We are featuring top performing “Japanese” equity mutual funds, which invest at least half of their net assets in equity securities of Japanese companies.
Investors can find such Japanese funds by examining the entire list of the Zacks #1 Rank Japanese Equity Funds.
3 Excellent Japanese Fund Picks
Hennessy Sparx Japan Smaller Cos (SPJSX) was incepted in August 2007. This Japanese fund seeks long-term capital appreciation.
This Japanese fund generally invests at least 80% of net assets in securities of smaller capitalization Japanese companies. These are those companies which have market capitalizations, at the time of initial purchase by the fund, within the range of companies in the MSCI Small Cap Japan index. It may invest up to 20% of net assets in companies with larger market capitalizations.
Shareholders have to make a minimum initial investment of $3,000 to enter this Zacks #1 Rank (“Strong Buy”) fund. As of July 2009, it has a portfolio turnover of 150%.
Shuhei Abe has been lead manager of the fund since August 2007. After beginning the SPARX Group in 1989, Abe founded SPARX USA in 1994 and has been a portfolio manager of the fund since its inception.
Fidelity Japan Smaller Companies (FJSCX) seeks long-term capital growth. It was incepted in November 1995.
This Japanese fund invests at least 80% of assets in securities of Japanese issuers and other investments that are tied economically to Japan It invests in smaller market capitalization companies. The companies are similar to companies in the Tokyo Stock Exchange Second Section Stock Price Index or the Japanese Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (JASDAQ) Stock Index.
This Japanese fund has an expense ratio of 1.05% against a category average of 1.77%. As of April 2009, its portfolio turnover was 273%.
Nicolas Price has been lead manager of this Japanese fund since October 2008. Price has worked with Fidelity Investments since 1993.
Matthews Japan Fund A (MJFOX) seeks long-term capital appreciation. It was incepted in December 1998.
This Japanese fund invests at least 80% of its assets, which include borrowings for investment purposes, in the common and preferred stocks of companies located in Japan.
This Japanese fund has an expense ratio of 1.32%. As of September 2009, it has a portfolio turnover of 175%.
Taizo Ishida has been lead manager of this Japanese fund since September 2006. Before joining Matthews in 2006, Ishida spent six years at Wellington Management Company as a Vice President and Portfolio Manager.
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By applying the Zacks Rank to mutual funds, investors can find funds that not only outpaced the market in the past but are also expected to outperform going forward.