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Mutual Funds

Riding the Wave Up Overseas

Tocqueville International Value fund invests wherever misery is at its crest.

The managers of Tocqueville International Value (symbol TIVFX)scour the globe in search of unloved, beaten-down stocks with the potential for recovery. Managers James Hunt and François Sicart use big-picture themes, such as the housing downturn in the U.S., to generate ideas, then drill into com-panies to assess the quality of their businesses and their ability to weather a difficult stretch. (Morningstar considers Tocqueville's focus to be midsize companies, although the fund invests in companies of all sizes.)

Hunt says he has an idea of where the ripples from the U.S. housing crisis will reach next: Brazil. "It has become investors' favorite market in the world, after several years of very steady growth," he says, and will therefore be the final market to be pulled under. But all in all, he adds, "I think we're two-thirds of the way through the global economic problems."

Markets that have suffered most are rife with the best buys. On that measure, Hunt is big on Japanese and European stocks. In Europe, he likes companies connected to housing, such as French building-products maker Saint-Gobain, which trades on the pink sheets in the U.S. under the symbol CODGF.PK. In Japan, he likes such house-hold names as Toyota (TM) and Canon (CAJ), which "are the kind of world-class companies you only get a crack at once in a market cycle at such favorable share prices."