Top 5 International Mutual Funds (June 2011)

Investing in international equity markets has emerged as a lucrative option for investors, most of whose portfolios consist entirely of domestic securities. Around half of the world’s equity market capitalization is made up by international equity markets. Emerging markets, which continue to grow at a rapid pace, are of particular interest for those looking at appreciably higher rates of return. However, such investments also carry unique risks and mutual funds provide a less risky means of exposure to this sector than stocks.

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.

T. Rowe Price International Discovery (PRIDX) seeks capital appreciation over the long term. The majority of the fund’s assets are invested in stocks of foreign small and mid-cap companies. It invests in a minimum of ten countries and a hundred different companies at any given time. The international mutual fund returned 25.03% in the last one year period.

The international mutual fund has a minimum initial investment of $2,500 and an expense ratio of 1.24% compared to a category average of 1.63%.

Artio International Equity A (BJBIX) primarily invests in equity securities issued by foreign companies from various market sectors. At least 65% of its assets are invested in not less than three foreign economies. Up to 35% of its assets may be invested in developing countries. The international mutual fund has a ten year annualized return of 7.81%.

The Fund Manager is Richard Pell and he has managed this international mutual fund since 1995.

American Century International Discovery (TWEGX) seeks capital appreciation. The fund invests heavily in equity securities of small and mid-cap firms located in foreign nations. It invests in companies from mature economies as well as emerging markets. The international mutual fund returned 28.24% in the last one year period.

The international fund has a minimum initial investment of $10,000 and an expense ratio of 1.43% compared to a category average of 1.63%.

MainStay International Equity A (MSEAX) invests a large proportion of its assets in equity securities of companies with international operations. The fund invests in a minimum of five countries, including emerging markets and mature economies. The international mutual fund has a five year annualized return of 3.64%.

As of April 2011, this international mutual fund held 60 issues, with 5.42% of its total assets invested in Roche Holding AG.

Eagle International Equity A (HEIAX) seeks long term capital growth. It utilizes the majority of its assets to purchase foreign equity securities and depository receipts. At least 50% of its assets are used to purchase securities traded in developed foreign securities markets. The international mutual fund returned 15.85% in the last one year period.

The Fund Manager is Richard Pell and he has managed this international mutual fund since 2002.

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

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds/mutualfunds.

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