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Moat Investing

Morningstar’s forward-looking equity research turns this philosophy into an actionable investment strategy.

Moat investing is based on a simple concept: Invest in companies with sustainable competitive advantages trading at attractive valuations.

The Philosophy Behind the Strategy

The moat investing philosophy, powered by Morningstar’s equity research, brings together its Economic Moat Rating and its forward-looking Fair Value Estimate.

Finding Economic Moats

Economic moats are sustainable competitive advantages that are expected to allow companies to fend off competition and sustain profitability into the future. Morningstar has identified five sources of economic moats.

Switching Costs
Intangible Assets
Network Effect
Cost Advantage
Efficient Scale

Switching Costs

Switching costs give a company pricing power by locking customers into its unique ecosystem. Beyond the expense of moving, they can also be measured by the effort, time, and psychological toll of switching to a competitor.

Example: Stryker Corp.

Intangible Assets

Though not always easy to quantify, intangible assets may include brand recognition, patents, and regulatory licenses. They may prevent competitors from duplicating products or allow a company to charge premium pricing.

Example: Starbucks Corp.

Network Effect

A network effect is present when the value of a product or service grows as its user base expands. Each additional customer increases the product’s or service’s value exponentially.

Example: Visa Inc.

Cost Advantage

Companies that are able to produce products or services at lower costs than competitors are often able to sell at the same price as competition and gather excess profit, or have the option to undercut competition.

Example: Walmart Inc.

Efficient Scale

In a market limited in size, potential new competitors have little incentive to enter because doing so would lower the industry’s returns below the cost of capital.

Example: Union Pacific Corp.

Focus on Valuations

Morningstar’s forward-looking valuation approach allows long-term investors to look beyond a company’s current price and potential noise in the market. Each company is assigned a current fair value based on projected future cash flows, which is assessed against its current price.

Morningstar Analyst Team

Morningstar’s equity research team of more than 100 analysts covers over 1,500 companies globally. More than 200 asset managers and 75,000 financial advisors rely on Morningstar’s research. All of Morningstar’s equity analysts follow a single, consistent research methodology.

Fundamental Analysis
Economic Moat Rating
Company Valuation
Fair Value Estimate
Moat Investing

Fundamental Analysis

Analyst conducts company and industry research, which may include financial statement analysis, trade show visits, industry reports, site visits and conference calls.

Economic Moat Rating

Analyst assesses the strength of the company’s competitive advantage, or moat, assigning a rating of None, Narrow, or Wide.

Company Valuation

Analyst considers past financial results, competitive position, and future prospects to forecast the company’s cash flows. Assumptions are entered into proprietary discounted cash flow model.

Fair Value Estimate

Using Morningstar’s proprietary discounted cash flow model, the analyst develops a Fair Value Estimate, which represents the intrinsic value of that company.

Moat Investing

Identify companies with sustainable competitive advantages and attractive valuations.


Proven Long-Term U.S. Strategy

Applying Morningstar’s moat investing philosophy to U.S. companies has historically generated excess returns relative to the broad U.S. equity markets. Strong stock selection has been a primary driver of excess returns since 2007 for this long-term, core investment strategy.

 

Source: Morningstar. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Index performance is not representative of fund performance. For fund performance current to the most recent month-end, visit vaneck.com. Investors cannot invest directly in the Index.


 


Important Disclosures

This content is published in the United States for residents of specified countries. Investors are subject to securities and tax regulations within their applicable jurisdictions that are not addressed on this content. Nothing in this content should be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell shares of any investment in any jurisdiction where the offer or solicitation would be unlawful under the securities laws of such jurisdiction, nor is it intended as investment, tax, financial, or legal advice. Investors should seek such professional advice for their particular situation and jurisdiction.

This is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of any offer to buy or sell any of the securities mentioned herein. The Fund(s) may or may not own the securities and, if such securities are owned, no representation is being made that such securities will continue to be held. Holdings will vary for the Fund(s) and their corresponding Indices. For a complete list of holdings in the ETF, please click here.

Fair value estimate: The Morningstar analyst’s estimate of what a stock is worth.

Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index consists of U.S. companies identified as having sustainable, competitive advantages and whose stocks are the most attractively priced, according to Morningstar. Morningstar Global ex-US Moat Focus Index consists of international companies identified as having sustainable, competitive advantages and whose stocks are attractively priced.

Effective June 20, 2016, Morningstar implemented several changes to the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index construction rules. Among other changes, the index increased its constituent count from 20 stocks to at least 40 stocks and modified its rebalance and reconstitution methodology. These changes may result in more diversified exposure, lower turnover, and longer holding periods for index constituents than under the rules in effect prior to this date. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Effective June 20, 2016, Morningstar implemented several changes to the Morningstar Global ex-US Moat Focus Index construction rules. Among other changes, the index increased its constituent count from 50 stocks to at least 50 stocks and modified its rebalance and reconstitution methodology. These changes may result in more diversified exposure, lower turnover, and longer holding periods for index constituents than under the rules in effect prior to this date. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

The S&P 500® Index consists of 500 widely held common stocks covering industrial, utility, financial and transportation sector; as an Index, it is unmanaged and is not a security in which investments can be made.

The Morningstar® Wide Moat Focus indexSM, Morningstar® Global ex-US Moat Focus indexSM, and Morningstar® Global Wide Moat Focus indexSM were created and are maintained by Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar, Inc. does not sponsor, endorse, issue, sell, or promote the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF, VanEck Vectors Morningstar International Moat ETF, or VanEck Vectors Morningstar Global Wide Moat ETF and bears no liability with respect to the ETFs or any security. Morningstar® is a registered trademark of Morningstar, Inc. Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index, Morningstar Global ex-US Moat Focus Index, and Morningstar Global Wide Moat Focus index are service marks of Morningstar, Inc.

The S&P 500 Index is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and/or its affiliates and has been licensed for use by Van Eck Associates Corporation. Copyright © 2017 S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a division of S&P Global, Inc., and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Redistribution or reproduction in whole or in part are prohibited without written permission of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. For more information on any of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC’s indices please visit www.spdji.com. S&P® is a registered trademark of S&P Global and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. Neither S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC, their affiliates nor their third party licensors make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the ability of any index to accurately represent the asset class or market sector that it purports to represent and neither S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC, their affiliates nor their third party licensors shall have any liability for any errors, omissions, or interruptions of any index or the data included therein.

The information herein represents the opinion of the author(s), but not necessarily those of VanEck, and these opinions may change at any time and from time to time. Non-VanEck proprietary information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed. Not intended to be a forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results or investment advice. Historical performance is not indicative of future results. Current data may differ from data quoted. Any graphs shown herein are for illustrative purposes only. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission of VanEck.

Any indices listed are unmanaged indices and include the reinvestment of all dividends, but do not reflect the payment of transaction costs, advisory fees or expenses that are associated with an investment in a fund. An index’s performance is not illustrative of a fund’s performance. Indices are not securities in which investments can be made.

An investment in the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (MOAT®), VanEck Vectors Morningstar International Moat ETF (MOTI®), VanEck Vectors Morningstar Global Wide Moat ETF (GOAT™) and VanEck Morningstar Wide Moat Fund, (the "Funds") may be subject to risks which include, among others, investing in the health care, consumer discretionary, consumer staples, industrials, telecommunications, information technology, financial services, medium-capitalization companies, equity securities, market, operational, high portfolio turnover, index tracking and data, emerging market issuers, special risk considerations of investing in European and Asian issuers, depositary receipts, cash transactions, underlying fund, new fund, authorized participant concentration, no guarantee of active trading market, trading issues, replication management, passive management, fund shares trading, premium/discount risk and liquidity of fund shares, non-diversified, and concentration risks, which may make these investments volatile in price or difficult to trade. Medium-capitalization companies may be subject to elevated risks. Foreign investments are subject to risks, which include changes in economic and political conditions, foreign currency fluctuations, changes in foreign regulations, and changes in currency exchange rates which may negatively impact the Fund's returns.

MOAT, MOTI and GOAT Fund shares are not individually redeemable and will be issued and redeemed at their net asset value (NAV) only through certain authorized broker-dealers in large, specified blocks of shares called “creation units” and otherwise can be bought and sold only through exchange trading. Shares may trade at a premium or discount to their NAV in the secondary market. You will incur brokerage expenses when trading Fund shares in the secondary market. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Investing involves substantial risk and high volatility, including possible loss of principal. An investor should consider a Fund’s investment objective, risks, charges and expenses carefully before investing. To obtain a prospectus and summary prospectus for VanEck Funds and VanEck Vectors ETFs, which contain this and other information, call 800.826.2333 or visit vaneck.com. Please read the prospectus and summary prospectus for VanEck Funds and VanEck Vectors ETFs carefully before investing.

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