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Suggestions on international funds or ETFs

I recently sold off several funds, including Harbor International, that I had held for a number of years. I'm looking to identify a couple of new funds to provide diversified international exposure. I've done a fair amount of research on FMI International and that is likely to be one of the funds I choose. I'd value recommendations from folks on the board on other international funds or ETFs that I should consider. Thanks and happy New Year!


  • FMIJX is sort of a "steady Eddie," no lurches up or down. Over the (relatively short) life of the fund that has paid off. Some of that lack of volatility is due to its currency hedging practice and low double-digit cash reserves. I've come to appreciate the absence of drama. It's a whole lot easier to hold than a fund like, say, OAKIX or DODFX. Some of the T. Rowe Price funds may also be worth a look.
  • Thanks for the feedback
  • I've tried funds such as ARTKX and TBGVX but, at the end of the day, I'm done "skating where the puck was" as they say. and now use plain ole vanilla VXUS.
  • I am partial to T Rowe Price. I like their mutual funds domestic and international. International I own these at TRP:

    Asia Opportunites - Large Growth Asia MF

    Emerging Markets Stock - Emerging markets growth (Closed)
    Emerging Markets Value - Emerging markets value

    International Discovery - Small/Midcap International Growth (Closed)

    Overseas Stock - Large Blend Non US, Developed Countries - Europe

    I would pick Overseas Stock if you go T Rowe Price Route as a core holding. Then you could add Emerging Markets Value as EM fund. Finally add Asia Opps if you prefer to get growth in Emerging markets

    I think International and EM funds offer great value here as a whole. Recently EM stocks have outperformed US stocks since October

  • @Bitzer and @Mulder420,
    thanks very much for your feedback. I'm taking a hard look at Vanguard funds due to the low cost and good performance. I'm intrigued by the approach that Vanguard International Growth has taken. Good relative performance last year and also very strong on 3, 5 and 10 year performance. I'll take a look at T. Rowe Overseas Stock -- thanks for that recommendation. Thanks also for steering me to their emerging markets value and Asia Opportunities too. Will research both.

    Any other thoughts from other board members?
  • Foreign stock funds have been dead money in my portfolio for many years. My funds all have relatively good long-term returns compared to comparable funds, but foreign stocks in general have sucked for the past decade or longer. That said, I recently rebalanced my portfolio, adding to my foreign funds under the premise that sooner or later they will outperform US stocks.

    My funds (in various IRA and 401k) accounts include ARTKX, MAPIX, SFGIX, PSILX and a total international index fund. However, it’s hard for me to recommend any of them because the returns have all been so terrible in recent years.
  • The whole general diversification argument for equities gets weaker and weaker, by my read.
  • Admittedly an opinion piece, but food for thought: "When the Bubble Bursts, Consider the Anti-Bubble"
    There are nations and industries in sound economic shape that are ignored by investors because they are not all about tech. Maybe that is about to change. ...

    Until the tech reversal began in October, stock markets from Southeast Asia to Eastern Europe and Latin America were trading at multidecade lows relative to the United States. ...

    that is the market-defying nature of bubbles and anti-bubbles today. ...

    Stock markets from the Philippines to Indonesia have started to emerge from anti-bubbles.
    It's an interesting case for looking at various emerging markets.

    I'm inclined to agree with you that in times of global stress, correlation between markets is high. So diversification is of less value when I suppose one needs it the most. But that's not to say that one can't diversify away some risk most of the time.
  • As a much less experienced investor, I can only agree with the other's sentiment. I keep an int'l allocation for some diversity, but it's not a large percentage. I basically have VTIAX and a few ETF's (VEA, IEMG, EFAV) that I will eventually trade in for more VTIAX.
  • @msf,
    yeah, I am not thinking granularly enough, I suppose, or thinking about small degrees of risk reduction, sort of at the edges.
    But I wrote what I wrote after charting TWEIX, GABSX, and OAKIX over various periods, long and short, since 1994.
    Except for occasional decorrelations over the ~5y after ~1997, there appears to be little compelling argument for holding all three rather than any one. (I'm partly being influenced by the log scale.)
  • edited January 2019
    Geez - There’s so many. And today’s winner may well be next year’s looser because they tend to invest in different countries and regions - and in emerging markets to varying degrees. Those diverse markets don’t always march in unison.

    PIEQX is a large cap international index fund offered by TRP - 0.45 ER. I’ve held it before. Lipper scores it near the top of its category based on past performance. One thing I like is minimal “manager risk” since it’s an index fund. But it’s not going to have any significant exposure to EM. (The same index is probably available a bit cheaper elsewhere - but .45 for an international fund ain’t bad.)

    A conservative approach, also from Price, is RPGAX. Probably best classified as a balanced fund, but a good steady performer which reduces the 40% bond allocation balanced funds typically employ to just 30%. That is accomplished by investing about 10% in a Blackstone hedge fund. I like the added diversification that brings to the fund. I doubt it’s going to boost return long term. But I’m a fan of diversification as a way to dampen volatility. Fund invests both domestically and internationally. Reasonable fees. T.Rowe is a class act with whom to work.

    Yep - as noted earlier international funds have lagged. Fees tend to be higher. Many foreign markets aren’t as transparent as in the U.S. which adds risk and expense. Importantly, the dollar has been very strong in recent years - so currency related issues are part of the equation. Japan, once a world economic powerhouse, has been somewhat comatose for past 3 decades. Europe was slower in responding to the global hit from the 2007-8 financial crisis. Hopefully they’ll get up to full speed soon - but seem prone to shoot themselves in the foot.
  • thanks to each of you for your thoughtful comments above. I appreciate it.
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