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These Top-Rated Funds Are Hidden Gems

Experienced managers, proven processes, and nimble asset bases: What's not to like?

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 PIMCO Total Return (PTTRX) takes home a Gold Morningstar Analyst Rating under our new rating system; so does the boring but effective  Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX). But you probably don't need us to tell you that such giant, widely owned funds can be worthwhile portfolio building blocks. It's a good bet that one or both of them is already in your portfolio.

Yet not all of our top-rated funds are swinging around huge asset bases. Some of our analysts' top choices haven't yet attracted much attention from investors, which could turn out to be a long-term competitive advantage for these funds. After all, smaller funds can more readily build and subtract from positions without affecting the share prices of the securities they're aiming to buy and sell. That's a luxury that very large funds don't have and is a particular benefit for managers who traffic in small, mid-, or even smaller large caps.

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Christine Benz has a position in the following securities mentioned above: TBGVX. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.