DEFINITION of 'International Equity Style Box'

A visual representation of the principal investment characteristics of foreign stocks and foreign stock funds. The international equity style box is a valuable tool for investors to use to determine the risk-return structures of their international stocks/portfolios and/or how these investments fit into their investing criteria.

Also known as an "international stock style box".

BREAKING DOWN 'International Equity Style Box'

An international equity (stock) style box is comprised of nine squares, or categories, with the investment features of stocks/stock mutual funds presented along its vertical and horizontal axes.

Whereas Morningstar uses percentages of its stock database to determine large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks (company size), internationally, dollar market-capitalizations of less than US$1 billion, US$1 billion to US$5 billion and more than US$5 billion are used to classify companies as small, medium and large, respectively.

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