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Funds

Core Foreign Funds

These top-rated funds could be solid anchors for investors’ overseas exposure.

List of investments
Name
Ticker
Category
Morningstar Analyst Rating
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Value
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Value
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Growth
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend
Foreign Large Blend

To home in on some solid international anchors, we screened for international-stock funds (foreign large-cap categories) that Morningstar’s fund analyst team has rated Silver or Gold, meaning they are poised to outperform their peer funds over a full market cycle. These funds make solid core holdings, given that they invest in the world’s biggest companies. Depending on their strategies, they may have more or less exposure to smaller foreign firms or emerging markets, so investors may want to supplement one of these options with a Medalist fund from our emerging-markets or foreign small/mid-cap categories.

List Criteria

Foreign Large-Cap Stocks

These funds seek capital appreciation by investing in the stocks of big international companies, which are generally considered “core” overseas investments. Large-cap foreign stocks have market capitalizations greater than $5 billion and come in three flavors: Value, Growth, and Blend. Value is defined based on low price/book and price/cash-flow ratios relative to the MSCI EAFE Index. Growth is defined based on high price/book and price/cash-flow ratios relative to the MSCI EAFE Index. The blend style is assigned to funds where neither growth nor value characteristics predominate. These funds typically will have less than 20% of assets invested in U.S. stocks.

Gold- and Silver-Rated Funds

The Analyst Rating for Funds is based on our fund analysts’ conviction in a fund’s ability to outperform its peer group (funds in the same category) and benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. If a fund receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating, it means that Morningstar analysts expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.

Open to New Investment

All the funds on this list are open for new investment. Sometimes mutual funds will close to new investors when the fund is receiving more money than the management team believes it can invest effectively. Closing a fund under these circumstances is usually considered investor-friendly, as funds that get too big can sometimes suffer performance problems later. Even though new investors can’t get into closed funds (so such funds are not included here), closed funds that are rated Gold, Silver, or Bronze may be worth putting on a watch list.

No-Load Funds

This list includes only no-load funds. “No load” refers to a mutual fund that does not charge a fee (known as a load) for buying or selling its shares; the investor typically buys no-load funds directly from a fund company or through a fund supermarket. Load funds, on the other hand, are sold by an advisor or broker and charge a percentage fee at purchase or sale of the shares, which is meant to be compensation for the planner’s investment-selection advice. (Note: Not all advisors sell load funds. Many are compensated via a flat fee or a percentage of all assets under management.) Whether a fund charges a load or not isn’t a reflection of its underlying quality. Many load funds are also Medalists, and some load funds are available without a load through 401(k) or other retirement plans. But we’re including only no-load funds here, since this list is designed to help investors who are primarily doing their own fund-picking.

Distinct Portfolios Only

Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. Screening for “distinct portfolios only” removes all but one of these options to avoid having several share classes of the same offering cluttering the list. Morningstar normally designates the oldest share class as the distinct portfolio. In some cases, this share class may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. In those cases, investors may want to consider an “investor” share class of the same fund, though the fund expenses may be higher for those share classes.