MarketWatch vs Morningstar 2023

Jeremy Biberdorf
By: Jeremy Biberdorf
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Individual investors are under a lot of pressure when it comes to making investment decisions. Sans a financial advisor, individuals often rely on a combination of stock analysis services and portfolio management tools to help them succeed.

Of course, different services will meet different needs. While some platforms may cover a wide range of asset types (such as crypto, futures, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds), others may limit their sights to the stock market basics.

Today, we’ll be looking at two popular financial services designed for investors. In this MarketWatch vs Morningstar comparison, you’ll find out the differences, similarities, and ultimately gain enough insight to decide which service will best fit your investing needs!

MarketWatch is Better for:Morningstar is Better for:
Stock newsPremium investment services
Free featuresPortfolio tools
Affordable premium membership feesStock recommendations

If you intend to pay for a premium membership on a platform, it’s important to ensure that you’ll be able to take advantage of all of the investment research services offered.

Some investors just want to be recommended individual stocks that they can set and forget, so a service like Motley Fool Stock Advisor is enough. Investors who prefer to come up with their own investment ideas will need a service like Morningstar Premium.

Make sure to check out the full capabilities of the platform you’re considering. There’s no point in paying for extra features that won’t actually help you reach your investment goals!

Marketwatch Morningstar
Free Features Limited access to articles Stock pricing Access to “Research & Tools” Ad-supported experience Limited access to resources and charts
Paid Features Unlimited Access Exclusive Content Newsletter Watchlists Fewer ads Access to resources, charts, analyst reports, Premium Fund Screener, Cost Analyzer, X-ray tool, Bulls and Bears, Portfolio Manager, Investment Planning
Annual Subscription Fees $5/week $34.95 (monthly)
$249 (annual)
Securities Analyzed Stocks, ETFs, crypto, other equities Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETFs
Investing Approach Fundamental & analytical Quantitative (starred) and qualitative (gold, etc.) approaches distinctly separated by different ranking systems
Best Use Stock news Asset research
Current Promotion

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Save $50 on an annual membership with coupon code MM50
Modest Money Overall Rating
3.5 rating based on 5 ratings
5.0 rating based on 5 ratings

Factor 1: Free Features

So, you want to analyze the potential of a mutual fund, individual stocks, or another type of asset. Can you do it for free?

Sort of. While both of these platforms do offer some free features, the most useful investment management and research tools are hidden behind the paywall of subscription services.

Still, you should be able to get some basic information without paying (such as the past performance of investment funds or individual stock prices).

MarketWatch Offers Slightly More for Free

  • MarketWatch gives limited access to articles
  • Morningstar also offers limited access
  • MarketWatch allows partial access to “Research & Tools”


Although using MarketWatch for free won’t give you the best experience possible, you’ll still be able to use this stock news platform to find a few investment opportunities without paying.

Beyond access to a limited number of articles per month (which mainly cover investment companies, investment analysis, and market movement), free users can use a few investment tracking tools.

The free version of MarketWatch includes a basic stock picker/ stock screener and a few tools for tracking your investment portfolio.

However, if you want to have access to key data points about assets in your investment portfolio, you’ll need a premium subscription.


As Morningstar is primarily a premium service, its free services are fairly limited. While the investment opportunities you’ll find using the free tools could be helpful, they’re comparable to MarketWatch in terms of their investment analysis potential (i.e., needs improvement).

The service does offer some basic news about investment companies, assets, and market changes. However, access to these articles is limited on a free account. The simple charts can be used for basic investment tracking, You can also use a free basic stock screener.

However, when trying to find the best investment option to reach your financial goal, it’s helpful to have all of the relevant information in one place. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to save and track the assets in your investment accounts without a premium membership.

Factor 2: Paid Features

Using the free version of a premium service subjects you to limited access and only offers limited resources. However, once you’re willing to pay for a premium service, the options start to open up!

Each platform offers various portfolio tools, covers a wide variety of assets, and other benefits. There are both annual membership and monthly subscription options available.

Next, let’s compare the premium offerings of MarketWatch to those from Morningstar Inc.!

Morningstar Has More Comprehensive Portfolio Tools

  • Morningstar offers portfolio management tools
  • MarketWatch primarily offers stock news articles
  • Morningstar also offers articles and analyses


A premium membership to MarketWatch unlocks all of the platforms “Research & Tools.” It also gives unlimited access to articles, newsletters, and watchlists.

While having the ability to read the opinions of financial analysts—in addition to the latest news—is helpful, it doesn’t offer stock-market investors everything they’ll need along their investing journey.

Hands-on investors and advanced investors may find MarketWatch helpful as a supplementary service, whereas less active investors may just find the additional insights interesting. How useful this platform is really depends on what type of investor you are, and what your current services are lacking.

Although there is promotional pricing available, regular pricing comes out to $5/week.


Morningstar Premium is considerably more expensive than MarketWatch, but it also offers benefits that multiple types of investors can benefit from. Advanced investors, investment professionals, and even investment research firms rely on this investment research company to provide accurate information.

Whether you’re trying to track the performance of an individual mutual fund or your entire portfolio of stocks, Morningstar Premium is more than capable of meeting your needs.

There are too many features to mention here, but a few notable mentions are investment tracking, investment screening, Portfolio X-Ray, and “Top Picks.” You can learn about the full capabilities of this platform by checking out our comprehensive review here.

Factor 3: Subscription Costs

Now that you know what each platform has to offer with a premium membership, let’s compare the prices between the two.

MarketWatch Costs Slightly Less Per Year

  • MarketWatch can be canceled at any time
  • Morningstar offers both annual & monthly billing
  • MarketWatch calculated billing per-week


Charging a mere $5 per week, MarketWatch is certainly an affordable option for retail investors. Generally, this will be $20 per month. However, since MarketWatch charges on a four-week basis (rather than a monthly basis), some months may end up costing $25 instead.


Morningstar Premium—now known as Morningstar Investor—doesn’t offer a 30-day free trial, but it does offer a seven-day one. You can choose from either annual or monthly subscription options. The annual plan costs $249 per year, whereas the latter costs $34.95 per month ($419.40 per year). We’d recommend the annual plan of Morningstar Premium!
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MarketWatch vs Morningstar: Final Thoughts

MarketWatch offers a small variety of tools that investors may find useful, but it’s best used as a secondary service, not a primary one.

Morningstar Premium, on the other hand, has enough resources, tools, and data to satisfy financial analysts and retail traders alike. Although there are monthly subscription options offered, we highly recommend opting for an annual membership instead.

If you’d like to mull over data and analyst opinions of the future performance of a wide variety of assets, Morningstar is the way to go. MarketWatch has its place as well, but it’s certainly not at the top of our recommendations list.

Click here to join Morningstar and save $50 on your annual membership!