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Our Picks

Solid Foreign Equity Fund Choices

Their 2009 gains look so-so, but most investors should stick with core funds.

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Once again, the narrowly focused Latin America and diversified emerging-markets stock categories are chart-toppers among foreign equity funds. These categories have averaged gains north of 50% for the year to date ended Aug. 28, 2009, which is more than double the average result for foreign large-cap funds. Of course, most remember that these funds suffered some of the deepest losses in 2008 (the Latin American and diversified emerging-markets stock categories averaged losses of 59% and 54%, respectively). Most of us are better-served over the long haul with regionally diversified foreign funds, which are less volatile and often provide a bit of exposure to emerging-markets stocks.

Aside from perusing our Analyst Picks, the simple screen described next can also point to good funds that may be flying under your radar. First, we zeroed in on all foreign large-cap options with top-quartile 10-year trailing records and managers with at least 10 years of experience running the funds. Next, we included three more basic criteria: 1) below-average expenses, 2) investment minimums of $10,000 or less, and 3) open to new investment.

As of Aug. 31, 2009, the Premium Screener pulled these funds:

Karin Anderson does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.