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Morningstar Visit

Morningstar Visit

Nathan Lear
Partner/Private Client Adviser
18 Jun 2015

In early-May this year, Hewison Private Wealth partners and advisers travelled to the United States to attend the famous Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting (AGM). Further to this, we were also fortunate enough to meet directly with Morningstar at their offices in New York City. 

Morningstar is a leading provider of independent global investment research. At Hewison Private Wealth we use Morningstar’s independent research to help us formulate investment recommendations for our clients and by visiting, we aimed to get a better understanding of Morningstar’s investment research methodology.

We have, for many years now, had a direct investment philosophy. This means wherever possible, we invest directly into assets on behalf of our clients, such as company shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), rather than use managed funds. Morningstar provides research on direct company shares not only on the Australian sharemarket, but globally.

The following are some of the key characteristics used by Morningstar in their stock selection process to identify companies that are best positioned for future growth:

  • Wide Economic Moats: Companies that have a sustainable competitive advantage. Just as castles had moats in the old days to stop invaders, companies with wide moats have unique characteristics that stop competitors eating into their profits.
  • Exemplary Stewardship: Management teams that excel at strategic execution.
  • Low Uncertainty: When purchasing a stock, a margin of safety is required, appropriate for the level of uncertainty. Companies with low uncertainty indicate that future cash flows can be estimated with a high degree of confidence.
  • Trading Below Intrinsic Value: When purchasing a stock, investors can’t expect good results if they overpay for quality. Therefore valuation is a major consideration as to whether or not purchase a stock.

By using the above characteristics, you are able to take a long term view on a company’s prospects and can develop clear recommendations. At Hewison Private Wealth we then overlay this independent research with our own investment philosophies to provide investment recommendations to our clients.

There is a strong alignment between Morningstar and Hewison Private Wealth’s investment philosophies which was reiterated by our visit to them.  

Our clients can take comfort in the fact that the investments we recommend for them are backed by world class, independent, unbiased research.



Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email info@hewison.com.au or visit www.hewison.com.auPlease note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.