August 15, 2017
Morningstar looked at the performance of U.S. sustainable funds compared with conventional funds, and found that the overall star ratings distribution of sustainable funds is comparable to that of conventional funds, suggesting that there is no performance penalty associated with sustainable funds. Moreover, the overall distribution of star ratings among sustainable funds skews positively: 38.2% of sustainable funds have four or five star ratings, while only 22.7% have one or two stars. If the distribution of star ratings among sustainable funds matched that of conventional funds, only 33% would have four or five stars.
The Morningstar Rating for funds, or ‘star rating’, is calculated for managed products (including mutual funds, variable annuity and variable life subaccounts, exchange-traded funds, closed end funds, and separate accounts) with at least a three-year history. Exchange-traded funds and open ended mutual funds are considered a single population for comparative purposes. It is calculated based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return measure that accounts for variation in a managed product’s monthly excess performance, placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of products in each product category receive 5 stars, the next 22.5% receive 4 stars, the next 35% receive 3 stars the next 22.5% receive 2 stars, and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. The Overall Morningstar Rating for a managed product is derived from a weighted average of the performance figures associated with its three-, five- and ten- year (if applicable) Morningstar Rating metrics. The weights are 100% three-year rating for 36-59 months of total returns, 60% five-year rating, 40% three-year rating for 60- 119 months of total returns, and 50% ten-year rating, 30% five-year rating, 20% three-year rating for 120 or more months of total returns. While the ten-year overall rating formula seems to give the most weight to the ten-year period, the most recent three-year period actually has the greatest impact because it is included in all three rating periods.