What to do, where to go?
If you’re looking internationally in a bid to diversify your clients’ retirement plan, BrightScope offers some help.
The research firm recently announced the top 20 international stock funds in the defined contribution industry. The list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope regularly publishes to provide “investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with more insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace.”
"Maintaining diversification is essential to the health of any portfolio," Brooks Herman, head of data and research at BrightScope, said in a statement. "Traditionally, international equities offer returns that are less correlated with domestic equities, which improve the risk/return profile of a portfolio."
Since its infancy, the 401(k) marketplace has suffered from a lack of quality data that is comprehensive enough to be useful for most strategic functions, the firm argues. Historically, it claims has been “virtually impossible” to determine a specific mutual fund's total distribution in 401(k) plans. Noteworthy findings since BrightScope's last release of this list, in September 2011, include the following:
- Top four funds all maintain their respective positions as #1-4 on the list
- The returning funds proved their long-term viability, showing either growth and consistency for all top six funds
- Newcomers dominate the second half of the list, making up the entire list from No. 7 to No. 20.
- Four funds have dropped off the list since 2011: American Funds New Perspective, SSgA EAFE Index Fund, Artio International Equity and TIAA-CREF Global Equities
Click through to find the top 20 international funds in the defined contribution space (by total distribution) in reverse order:
20. Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity
19. Vanguard International Value
18. Wells Fargo International Equity Index
17. Principal Diversified International
16. Artisan International
15. Aberdeen Select International Equity
14. Janus Overseas
13. Templeton Foreign
12. Vanguard Developed Markets Index
11. Fidelity Spartan International Index
10. Fidelity International Discovery
9. Northern Trust EAFE Index
8. BlackRock EAFE Equity Index Fund
7. Thornburg International Value
6. Harbor International
5. Vanguard Total International Stock Index
4. Vanguard International Growth
3. Dodge & Cox International Stock
2. Fidelity Diversified International
1. American Funds EuroPacific Growth
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