-term Treasury securities and high-quality corporates and mortgages. But core-plus strategies can also invest in more income-oriented or opportunistic fare such as nonagency MBS, lower-quality corporate bonds, or emerging-markets debt, which come with greater return potential but also court greater risk. Here are nine core-plus funds that are rated highly by our manager research team.

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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.