SOURCE: BrightScope


October 29, 2013 08:00 ET

BrightScope Issues List of Top 20 International Stock Funds in Defined Contribution Marketplace

Investment Community Gains Valuable Insight Into International Funds Through BrightScope

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2013) - BrightScope (, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, today announced the Top 20 International Stock Funds in the defined contribution industry. This list is part of a series of rankings BrightScope will regularly publish to provide investment managers, mutual fund companies, investors, and others with more insight into the top funds and managers in the retirement marketplace. The proliferation of this critical information will dramatically increase the efficiency of the field and lead to lower cost plans and better outcomes for the 60 million Americans who depend on their 401k plan for retirement.

"Maintaining diversification is essential to the health of any portfolio," said Brooks Herman, Head of Data & Research at BrightScope. "Traditionally, international equities offer returns that are less correlated with domestic equities, which improves the risk/return profile of a portfolio."

Since its infancy, the 401k marketplace has suffered from a lack of quality data that is comprehensive enough to be useful for most strategic functions. Historically, it has been virtually impossible to determine a specific mutual fund's total distribution in 401k plans. BrightScope's revolutionary database includes a detailed investment menu on nearly 50,000 plans, representing nearly 90 percent of all the assets in 401ks. With this dataset, BrightScope is able to provide detailed analysis of total fund distributions.

Noteworthy findings since BrightScope's last release of this list, September 2011:

  • Top four hold strong - American Funds EuroPacific Growth, Fidelity Diversified International, Dodge & Cox International Stock, Vanguard International Growth all maintain their respective positions as #1-4 on the list
  • The returning funds proved their long-term viability, as Harbor International moved from #9 to #6 and Vanguard Total International Stock Index went from #7 to #5, showing either growth and consistency for all top six funds
  • Newcomers dominate the second half of the list, making up the entire the list from #7 to #20
  • Four funds have dropped off the list since 2011 - American Funds New Perspective, SSgA EAFE Index Fund, Artio International Equity, and TIAA-CREF Global Equities

The Top 20 International Stock Funds by total distribution include:

1. American Funds EuroPacific Growth 

2. Fidelity Diversified International

3. Dodge & Cox International Stock

4. Vanguard International Growth

5. Vanguard Total International Stock Index

6. Harbor International

7. Thornburg International Value

8. BlackRock EAFE Equity Index Fund

9. Northern Trust EAFE Index

10. Fidelity International Discovery

11. Fidelity Spartan International Index

12. Vanguard Developed Markets Index

13. Templeton Foreign

14. Janus Overseas

15. Aberdeen Select International Equity

16. Artisan International

17. Principal Diversified International

18. Wells Fargo International Equity Index

19. Vanguard International Value

20. Morgan Stanley Institutional International Equity

BrightScope's technology uncovers audited financial data on investment funds held within real 401k plans. The BrightScope database is superior to the industry's traditional survey-based approach. When surveys are done, they usually capture no more than 10 percent of total distribution and skew heavily towards funds prominent in the survey company's client base. Through BrightScope Beacon, investment managers can access comprehensive data, giving them a transparent view into their own fund distribution, as well as the distribution of their competitors.

For more information, please visit

About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on nearly 600,000 financial advisors and nearly 40,000 advisory firms are available for free at