Skip to Content
Our Picks

10 Superb Defensive Stock Funds

These highly rated mutual funds have a fondness for wide-moat stocks.

Mentioned: , , , , , , , , ,

Even infrequent readers of Morningstar.com probably know that when it comes to stock investing, we're advocates of a wide-moat approach: We favor companies that have established competitive advantages, because they can more effectively fight off challengers than those companies that haven't carved out economic moats. And from a performance standpoint, wide-moat stocks tend to hold up better in market downturns: The Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index lost less than 20% in 2008, versus a 37% tumble for the S&P 500.

For those investors who dig the moat concept but don't invest in individual stocks, we created Morningstar's average moat rating. A fund's average moat rating marries our Morningstar Economic Moat Ratings for stocks to a mutual fund's portfolio. To receive an average moat rating, funds must have at least 50% of their assets in stocks that earn moat ratings from Morningstar. Those funds with a rating of 4 or higher can be considered wide-moat funds; from 3.5 to 4.0, moderately wide; 2.5 to 3.5, narrow moat; 1.5 to 2.5, minimal; and 0 to 1.5, no moat.

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

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.