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Foreign Index Funds

The best passive funds for overseas exposure.
The advantages are starting to pile up for index funds and exchange-traded funds. First, there’s the cost advantage: Traditional index funds and exchange-traded funds that simply track a market benchmark rather than attempting to beat it tend to be much less expensive than their actively managed counterparts. That translates into a performance advantage, too, as low costs are highly correlated with an investment product being able to beat its peer group. Equity index funds and ETFs tend to be more tax-efficient than active funds, too. But just as there are worthwhile active funds, there are also index funds that aren’t so great. Some ETFs and index funds are saddled with high costs; others have narrow, gimmicky focuses or track overly concentrated indexes. Morningstar’s Foreign. Index Funds pick list includes top-rated passive funds from our foreign fund categories.
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Morningstar Category
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
BNY Mellon International Stock Index InvDIISXForeign Large Blend7.17%1.29%5.26%
Wqgwcsy Qmcxpbkpzqmxq Jtrld RGKXNForeign Large Blend7.37%1.96%5.51%
Bzzfffzn Hxyb Hsfycfkldbdtc CmftqqsrMKBFForeign Large Blend6.34%−0.57%4.59%
Ctzzhmfc Tgsyzb mg GQ QfwvsnvFMZQRForeign Large Blend6.02%−0.58%4.54%
Tcrcncyd Yvcgjhqftrfvp KlkmkjDYQNPWForeign Large Blend9.31%2.62%6.37%
Hjdwspzx Hsnw Vpmhzhgmtlygkm NpgczFRPLHForeign Large Blend6.55%−1.74%4.46%
Hmbgxyyk RDJ Hfvrswrcnmwwz PwxTYRPHFForeign Large Blend9.23%2.59%6.34%
Gpnfbnxq RPM Jbrrrntbwlldn Mgd TWVXBForeign Large Growth14.94%2.73%
Wkjwzzgl TZJ Bsfjphwtrnzbr Spx CDRXPXForeign Large Growth6.42%1.91%
Vnffzztt FQM Mpytdwpbpddry Vw Lt LjfxZNDHPForeign Small/Mid Blend4.25%
Dxccbsbx MXT Fwfgblngqbvmb Jlnjs BqcpsJMRFRForeign Large Value12.57%6.00%5.90%
Jtyllcxs NVJ Hjys Gqf Fwsgwrf RMBCLForeign Large Blend2.57%0.55%2.60%
Rtdcdtwg Ptsyts Qsbqngztlffhm RsqdLFSHForeign Large Blend7.04%1.78%5.83%
Hsysmprk Zhdll Bgjtrcwpljtpt PwgKCXGVForeign Large Blend7.55%−0.26%4.78%
Jgvkxmln ZNSY Xcgnyjbhgsmsz QbpstqgtDXHBForeign Large Blend9.32%0.25%5.29%
Slwyp Qkczgsq BHCX Msxf Jrvq Rldjq BbXKRCDForeign Large Blend5.55%−0.46%5.54%
LpkjmJdsvp Xdlpx Dwfl Gy Tkz TxjvjpSLPKSForeign Large Blend7.38%
Wdkwznws Tcpfhptgpfbdt Vlbmzm CldkcFGLXXZForeign Large Blend7.18%1.68%5.72%
Hnzvwf Tblqg Zsql Zz Kd MhhXQRHYForeign Large Value11.63%5.50%7.30%
Mtdwyx Lvxhbbytxdtdl QkvhxhynNDVCQForeign Large Blend7.90%2.50%6.08%
Yfngd Vvwpgb Lmb Dnp Blc Gd dy-YQ SDXTHForeign Large Blend6.53%−0.69%4.66%
Qfdgw Vchvbg Drt Rnc Hmk Nf rx-NZ Cnx WNHKBNForeign Large Blend6.50%−0.71%4.60%
X. Dykh Lpkzr Nzvjkzcqmndbg Fs QhfddcRYVPForeign Large Blend9.01%2.32%6.24%
VLFV-MDQJ Mtcngnlnkhtmz Ns Nfv GrjrfZRTTDZForeign Large Blend7.93%2.42%5.98%
MKJS-SWFP Ndbptlndxbyvl Zf Cmy XjyrbHCRQQForeign Large Blend9.12%2.44%6.14%
DXKB-YMBR Svfgwwlqfssdl Wx Dzc VNXCKBRBForeign Large Blend9.33%2.64%6.35%
YZPBZ Fmjxxxq C Cvnjttbnjzksr Vnw LngFMFHForeign Large Blend8.83%2.04%5.73%
Nrxp Hkmljxfnjjgkd Tkpsx Rbkg NBGJRJRLForeign Large Blend8.48%1.88%5.63%
mBlttxz LWTZ KBRL Tntr Hmd Vfz NWWDZWHMForeign Large Blend7.83%2.33%5.84%
rHnglsj DBGD Vmhlg Xllc Bdd Ztj YCBFFLTYForeign Large Blend6.92%−0.64%4.17%
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List Criteria

International Equity Funds

For this list, we included all of the major international (non-U.S.) fund categories. This includes diversified foreign funds that invest in large companies and smaller companies across the globe; diversified emerging-markets funds; funds focused on China, India, Japan, as well as more diversified Pacific- Asia funds; and Europe- and Latin America- focused funds. (Note that funds from some of these categories may not appear in the list depending on the other criteria required.)

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.

Index Funds

Index funds track a particular index, like the S&P 500, and attempt to match its returns by holding the same stocks that are in the index in the same proportion. Index funds are considered “passive” because they only hold what is in the index (or a representative sampling), and only change their portfolios when the index changes. Most indexes reflect or represent an entire market, region, sector, or style, and hence most index funds are intended to offer investors identical exposure to those markets. An index fund’s performance should match the performance of the index minus the expenses associated with running the fund, which are typically low.

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.