Over the past 25 years, I’ve used many tools from Morningstar (MORN). In this post, I’ll share some of my experiences with these products.
As a new advisor years back, I used Principia and found it very helpful. I became comfortable with it and over time created custom layouts, alerts and exported data to Excel with regularity. Over all, I have a deep appreciation for the quality of Morningstar’s products and the helpfulness of its technical support team. Recently, I’ve learned that Morningstar is discontinuing the desktop version of Principia, moving it to the cloud. Because it had been a while since I used a Morningstar product, I inquired about some of its other tools. I’m glad I did.
I’ve used Advisor Workstation in the past, but at the time I was not impressed. This online tool seemed clunky and had many limitations. Perhaps it was built on older technology? Also, it did not allow exports to Excel. The revised version, however, is much improved. It will now export to Excel, is more comprehensive and has a much better feel.
When you use Principia, you have to subscribe to each module separately. For instance, if you want to build a portfolio or do research on mutual funds and stocks, you have to purchase each module separately. Purchasing a subscription to mutual funds, closed end funds, ETFs, stocks, etc., can get pricy. Plus, the data is only updated monthly and the update arrives about seven to ten days after the month end.