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Best of Funds

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Investors have gradually begun to recognize the opportunity that the international bond market has come to represent. Though the U.S. bond market continues to attract investors, it has featured only infrequently among the best performing international markets. Today international markets represent more than half of the world’s fixed income investment opportunities. With the advantages of widely diversified holdings and professional management, mutual funds offer a secure route for those looking to invest in the international bond market.

Below we will share with you 5 top rated international bond mutual funds. Each has earned a Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) as we expect the fund to outperform its peers in the future. To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all international bond funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

Goldman Sachs Emerging Market Debt A (GSDAX - MF report) seeks both capital growth and income. The fund invests the majority of its assets in fixed income securities issued from emerging markets. It purchases both government and corporate debt securities and acquires securities regardless of their credit rating. The international bond mutual fund returned 13.44% in the last one year period.

Samuel Finkelstein is the fund manager and he has managed this international bond mutual fund since 2003.

Federated Emerging Market Debt A (IHIAX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets in debt securities issued from emerging markets. These securities may be dollar-denominated or may be issued in foreign currencies. The international bond mutual fund returned 13.22% in the last one year period.

The international bond mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.25% compared to a category average of 1.26%.

GMO Currency Hedged International Bond III (GMHBX - MF report) seeks total return higher than its benchmark, the J.P. Morgan Non-U.S. government Bond Index (Hedged) (ex-Japan). The fund invests a large share of its assets in bonds and is non-diversified. The international bond mutual fund returned 10.48% in the last one year period.

Thomas Cooper is the fund manager and he has managed this international bond mutual fund since 1994.

JPMorgan Emerging Markets Debt (JEMDX - MF report) invests the majority of its assets in debt securities issued in emerging markets. These securities may be dollar-denominated or may be issued in foreign currencies. The fund is non-diversified and may also purchase securities rated below investment grade. The international bond mutual fund returned 13.32% in the last one year period.

As of February 2012, this international bond mutual fund held 175 issues, with 9.78% of its total assets invested in Russian Federation 7.5%.

Columbia Emerging Markets Bond A seeks both capital growth and income. The fund invests the majority of its assets in fixed income securities issued from emerging markets. Not more than one-fourth of its assets may be utilized to purchase instruments issued by any single foreign government. The international bond mutual fund returned 13.33% in the last one year period.

The international bond mutual fund has an expense ratio of 1.28% compared to a category average of 1.26%.

To view the Zacks Rank and past performance of all international bond mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.

About Zacks Mutual Fund Rank

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. Learn more about the Zacks Mutual Fund Rank at http://www.zacks.com/funds.

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