13 Aug

How Have the 4 Japan-Focused Mutual Funds Performed?

WRITTEN BY David Ashworth FEATURED IN Macroeconomic Analysis

Funds under review

The aim of this series is to present a head-to-head comparison of four Japan-focused mutual funds. They are:

  • T. Rowe Price Japan Fund (PRJPX)
  • Fidelity Advisor Japan Fund (FPJAX)
  • Nuveen Tradewinds Japan (NTJAX)
  • Matthews Japan Fund (MJFOX)

How Have the 4 Japan-Focused Mutual Funds Performed?


In the three months leading to July 24, 2015, only MJFOX was able to post positive returns. The fund also outperformed its peers in the one-year, three-year, and five-year periods.

In the six-month period, both NTJAX and the MJFOX returned 17.6%. Stocks like Sysmex Corp. (SSMXY), Pigeon Corp. (PGENY), and Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (MRAAY) helped MJFOX post solid returns. Apart from these stocks, MJFOX also invests in companies like Toyota Motor (TM), ORIX Corporation (IX), and Nidec Corporation (NJ). FPJAX trailed the pack with 9.9% returns.

In the three-year period, NTJAX and PRJPX were in a tight race for the second and third positions, respectively, with MJFOX leading. Meanwhile, in the five-year period, PRJPX was a distant second to MJFOX while NTJAX trailed the pack. Because FPJAX has not completed five years yet, the return graph is blank for the fund.


Mutual funds have stated benchmarks. While the PRJPX and the FPJAX have the TOPIX Index as their benchmark, the NTJAX and the MJFPX have the MSCI Japan Index as theirs.

While the TOPIX Index has returned 7.3% in the one year ending July 24, 2015, the MSCI Japan Index has returned 7.0% in the same period. Year-to-date until July 24, the TOPIX Index is up 12.6%, while the MSCI Japan Index has returned 13.6%.

In the next article, let’s look at the risk-adjusted return performance of these funds.

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