Value Line vs Morningstar 2023
|By: Jeremy Biberdorf|
If you’re looking for a reliable investment information service that offers data that’s useful for achieving your investment objectives, Value Line and Morningstar are two services you may end up considering.
Both cover similar asset types (such as stocks, exchanged traded funds, mutual funds, and closed-end funds), provides in-depth research, and offer expert analytics. At face value, they look extremely similar, so you may be left wondering which service you should opt for.
In this Value Line vs Morningstar comparison, we’ll be placing the services side-by-side. Once you know the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, it should be much easier for you to decide which service is the right one for you.
|Value Line is Better for:||Morningstar is Better for:|
|Institutional investors||Retail investors|
|Analyst reports||Analyst articles|
|Long-term investing||Multiple investing strategies|
Value Line is a service that Warren Buffet himself uses. Morningstar, on the other hand, is used by investment research companies across the world, who rely on the company to provide them with the data needed to weather through less-favorable economic conditions.
Obviously, both platforms have their merit, but which one is truly better? Let’s find out, beginning with the services they both offer for free.
|Free Features||Limited access to data, articles, and educational resources||Limited access to resources and charts|
|Paid Features||Comprehensive data, complete stock screener, daily updates, newsletters, research reports||Access to resources, charts, analyst reports, Premium Fund Screener, Cost Analyzer, X-ray tool, Bulls and Bears, Portfolio Manager, Investment Planning|
|Annual Subscription Fees||$199-795||$34.95 (monthly) |
|Securities Analyzed||Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETFs, equities||Stocks, Mutual Funds, ETFs|
|Investing Approach||Long-term investing||Long-term investingQuantitative (starred) and qualitative (gold, etc.) approaches distinctly separated by different ranking systems|
|Best Use||Stock research||Asset research|
|Modest Money Overall Rating|
Factor 1: Free Features
When you’re trying to compare the potential profitability of various investment vehicles, having some data is better than nothing at all. While both services offer basic data—like current performance—for free, you’ll need to pay for advanced features like full-fledged stock screeners or analyst ratings.
Morningstar Offers More Data for Free
- Morningstar offers basic stock data
- Value Line has the barebones data available
- Morningstar grants limited access to articles
This platform allows free, non-registered users to access a limited selection of data for various assets, including price performance and investment return. However, more crucial data—like operating expenses or annual reports—is hidden behind the paywall of a premium membership.
Free users also have access to a small selection of articles, which provide general financial and investing information.
Morningstar provides slightly more data for free than Value Line, although the difference is minimal. Free users can enjoy unlimited access to the limited data for various assets, which should provide enough insight to predict if they’ll see an increase in investment value.
However, more powerful features (like an online recommendation list) aren’t offered for free. The free version of this online service does allow non-paying users to view articles, but the number they can view is extremely limited.
Factor 2: Paid Features
Once you’re willing to pay for a service, you’ll instantly gain unlimited access to a wide variety of features that are helpful on your independent investment journey. Both of these services cover similar investment classes and offer comprehensive industry profiles, but what are the differences? Let’s find out.
Morningstar Gives Subscribers More Useful Tools
- Morningstar hosts a wide selection of analyst articles
- Value Line offers data, analyst reports, and a stock screener
- Morningstar can be used to analyze your portfolio
This platform offers subscribers four main benefits: asset data, a stock screener, expertly-written research reports, and newsletters. Combined, these benefits can certainly be beneficial to your portfolio, although it’s important to note that Value Line focuses on long-term investing.
If you’re planning on holding assets for less than three years, Value Line’s information and advice will be less useful to you.
Many people subscribe to Morningstar simply for the analyst reports alone. However, while the analyst reports are indeed useful, this platform has so much more to offer subscribers!
Upon subscribing to Morningstar, you’ll have instant access to a variety of premium features including expense ratio data, the Portfolio X-Ray tool, “Top Picks,” investment tracking tools, fair value estimates, asset ratings, the financial health reports, information on exchange-traded funds, and more.
Click here for a full review that covers all the capabilities of Morningstar and the Morningstar Investment Research Center.
Factor 3: Subscription Costs
In this category, there’s a clear winner. However, just because one platform is cheaper than the other doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth the asking price. Ultimately, you should spend your money on the service that best serves your needs (not the one that costs the least).
Morningstar Has More Affordable Rates
- Morningstar offers monthly and annual billing
- Value Line costs vary widely
- Morningstar offers reduced rates for annual billing
A membership to Value Line will cost you $598 per year. This is the price for either the digital version or the print version. A membership for both versions will cost you $718 per year.
However, depending on the financial markets and private companies you want, this price could increase or decrease, as Value Line offers a wide variety of membership plans with different primary sources for coverage.
Unlike Value Line, getting unlimited access to Morningstar is a fairly simple process. There’s a single membership offer, which you can pay for by month or by the year. If you opt for monthly billing, expect to pay $34.95/month.
However, you can save a significant amount by opting to pay for the entire year upfront. This will cost you $249 per year, as opposed to the $419.40 per year you’ll end up paying if you opt for the monthly option.
Although neither service functions as a complete replacement for a dedicated financial advisor, each one brings a lot of useful data, insights, and recommendations to the table. We think that Value Line itself is a great service: it’s just a bit overpriced!
We’d recommend going with a Morningstar membership instead. You’ll get access to the same information—plus a wide variety of investing tools—for less money.
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