With Oakmark International, Patience Pays Off

This Kiplinger 25 member has stumbled recently along with foreign stock markets at large, but the fund's strategy has delivered over the long term.

Foreign stock markets lost money over the past 12 months, despite a recent rebound. The MSCI All Country World index ex USA declined 7.2% over the one-year period through May 17. Oakmark International (OAKIX)—a member of the Kiplinger 25, the collection of our favorite no-load mutual funds—sank 16.8%, which ranks it behind 99% of all funds that invest in large, foreign companies.

Blame big stakes in European banks and automakers. Four big banks, including BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse, and two automakers, Daimler and BMW, are top 10 holdings. A regional economic slowdown, which paused central bank interest rate hikes, hurt financials. New rules for car emissions in Europe and slowing demand for cars in China hampered automakers. Tariff worries didn’t help. Over the past 12 months, an index of European financial firms sank 14.6%; an automaker bogey fell 22.8%.

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.