Total Return

Expressed in percentage terms, Morningstar’s calculation of total return is determined by taking the change in net asset value, reinvesting all income and capital gains distributions during that month, and dividing by the starting NAV. Reinvestments are made using the actual reinvestment NAV, and daily payoffs are reinvested monthly. We provide both current and month-end returns.

Note - Total Return (current) 4 Wk  vs. Total Return (month-end) 1 Mo returns:
For the four-week time period only, current returns are week-based rather than month-based. Therefore, at the end of each month, you may notice the returns are slightly different for Total Return current - 4 Wk and Total Return (mo-end) 1-month. The rest of the time periods are not affected by this.


Unless otherwise noted, Morningstar does not adjust total returns for sales charges (such as front-end loads, deferred loads and redemption fees), preferring to give a clearer picture of a fund’s performance. The total returns do account for management, administrative, 12b-1 fees and other costs taken out of fund assets. Total returns for periods longer than one year are expressed in terms of compounded average annual returns (also known as geometric total returns), affording a more meaningful picture of fund performance than non-annualized figures.


Morningstar calculates total returns daily, using the raw data (NAVs, dividends, capital gain distributions) collected from fund companies. Formulas for total return are listed below. We provide both daily and monthly total return figures.

For funds with tickers, Current NAV reflects the price as of the close of business the previous day. For funds without tickers, Current NAV reflects the closing price as of two business days prior.

Note: The time periods specified here apply only to on-screen data and Morningstar Reports. Printed reports (Investment Detail, Portfolio Snapshot, Hypothetical Detail, etc.) include data as of the most-recent month-end.

For the Pros


Morningstar determines year-to-date, four-week, three-, and 12-month, three-, five-, 10-, and 15-year total returns by calculating the increase in the NAV over that time period including the reinvestment of distributions. We calculate monthly total returns using the following formula:

TRm = {[Ending NAV (1+ Distribution/Reinvestment NAV) - Beginning NAV] / Beginning NAV} x 100


Ending NAV = current NAV

Beginning NAV = previous NAV

Distribution = amount of distribution

Reinvestment NAV = the price per share on the day the distribution is reinvested.


Monthly returns can be compounded to achieve longer time period returns.

TRcumulative = image\totalreturn_calc.gif


TRm1 = total return for first month

TRmn = total return for month n

n = number of months in time period


In order to generate more usable figures, Morningstar annualizes total returns spanning more than one year, using the following formula:

TRannual = {[1 + TRcumulative/100]1/n ] -1 } x 100


n = the number of years

These compounded average annual returns are also known as geometric total returns.

Total Returns and Reinvestment

Depending on an investor's specific cash flows, their total returns may differ from the returns in our calculations. This is because Morningstar’s total returns consider the compounded appreciation and income on the (assumed) reinvested amount.

Fund Performance Within Morningstar Category

The Percentile Rank within Category figures allow for a direct comparison of a fund’s performance within its Morningstar category. To assess the relative performance of funds from different investment backgrounds, total return numbers offer a direct comparison.