No radiation required for this X-Ray

Tools are important in any job. A calculator for an accountant, a hose for firemen and well, you get the point. When it comes to money however we donít always know what tools are available or how to use them.

When youíre trying to figure out how much house you can afford or what your mortgage payments are you can use any number of programs or websites. Plug in the numbers and find out.

But what about some more complicated but necessary chores of investing? We all hear about diversification and the importance of spreading risk so that you arenít putting all your financial eggs in the same asset allocation basket but do we really analyze our portfolio like we should? Even if we wanted to do the work, how do we know for sure where our investments are when we own mutual funds that literally have hundreds of different stocks in each one?

Go to Morningstarís instant x-ray and enter the symbols of the stocks or mutual funds you have and the amount invested in each and Morningstar will show you exactly how your investments are currently allocated. Too much in large caps and not enough in small caps? Now you know.

This was a very valuable tool when I was trying out different plans based on the Coffeehouse Investorís portfolio.