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Mutual Fund Performance: Pacific Ex Japan Funds

Fund performance is as of the close of business July 05
Top 10 Pacific Ex Japan Funds (ranked by one-year performance)

Assets Returns
(Size In US$Millions) 1 YR% /3 YR% / 5 YR% / YTD%

T Rowe Price Int:Asia (3,114.3) 73.06 / 183.13 / 246.69 / 30.89
Fidelity SoEast Asia (2,833.4) 68.50 / 200.55 / 253.80 / 34.00
DFA Asia Pac Small Co (120.7) 66.30 / 152.52 / 297.86 / 36.39
iShares:MSCI Malaysia (1,113.7) 64.90 / 93.11 / 129.48 / 30.75
Guinn Atkin:Asia Focus (54.5) 63.10 / 159.72 / 237.99 / 32.95
iShares:MSCI S'pore (1,912.8) 60.1 / 141.48 / 200.49 / 22.1
Fidelity Adv Korea;A (34.4) 59.43 / 240.25 / 228.10 / 38.11
JPMorgan:Asia Eq;A (13.9) 56.97 / 135.93 / 151.90 / 25.58
Fidelity Adv Em Asia;A (87.3) 56.56 / 180.99 / 211.61 / 24.04
TCW:Asia Pacific Eq;I (29.0) 55.57 / 137.24 / 162.71 / 25.02

The above compilation for Asia based funds (excluding Japan) is very interesting indeed. Among the hundreds of funds investing in Asia, these are the creme de la creme. My important conclusions:

a) Brand name power - There is strength and reliability in brand name power. Names like T Rowe Price and Fidelity topped the charts for a variety of reasons. They are more able to attract and retain talent. They have a more extensive and solid management structure to monitor, provide oversight and push through ideas. They have a better supporting structure in economics, currency strategy, big picture strategy, quant people, sophisticated data mining channels, and by virtue of their size, they always get the analysts' first call.

b) When looking at these kind of tables, it is best to leave out those with small asset size. It is much easier to perform well with fund size of under US$50m. I would use that as the minimum benchmarking.

c) iShares - iShares are indexed ETFs designed and run by Barclays Global Fund Advisors. They do very well for their set out objectives. They have two funds in the top 10 because they are indexed country funds. Two out of the top ten performing funds are indexed funds - lends weight to the belief that active fund management generally fails to outperform the index. Those that do are really anomalies rather than the majority.

d) Assess your own investments. Did they outperform the index? How many sleepness nights did you have to endure to get your 50% return? You have no one to scold if you lose 20% of your funds in bad stock selections. Let someone else do the worrying for you. T Rowe Price and Fidelity 's 3 year and 5 year record can't be beat - let them do the worrying for you. They have better weapons to fight the war of attrition. If you MUST do some personal investing because you just have to do it: why not park 60% or 70% of total funds with a solid house with at least 3-5 year track record, and keep the rest for your own investing purposes.
We can outperform the index and even top fund managers over certain periods, eventually over the long haul it evens up a lot. I think people will have a lot less stress by invetsing most of their funds in a good mutual fund. As more than 70% of EPF withdrawers finish spending their lump sum within the first 3-5 years, reinvesting the bulk of retirement funds in a couple of solid funds will ensure for better protection, longer drawdown period or provide for a strong annuity.


bOcyOGL said…
Can we even get these in malaysia??
Salvatore_Dali said…
you can start by trying the websites of trowe price and fidelity ... ask them and they will tell you their sales offices or re-selling agents/financial advisors ... if you have a private banker, he/she will do everything for you ... most have offices in HK and singapore
what about public mutual? being the biggest in msia.
Salvatore_Dali said…
pub mutual is prob the best performing local fm, close with pheim ... but even so they did not make the top 10 in Asia ex Jap. Just watch the entry fees and annual mgmt fees... unit trust industry in malaysia is still not liberalised enough, comm too high for unit trust sales..

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