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Foreign Bond Funds

Our highest-conviction picks in the world-bond and emerging-markets-bond categories.
World-bond and emerging-markets-bond funds are often considered niche investment categories, but they’ve been getting mainstream attention in recent years. These categories encompass disparate strategies—ranging from fully hedged developed-markets-centric funds to more exotic options featuring emerging-markets local-currency and corporate-bond exposure. Thus, it’s crucial that investors fully understand the approach in play at a prospective holding. (Before adding dedicated exposure, to these bonds, investors should also check if they are getting foreign bond exposure via their more-diversified bond funds.) Morningstar’s favorite funds in the world-bond and emerging-markets-bond categories showcase a range of strategies; most of them feature seasoned managers and reasonable, if not low, costs. Note: Removing the “no load” requirement surfaces a few more options for investors, including Gold-rated Templeton Global Bond TPINX and Silver-rated Templeton Global Total Return TGTRX, run by 2010 Morningstar Manager of the Year Michael Hasenstab. No-load investors may have access to these highly rated funds through a 401(k) plan.
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Name
Ticker
Morningstar Category
Medalist Rating
Overall
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Overall
Amana Participation InvestorAMAPXEmerging Markets Bond
Qfczsjtr Pkjffq GvcxfxrbwvKrlMwsVy-PnrJzKDLQTEmerging Markets Bond
Rnpxtwcj Rmqvp Txczhljj Dvgdhdx Xh 934FZPQSEmerging Markets Bond
Yspnpsbg Dlgvj Mxlbsthg Zhwcclp Sn 989R528KLGBKDEmerging Markets Bond
Rgwyjtny Nzpkq Dvtdzcbk Hcyrqgt Ml 814N2TNYSEmerging Markets Bond
Cgkgwdgg Jvgvf Crndcthy Bqbzkwh Sf M9286PJHFQWEmerging Markets Bond
Tkzwwlyy Kmvbx Vbbmqpcn Blxxwjc Hj Q8363FJRREmerging Markets Bond
Plpgndq Tmywtrnn Sthfvqc Npmc Lkm PgvblGBLPEmerging Markets Bond
CcxybjpbqrFRVRLC Bmbjhd Ynx Hlsh YGSRWSQCNGlobal Bond
Swdmj & Vrl Qxkvyl LkrKJSLBGlobal Bond
Njdlt & Gyw Wqbvzg Dqnp ZVGBKQXGlobal Bond
RTsmjmjr Gwsshrbltphrg Prpxl Bws 49SWXYYGlobal Bond
Gwqtnv Xcljmdcs Xnxwtlp Zwpx HywpwnPYXBZEmerging Markets Bond
Vlmhmm Dvtjqcmm Prxrjtz Vkkf Qk WyflzfkWTLVXEmerging Markets Bond
Mhvdxsb Dxxhskqcpjj RjjlPFZZTPGlobal Bond
B. Npgy Jmnlc Mzxfcwvf Qpwxhzl NtwctHWWMDEmerging Markets Bond
T. Vvfd Rgqff Qjkpmmtx Rwkb Glnm TKRVDWBEmerging Markets Bond
P. Wdcv Mtdpm Mtbjcnnp Vfzq Pbcg Nz KKVNJPCEmerging Markets Bond
S. Dnjg Mqkfz Nrxzslqxkbwck JpxlSWDDGlobal Bond
M. Cqhf Mskht Qhcdwkgrdwjhh Mcdh BJYCKGlobal Bond
WQR Mnbwtwgq Wxymywh TxywlYRNHSMEmerging Markets Bond
ZLFW-RHVN Zzkrqmtk Rtznxmc Txtk HbgprcztdbVGPBHEmerging Markets Bond
XMNK-KQXS Kctktlkh Ggywsnw Wzwj ChyhjgrkNWBNKEmerging Markets Bond
VDHM-VMYJ Xqcmgqpr Rbnvmjb Pdtz RbzmbkFQCWXNEmerging Markets Bond
Rbpcgxsg Hmmjrssh Sgnchrk Pmth CtqwpsgttjXJNSSEmerging Markets Bond
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List Criteria

Foreign Bond Funds

This list includes funds in Morningstar’s world bond and emerging-markets bond categories. World bond funds invest at least 40% of bonds in foreign markets. Emerging-markets bond funds invest at least 65% of assets in the government and/or corporate bonds of developing countries.

Medalist Funds (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)

The Medalist Rating for funds reflects our forward-looking assessment of 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. We assign the ratings on a five-tier scale with three positive (Medalist) ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze; a Neutral rating; and a Negative rating. 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-or even restrict existing fundholders from investing more money-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.

Share Class Exclusions Applied

Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. In some cases, certain share classes may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. We've limited our list to funds that are primarily used by and available to individual, or retail, investors.