Top 5 International Mutual Funds (April 2011)

International equity markets have gradually acquired greater prominence and account for more than half of the world’s market capitalization. Investors are now aware of this fact and over time a clear preference for international mutual funds has emerged. Emerging market mutual funds are of particular interest because of the untapped potential of these countries as well as their growth performance. International mutual funds are the best way to explore these markets since they have the advantages of expert management, diversification and a disciplined approach

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.

Goldman Sachs Strategic International Equity A (GSAKX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The fund invests heavily in equity securities of companies located outside the US or whose securities are primarily traded in foreign markets. The international mutual fund returned 21.56% in the last one year period.

The international mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $100 and an expense ratio of 1.45% compared to a category average of 1.37%.

Dreyfus International Equity A (DIEAX) invests a large proportion of its assets in equity securities of companies located outside the U.S. These stocks must be part of the Morgan Stanley Capital International Europe, Australasia and Far East (EAFE) Index and Canada. The international mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 5.86%.

Mark A. Bogar is the fund manager and has managed this international mutual fund since 2010.

JPMorgan Intrepid International A (JFTAX) seeks long term capital appreciation. It invests the majority of its assets in equity securities issued form mature foreign economies. A relatively smaller proportion may be utilized to purchase emerging market securities. The international mutual fund returned 24.5% in the last one year period.

The international mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000 and an expense ratio of 1.50% compared to a category average of 1.37%.

Threadneedle International Opportunity A (INIFX) focuses on acquiring foreign equity securities of companies with the potential to deliver significant growth. The fund invests in both mature and developing markets and has some exposure to foreign currencies under normal circumstances. The international mutual fund returned 24.85% in the last one year and has a five year annualized return of 3.06%.

As of February 2011, this international mutual fund held 167 issues, with 2.51% of its total assets invested in Rio Tinto PLC.

Vanguard International Explorer (VINEX) seeks capital growth over the long term. The fund invests a large proportion of its assets in growth oriented small cap companies located abroad. Equity securities constitute the majority of its investments. The international mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 4.48%.

Matthew Dobbs is the fund manager and has managed this international mutual fund since 2000.

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

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