Last updated: 17:41 / Tuesday, 6 August 2013
Morningstar mid-year snapshot

Investors Focused on Large-Cap Equities, Institutions Moving Toward International Exposure

Investors Focused on Large-Cap Equities, Institutions Moving Toward International Exposure

Individual investors, advisors, and institutions continued to show interest in large-cap equity strategies in the first half of 2013, according to a list of the most-researched investments in Morningstar's platforms. The mid-year snapshot also finds individual investors seeking dividends, financial advisors exploring allocation funds and income investments, and institutions searching for opportunities internationally.

Highlights of the most-researched investments in Morningstar platforms during the first half of 2013 include:

  • Seven of the 10 most-researched separate accounts by institutional investors were large-cap growth strategies. Two value strategies also ranked in the top 10.
  • A bank loan strategy made the list of both the top funds and ETFs researched by individual investors—no bank loan strategies made the individual investor lists in 2012.
  • Financial advisors' most-researched mutual funds focused on large-cap equity and allocation funds, while the number of fixed-income funds on the list declined from 2012.
  • Emerging-markets ETFs were most popular among individual investors, while advisors showed particular interest in bond ETFs and large-cap strategies; though an energy sector ETF topped the advisor list after not making the list during the previous period.

"Core equity and bond strategies largely remain the most-researched investments across our main product platforms, but changes to the number of searches in niche categories indicate that investors were switching gears in the first half of the year," Paul Justice, director of fund research for Morningstar, said. "In the institutional segment, we saw a dramatic increase in interest in international preferred stock and junk-rated domestic bonds, likely because of the rapid shift in interest rates in the United States."

"Within separate accounts, the new additions to the list indicate how institutions have changed sentiment," Justice added. "According to searches in our software platforms, portfolio managers seem to be reinvigorating their search for income and international exposure following the rise in interest rates and perhaps the overheated performance of U.S. equities relative to the rest  of the world."

Most Researched Investments, Jan. 1 — June 30, 2013—Individual Investors (

Most Researched Investments Jan. 1 — June 30, 2013—Financial Advisors (Morningstar Advisor Workstation):

Most Researched Investments Jan 1. — June 30, 2013—Institutional Investors (Morningstar Direct):

For your information...

Morningstar compiled the list by totaling the most-researched mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and separate accounts from Jan. 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013, on Morningstar Direct, its global investment analysis platform for institutional investors. Morningstar also assembled a list of the most-researched mutual funds and ETFs from Morningstar Advisor Workstation, its investment planning and research platform for financial advisors, and, the company's site for individual investors, for the same time period.