South American Treasure

Latin American funds can be volatile, but they appear ready for a strong performance in 2002

Rowe Price Latin America Fund (PRLAX) with a 12.8% average annual total return over the past three years. The fund, which Morningstar has rated four stars, gravitates toward the region’s bigger blue-chip stocks, including Telmex (Nasdaq: TFONY), Mexico’s respected telephone company, and Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Brazil’s huge oil producer. A newer portfolio to consider is the Evergreen Latin America Fund (EKLAX), which finished second on our list with a three-year average annual total return of 11.4%. Management also tends to stick to bigger, less-volatile blue chips such as Telmex.

Top Latin American Funds

Fund Name (Ticker)

Year-to-Date
Total Return*

1-Year Ann.
Total Return*

3-Year Ann.
Total Return*

5-Year Ann.
Total Return*

Toll-Free
Number

Minimum
Initial Investment

T. Rowe Price Latin America (PRLAX) 10.91% 13.98% 12.75 3.11 800-638-5660 $2,500
Evergreen Latin America A (EKLAX) 7.14 9.30 11.42 0.43 800-343-2898 1,000
Templeton Latin America A (TELAX) 10.12 14.92 11.42 –0.96 800-342-5236 1,000
Merrill Lynch Latin Amer D (MDLTX) 9.83 6.51 11.16 0.63 800-995-6526 1,000
Excelsior Latin America (UMEAX) 9.14 16.12 9.86 –4.36 800-446-1012 500
Van Kampen Latin Amer A (MSLAX) 9.47 9.62 9.38 3.14 800-421-5666 1,000
Morgan Stanley Latin Am Gr A (LATAX) 10.11 11.22 6.45 N/A 800-869-3863 1,000
Fidelity Latin America (FLATX) 9.08 10.34 5.38 –1.19 800-544-8888 2,500
Fidelity Adv Latin America (FLTAX) 8.73 7.63 3.93 N/A 800-522-7297 2,500
*AS OF MARCH 31, 2002
SOURCE: MORNINGSTAR INC.
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