Top 5 International Mutual Funds

Adding a small amount of international flavor to a portfolio could go a long way to increase returns without significantly raising the associated risk. Mutual funds focusing on foreign markets diversify their portfolios by investing in both mature and developing markets. Emerging markets are of special interest since they provide appreciably higher growth than developed countries. Mutual funds are the optimal route for investors to chart international waters since they provide access to a diversified, professionally managed portfolio at a low cost.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated international mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect these mutual funds to outperform their peers in the future.

Invesco International Growth A (AIIEX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The fund primarily invests in marketable equity securities issued by foreign companies that are listed on a recognized domestic or foreign securities exchange. The international mutual fund returned 10.88% in the last one year period.

The international mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.49% compared to a category average of 1.55%.

Calamos International Growth A (CIGRX) invests a large portion of its assets in foreign securities. The fund seeks out companies with strong growth potential and usually invests in larger companies. However, it may also consider investing in smaller emerging firms. The international mutual fund returned 17.87% in the last one year period and has a five year annualized return of 6.86%.

The Fund Manager is John Calamos, Sr. and he has managed this international mutual fund since 2005.

First Investors International A (FIINX) seeks capital appreciation. The fund focuses on acquiring common stocks and other equity securities issued by foreign companies. It primarily invests in large and mid-cap firms, but may also consider smaller companies. The international mutual fund returned 14.63% in the last one year period.

The international mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 2.20% compared to a category average of 1.55%.

Wasatch International Growth (WAIGX) invests a large share of its assets in securities issued by companies located in emerging markets. It invests in a minimum of five countries included in the MSCI AC World Ex-U.S.A. Small Cap index. The international mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 6.99%.

As of June 2010, this international mutual fund held 105 issues, with 3.47% of its total assets invested in Abcam PLC.

Oppenheimer International Small Company A (OSMAX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. It primarily invests in companies located outside the U.S. or having primary operations in other countries. At least 80% of its assets are invested in small-cap companies. The international mutual fund returned 22.18% in the last one year and has a ten year annualized return of 9.8%.

The Fund Manager is Rohit Sah and he has managed this international mutual fund since 2004.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all international mutual funds, then click here.

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