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Steady-Eddie Stock Funds

These rock-solid offerings won't sink your boat in rough waters.

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When the market looks anemic and the economic outlook uncertain, you want to make sure the investments in your portfolio don't follow suit. So what are some dependable, high-conviction stock funds that investors can rely on to hold steady even when the going gets tough?

Using the  Premium Fund Screener, we featured our tool's newest screenable data point--Average Moat Rating--to home in on funds that emphasize companies with competitive advantages. (Currently, this data point is only available in our the Premium Fund Screener tool, but we are working on adding it to our individual report pages soon.)

Investors should note that while wide-moat companies won't necessarily outperform narrow-moat firms during periods of market euphoria, they tend to hold up well during storms. For example, Morningstar's calculations revealed that domestic large-cap stock funds with the highest average moat ratings were the best category performers in 2008, whereas the reverse held true in 2009 with the widest-moat funds largely underperforming the narrow-moat funds by a long shot.

Esther Pak does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.