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Goldman Buoyed by International Funds

Goldman Sachs (GS) may no longer be an investment-banking powerhouse as it was in the past, but the firm will be supported by a huge asset-management arm that expanded abroad before most of its rivals.

About a third of the New York-based firm's investment-management professionals and assets are located outside the U.S., helping the firm capitalize on stock-market gains during December. Apart from one U.S.-focused mutual fund that invests in REITs, The Goldman Sachs Real Estate Fund (GREIX), the majority of Goldman's top-performing funds contained holdings from overseas.

Goldman did particularly well in Asia, international small-cap and emerging markets.

Asian markets rallied through December, helping the Goldman Sachs Asian Equity Fund (GSAGX), which placed its main emphasis on the markets of Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

The Goldman Sachs International Small Cap Fund (GISAX) loaded up on Japanese, U.K. and German equities. The Goldman Sachs Structured Emerging Market Fund (GERAX) mirrored GSAGX.

In December, broad indexes in the countries mentioned above rebounded, as did the Dow. Whether this can continue is an open question. There are two key questions for investors: (1) whether the news of any Obama stimulus plan really means that we are out of the woods, and (2) whether any forecast given by any organization or individual that suggests an economic rebound in 2009, is to be believed. There is no way I would put my money on either.

Top Goldman Funds
Stocks rally in December
Ticker
Fund Name
Category
1 Month Return
1 Year Return
GREIX
GOLDMAN SACHS REAL EST SE-I
Sector Fund-Real Estate
18.5
-40.62
GSAGX
GOLDMAN SACHS ASIA EQUITY-A
Region Fund-Asian Pacific
13.82
-55.55
GISAX
GOLDMAN SACHS INT SMALL C-A
International Equity
8.79
-49.62
GERAX
GOLDMAN SACHS STRU EMG MK-A
Emerging Market-Equity
8.75
-54.94
GAFLX
GOLDMAN SACHS STRU IN FLX-A
International Equity
8.6
-42.2
GICAX
GOLDMAN SACHS STRUC IN SC-A
Growth-Small Cap
8.51
-43.98
GCIAX
GOLDMAN SACHS STRUC IN EQ-A
International Equity
8.09
-43.1

Sam Patel, CFA, is the manager of mutual fund research for the TheStreet.com Ratings.

In keeping with TSC's Investment Policy, employees of TheStreet.com Ratings with access to pre-publication ratings data must pre-clear any potential trade through the legal department, and are prohibited from trading any security that is the subject of an unpublished rating revision until the second business day after the rating is published.

While Patel cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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