November 11, 2013

Top 20 International Stock Funds in DC Space

The list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope regularly publishes to provide more insight into the players in the retirement market

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:

James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley (Photo: AP)

20. Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity

19. Vanguard International Value

18. Wells Fargo International Equity Index

17. Principal Diversified International

Franklin Templeton Investments headquarters in San Mateo, California.

16. Artisan International

15. Aberdeen Select International Equity

14. Janus Overseas

13. Templeton Foreign

Edward C. “Ned” Johnson, chairman of the board and CEO of Fidelity Investments.

12. Vanguard Developed Markets Index

11. Fidelity Spartan International Index

10. Fidelity International Discovery

9. Northern Trust EAFE Index

Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman of Blackrock Financial Management, Inc.

8. BlackRock EAFE Equity Index Fund

7. Thornburg International Value

6. Harbor International

5. Vanguard Total International Stock Index

Bill McNabb, CEO and Chairman of Vanguard.

4. Vanguard International Growth

3. Dodge & Cox International Stock

2. Fidelity Diversified International

1. American Funds EuroPacific Growth

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