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Analysis of International Mutual Funds: Investor Takeaways

David Ashworth - Author

Nov. 20 2020, Updated 12:42 p.m. ET

International mutual funds

The main aim of this series is to provide you with a brief overview of some major funds that invest in geographies other than the US. For this purpose, we took a look at only those funds that managed assets worth $9.0 billion and above.

This series is intended to be an ice-breaker between you and these funds. We’ll do a performance analysis of these funds in a separate series to give you a flavor of how these funds are doing.

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We looked at funds managing assets in the range of $9.0 billion (AIIEX) to $126.8 billion (AEPGX). Some funds had assets spread across just 51 holdings (TGVAX) to funds that were invested in 462 holdings (AEPGX). The most expensive fund was the Invesco International Growth Fund – Class A (AIIEX), with an expense ratio at 1.33%, while the cheapest fund was the Vanguard International Growth Fund – Investor Shares (VWIGX), which charged only 0.47% as an expense ratio.

All but two funds (AEPGX) (ARTIX) favored stocks from the United Kingdom as their top choice of geography. Stocks from Japan were the most common second-largest holding across the nine funds in this review. Six of these funds had Chinese stocks among their top-ten invested geographies while four of them had Indian stocks among their top ten.

While the Artisan International Fund – Investor Class (ARTIX) and the Thornburg International Value Fund – Class A (TGVAX) were well diversified in terms of the percentage of geographical exposure, funds like AIIEX focused on a particular geography.

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Sectoral investments

Six of the nine international mutual funds had financials as their top sector while the remaining three had stocks from the consumer discretionary sector occupying the top spot.

These funds help you invest into prominent global companies such as Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO), SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBY), and RELX PLC (RELX).

Next steps

For investors interested in international mutual funds, the next step is to dig deeper and evaluate the investment style, as well as risk and return metrics like the Sharpe ratio and standard deviation, among others, in order to focus on the fund that suits their needs. You can combine this with the key takeaways from this series, which tell you the size, sectors invested, expenses, minimums, and geographical exposure of these funds.

You can read more of our analyses on mutual funds at our mutual funds page.


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