By The Associated Press
Foreign stock markets have been unusually choppy this year, and there's no shortage of potential risks overseas that could trigger heightened volatility this summer. It might be a good time for U.S. investors to review whether any foreign stock mutual funds they own may be exposing them to more risk than they're comfortable with.
If that's the case, an investor can either trim some of those holdings, or switch to foreign stock funds with less-volatile records than their peers.
Below are three such funds that Morningstar gives a "low" risk rating. That's the bottom of five levels that the fund researcher uses to measure the risks of investing in a particular fund, based on how much its past returns varied from those of its peers. The list excludes funds investing primarily in mid- and small-cap stocks, which tend to rise or fall more dramatically than stocks of larger companies. Funds specializing in growth stocks also are excluded, because they're typically more volatile than value stocks, which are priced at a discount relative to the earnings they generate.
Each of these funds has a 10-year record placing it in the top 15 percent of its peers. They charge expenses that are in line or less than those of their peers, and require minimum initial investments of $2,500 or less.
The trio, ranked in order of their average 10-year annualized returns:
5-year return, annualized
10-year return, annualized
Upfront sales charge
Minimum initial investment
1. MFS International Value (MGIAX)
Barnaby Wiener, Benjamin Stone
2. Sextant International (SSIFX)
3. Tweedy Browne Global Value (TBGVX)
William Browne, John Spears, Thomas Shrager, Robert Wyckoff Jr.
Returns through June 6, 2012
Source: Morningstar, fund websites
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.