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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Schwab Plans New International Fund

by: Marie Glancy

Showing confidence in small- and mid-cap international stocks, Charles Schwab Investment Management has announced it wills soon launch the Laudus Rosenberg International Discovery Fund, which, company representatives say, will choose investments underrepresented in other international portfolios.

"While investors with international holdings have tended historically to focus on large-cap stocks, research shows that over the past five years, international small/mid-cap stocks have consistently outperformed, with an annual total return that's more than 70% higher than international large-cap stocks," said Jeff Mortimer, chief investment officer for equities, in a statement.

The Laudus Rosenberg International Small Cap Fund closed to new investors last December 31. Mortimer said that the new fund's small-cap/mid-cap blend of stocks offers a new avenue to investors at a time when small-cap offerings are closing due to strong interest.

The International Discovery Fund will invest in stocks with market capitalizations between $2 and $10 billion, concentrating mostly on developed markets but maintaining a "benchmark-like" allocation, currently standing at 15 percent, in emerging markets. As with other funds in the Laudus Rosenberg family of funds, it will be subadvised by AXA Rosenberg Investment Management.

The fund's expense ratio stands at 165 basis points, and it will require a minimum investment of $2,500, or $1,000 for retirement or custodial accounts.  

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