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Upside and Downside Capture Ratio

Upside/downside capture ratio show you whether a given fund has outperformed--gained more or lost less than--a broad market benchmark during periods of market strength and weakness, and if so, by how much.

Upside capture ratios for funds are calculated by taking the fund's monthly return during months when the benchmark had a positive return and dividing it by the benchmark return during that same month. Downside capture ratios are calculated by taking the fund's monthly return during the periods of negative benchmark performance and dividing it by the benchmark return. Morningstar.com displays the upside and downside capture ratios over one-, three-, five-, 10-, and 15-year periods by calculating the geometric average for both the fund and index returns during the up and down months, respectively, over each time period.

An upside capture ratio over 100 indicates a fund has generally outperformed the benchmark during periods of positive returns for the benchmark. Meanwhile, a downside capture ratio of less than 100 indicates that a fund has lost less than its benchmark in periods when the benchmark has been in the red. If a fund generates positive returns, however, while the benchmark declines, the fund’s downside capture ratio will be negative (meaning it has moved in the opposite direction of the benchmark). All stock funds' upside and downside capture ratios are calculated versus the S&P 500, whereas bond and international funds' ratios are calculated relative to the Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate Bond Index and MSCI EAFE Index, respectively. For some context, we also show the category average upside/downside capture ratios for those same time periods.

Click here to learn more about these ratios and interpreting the numbers.

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