DODFX — Get in Before It’s too Late

If you are mutual fund investors that focus on value investment, chances are you have heard about Dodge & Cox Funds even if you may not own them. Unlike mutual fund powerhouses such as Vanguard and Fidelity which each offers a full line of funds, Dodge & Cox only operates four funds, Stock Fund (DODGX), Income Fund (DODIX), Balance Fund (DODBX), and International Fund (DODFX), with a total asset of more then $132 billion. Yet, two of the four funds, DODGX and DODBX, are closed to new investors as the management team tried to get the asset growth under control so it won't become a burden of the funds' performance. Of the two funds that remain open, DODFX is no stranger to the Morningstar's annual Fund Managers of The Year finalist in the international equity category since its inception in 2001. 

In the February issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, an article rated 20 largest no-load stocks funds and DODGX, DODBX, and DODFX made to the list, ranking at 4th, 12th, and 14th, respectively. For DODGX, its 15% annualized return in the past two decades beat its peers an average of 4 percentage points a year. Since the fund has shut its door to new investor three years ago, the article says you should "consider yourself lucky" if you're already a DODGX investor and you should "BUY more." For DODFX, on the other hand, the article has this advice

If you need to increase your allocation to foreign stocks, BUY this fund while it's still open.

For the past five years, DODFX has an annualized return of 20%. Though this put the fund in the top 5% of the international stock fund category, its 0.67% expense ratio (ER) is hard to beat. DODFX is also one of the low-cost, core international funds recommended by Morningstar. In an article at the end of last year, the following comments on DODFX were offered:

Dodge & Cox delivers an impressive management team, a proven value strategy, and an excellent record at an expense ratio of 0.67%, which not only is low enough to rank in the cheapest quartile of no-load foreign large-cap funds but which would also rank in the cheapest quartile of no-load domestic large-cap offerings.   

For me, if owning DODGX is considered as lucky, then I have to say I am extremely lucky as I own both DODGX and DODBX, two that are already closed, and DODFX has been one of three top performers in my mutual fund portfolio. As the Kiplinger article suggested, I want to say this as well:

Get in before it's too late.  

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6 Responses to “DODFX — Get in Before It’s too Late”

  1. moneymonk |  Jan 12, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    I have been avoiding this mutual fund forever. I never got around to investing in Dodge & Cox. I would always here good things about it. But for some reason, I forget about it later. One time I wanted to invest in a particular D&C fund but it was close to new investors.

    I guess this is now my chance. ( since DODFX is still open)

  2. moneysmartlife |  Jan 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    Smart Money magazine picked the Dodge & Cox International Stock fund as the best International stock fund for 2007.

    I am fortunate that my 401k offers this as one of their options, I dumped American Century International Growth in exchange for this two years ago and it has paid off nicely to date.

  3. The Sun |  Jan 15, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    I am surprised that your 401(k) plan offers Dodge & Cox funds because most 401(k) providers only offer mainstream funds from places like Vanguard and Fidelity. For me, D&C funds are very consistent in performance. The international fund is definitely worth buying while it’s still available. Who knows when they will close it as its asset growth very rapidly in the past couple of years.