ACFFX - Columbia Acorn International Select Z

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Columbia Acorn International Select Z (ACFFX)
Expense Ratio: 1.25%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $36,271.73

The Columbia Acorn International Select Z fund (ACFFX) is a Foreign Small/Mid Growth fund started on 11/23/1998 and has $325.90 million in assets under management. The current manager has been running Columbia Acorn International Select Z since 10/23/2001. The fund is rated by Morningstar. This fund does not charge 12b-1 fees.

MarketRiders Prefers The Following ETF

iShares MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index (SCZ)
Expense Ratio: 0.40%
Expected Lifetime Fees: $12,680.81

The iShares MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index (SCZ) is an Exchange Traded Fund. It is a "basket" of securities that index the Foreign Small/Mid Growth investment strategy and is an alternative to a Foreign Small/Mid Growth mutual fund. Fees are very low compared to a comparable mutual fund like Columbia Acorn International Select Z because computers automatically manage the stocks.

The Following Foreign Small/Mid Growth Funds Have Lower Fees Than Columbia Acorn International Select Z (ACFFX). Why are these metrics important?
Mutual Fund Name Ticker Symbol Turnover Assets (M) Annual Fees
Allianz AGIC International Growth Opportunities Fund Institutional Class ALOIX 66.0% 116 1.20%
American Century Intl Discovery Instl TIDIX 167.0% 618 1.22%
Columbia Acorn International Z ACI1Z 32.0% 5,700 0.98%
Columbia Acorn International Z ACINX 32.0% 5,700 0.98%
Columbia Acorn International Z ACITZ 32.0% 5,700 0.98%
Fidelity Advisor Intl Sm Cap Opp I FOPIX 24.0% 340 1.03%
Fidelity Advisor Intl Small Cap I FIXIX 47.0% 738 1.22%
Fidelity International Small Cap Opp FSCOX 24.0% 340 1.08%
Hartford Intl Small Company I HNSJX 69.0% 175 1.09%
JOHCM International Select Fund Class I Shares JOHIX 83.3% 167 1.09%
Lord Abbett International Opp I LINYX 100.0% 280 1.14%
MFS International New Discovery I MWNIX 44.0% 2,800 1.14%
MFS International New Discovery R4 MIDJX 44.0% 2,800 1.14%
Oppenheimer International Small Co A OSMAX 122.0% 918 1.23%
Oppenheimer International Small Co Y OSMYX 122.0% 918 0.83%
T. Rowe Price International Discovery PRIDX 49.3% 2,400 1.23%
William Blair Intl Small Cap Gr Instl WIISX 85.0% 630 1.08%

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Why Are These Metrics Important?

Turnover represents how much of a mutual fund's holdings are changed over the course of a year through buying and selling. Active mutual funds have an average turnover rate of about 85%, meaning that funds are turning over nearly all of their holdings every year. A high turnover means you could make lower returns because: 1) buying and selling stocks costs money through commissions and spreads and 2) the fund will distribute yearly capital gains which increases your taxes. Look for funds with turnover rates below 50%. For comparison, ETF turnover rates average around 10% or lower.

Generally, smaller funds do better than larger ones. The more assets in a mutual fund, the lower the chance that it will beat its index. Managers outperform an index by choosing stocks that are undervalued. In order to find these undervalued stocks, the manager has to know more than his competitors to develop an "edge." There are only a finite number of stocks a mutual fund manager can reasonably analyze and actively track to gain such a competitive edge. When the fund has more assets, the manager must analyze large companies because he needs to take larger positions. Large companies are more efficiently priced in the market and it becomes increasingly difficult to get an edge.