© 2016 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
The Morningstar Rating for separate accounts, commonly called the star rating, is a measure of a separate account’s risk-adjusted return, relative to other separate accounts in the same Morningstar Category. Separate accounts are rated from 1 to 5 stars, with the best performers receiving 5 stars and the worst performers receiving 1 star. Separate accounts are rated for up to three periods (three, five, and 10 years), and ratings are recalculated each quarter. The Morningstar Rating for separate accounts uses an enhanced risk-adjusted return measure, which accounts for all variations in a separate account’s monthly performance, with more emphasis on downward variation. Separate accounts are ranked against others in the same category and stars are assigned as follows: Top 10% 5 stars, Next 22.5% 4 stars, Middle 35% 3 stars, Next 22.5% 2 stars, Bottom 10% 1 star.
Fees for separate accounts can vary widely and are negotiated between the asset manager, the separate account program sponsor or advisor, and the investor. Morningstar has chosen to employ the AIMR-approved standard of gross-of-fees performance (before fees have been taken out) to compare separate accounts. Net-of-fees calculations often deduct the highest theoretical fees that an investor may pay.
The Morningstar Rating uses an enhanced risk-adjusted return measure based on “expected utility theory,” which accounts for all variations in a separate account’s monthly performance, with more emphasis on downward variation. Morningstar will not calculate ratings for categories or time periods that contain fewer than five separate accounts. Each investor in the same separate account can experience slightly different total returns, because investors have different account preferences and restrictions. Therefore, all separate account performance data is reported to Morningstar as a “composite” of similarly managed portfolios.
Separate accounts that do not have ratings can be divided into two groups: those that do not qualify to be rated and those that did not participate. A separate account will not get a Morningstar Rating if: It is less than three years old, the firm is not AIMR-compliant, the category contains fewer than five separate accounts that are eligible for a rating.