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Growth Funds

Top fund picks for investors seeking higher-quality growth exposure.
Growth companies tend to have better outlooks than their value counterparts, and some of them enjoy durable competitive advantages, which may help protect their profitability over the long term. For instance, disruptive technology can create attractive long-term growth opportunities. Growth companies Amazon and Salesforce have disrupted the retail and enterprise-software markets, respectively, with innovative products and business models. High growth can justify higher valuations for growth firms; however, there is a risk that investors may overestimate the persistence of growth. If a growth company’s performance disappoints, even a little bit, its stock can sell off in a hurry. In addition, growth encourages imitation by rivals and becomes more difficult to sustain as a firm becomes larger. But after weighing the pros and cons, most investors will want growth companies in their portfolios. Those seeking dedicated exposure, or who want to tilt toward growth, have some good options among these Medalist-rated growth funds. For this list, we also required that the fund’s underlying portfolios have at least a "narrow" Average Economic Moat Rating, which indicates that the companies can sustain their edge for a decade or more.
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Name
Ticker
Morningstar Category
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Overall
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
Baron Asset RetailBARAXMid-Cap Growth9.48%−2.47%7.78%
Pzpsk Bfphzkk Qtfcssjfz JhclGHRKLarge Growth32.83%11.55%16.99%
Qdpsl Khvwwfj Jnbrmy GcrwsynlzLMHXNFMid-Cap Growth7.40%−0.55%21.58%
Wqhtn Tsydymhd Xbhhgsgj Zlzjws CvPFMTFVLarge Growth29.47%7.36%14.11%
Tppfk Jqbqcljy Yypycvhg Rgvnpm PlRJWDTLarge Growth30.30%7.73%14.44%
Tzkys Ggryygcy Xvnkyxknwgq Hdnnwl JVMFPLarge Growth28.61%6.95%15.42%
Znfkwkg Prvcrbdx Lnftjf MrwcnxbkHJZHRFLarge Growth24.00%6.29%14.30%
Lgskbqrgf Lxj Mpv LnyRZWKRMid-Cap Growth11.93%−0.70%8.08%
Tnqpvkfy JqpxgvfQTFCYLarge Growth27.27%7.05%14.63%
Gtzdtqtp RynYzg GkhtfPGCSZMid-Cap Growth10.69%0.58%8.67%
Cgfxljvm Yqkdz Mdl Xxxdrj WmkrGCLGNLarge Growth29.16%6.43%14.18%
Zcdvqvnq Twh Dgb Fqmjxm RxpwmFMPSMid-Cap Growth9.22%−1.27%9.65%
Zpjwz VzyyqcxBXCTLNLarge Growth34.89%9.09%16.19%
Lvglptw J. Rhpr Glfcs Cgg Yt Yj VbbdGTVGTMid-Cap Growth13.17%−0.19%7.96%
Wndktpng LsvmtmKTGTLarge Growth20.45%5.98%14.03%
RnzpvspxbGLTYLarge Growth29.11%8.21%15.53%
Tvbwlzyx Myfg Rdfp SjykrrVQBKFLarge Growth44.75%5.93%18.68%
Mrvtdntw Sdfytqt ZtrhrjbngbmfSTVFLarge Growth32.28%7.86%15.78%
Lxkypxkh PkdtpxblxygLWZPLarge Growth40.78%9.33%16.05%
Lswhgygr Qmsphlb ThqgvfdfZGDCLarge Growth43.02%9.19%16.01%
Kbwxrztq PfqzzhllNGRXFLLarge Growth31.33%5.04%15.78%
Ygcbnnpk Wmnsry RbmzksbvytgwrVJBMPSMid-Cap Growth18.33%2.37%11.22%
Rqxpjjmv Ysphy Lwh Dpklzb GKWSBLarge Growth32.80%8.20%16.80%
Glrvkqsk Rlp Ykb Kpzxms RmqSMDPDMid-Cap Growth18.43%0.22%
Npxtmlzy Mrgypg Hjztgvcwr XzcmzPZQQMLarge Growth30.40%4.75%15.47%
Cjnmhkcc LLXBSPPLarge Growth35.42%6.19%17.25%
Qxvwvzzd SBD WG Syzrvbp PwpmxhSGCBPLarge Growth23.75%9.26%14.42%
Lyrcblkz Jpxyqs Vcyfw Nm Bgwcl FKDTNXLarge Growth32.87%8.24%16.79%
Ncbsblyb FxbhsVDBWLarge Growth36.62%7.38%17.46%
Wwrhfh FHP DR Qpd Ng Yj Zzq & Gtp KGSMYLarge Growth30.00%9.02%
Gwmyr Llbkwv Jywcmv XsjzrvsYJHQLarge Growth36.25%7.05%14.76%
Mkswfh Vytvpvl Gbqyqzfctqvm QyPVCNBLarge Growth39.55%4.26%15.28%
FQVhpln7 Sdrgzwc Dtbvvlwxsnxj 117WPSXVLarge Growth40.28%4.55%15.91%
QSXydwb4 Rslffsp Cbkdrlfrsyjz VWVWPJLarge Growth39.46%4.45%15.84%
Dqjzc Wlfdlrlsv Zvfjspswfb YGJDWMid-Cap Growth11.56%2.76%9.75%
Hzmqqvhqmk Lpyhvrtmmvls TpbflybmstzpjPHKRQLarge Growth21.53%12.41%15.20%
Sxgflkcjhn NTMN Qlyr Hqxh 221 Xsm VdrNfqcyMHFLLarge Growth25.17%6.60%13.42%
Hfpkfqd Hvzzmf HcvdrkscXDGCHYMid-Cap Growth44.53%5.01%16.81%
TvtwqfjCZYGMLarge Growth27.22%9.87%14.46%
Nxbrcdkd JN PVZFZMid-Cap Growth13.40%2.23%9.08%
Vcbqpd ® BQ Pkkbv-Kby Pgxnyp RppYRYSCLarge Growth32.72%8.17%16.77%
F. Gtwl Mhzkr Nxg-Xjj Zmwjvrxykrzzg DcflDDFLLarge Growth28.64%6.52%17.13%
J. Vpgt Pjkph Pgf-Vgx Bqspshmjwcpql-QNDYLarge Growth28.32%6.25%16.82%
Y. Qlkj Qkyrl Jnmtblbpzmh Cvw Wsy MXVBJNMid-Cap Growth15.63%0.45%9.77%
L. Clyb Smdgw Mcs-Yqq HvldkpsDBBQPKMid-Cap Growth13.41%0.07%8.15%
R. Wqkb Hbcdl Wtl-Gfy Xzbcsp FMZSRXMid-Cap Growth13.11%−0.20%7.85%
ZQWN-ZSNT Mkskf-Whl Tg Swz RkbpqqqCSYZLLarge Growth32.57%8.03%16.61%
DLYD-MDWK Nzscn-Rrr Jzwxgj PtbvvdKJYLMLarge Growth33.71%3.89%14.08%
THLV-KZMV Gjdhb-Zcm Pwnrxl VfljgbWMPKLarge Growth33.60%3.79%13.94%
Wptrsvrq Kmvlr Vmw Ghfbnk MPXLPLZLarge Growth37.73%5.45%15.39%
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List Criteria

Mid- and Large-Cap Growth Funds

These funds primarily own what Morningstar identifies as “growth” stocks (which fall into the growth squares of the Morningstar style box). The growth classification is based on forward-looking measures (including long-term projected earnings growth) and historical measures (including earnings growth, sales growth, cash flow growth, and book value growth).

Gold- and Silver-Rated Funds

The Medalist Rating for funds reflects our forward-looking assessment of a fund’s ability to outperform its peer group (funds in the same category) and benchmark on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. We assign the ratings on a five-tier scale with three positive (Medalist) ratings of Gold, Silver, and Bronze; a Neutral rating; and a Negative rating. If a fund receives a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating, it means that Morningstar analysts expect it to outperform over a full market cycle of at least five years.

Open to New Investment

All the funds on this list are open for new investment. Sometimes mutual funds will close to new investors-or even restrict existing fundholders from investing more money-when the fund is receiving more money than the management team believes it can invest effectively. Closing a fund under these circumstances is usually considered investor-friendly, as funds that get too big can sometimes suffer performance problems later. Even though new investors can’t get into closed funds (so such funds are not included here), closed funds that are rated Gold, Silver, or Bronze may be worth putting on a watch list.

Average Economic Moat Rating: Narrow or Higher

The idea of an economic moat refers to how likely companies are to keep competitors at bay for an extended period. Stocks are individually rated by Morningstar equity analysts as Wide (strong competitive advantage), Narrow (some competitive advantage), and None (no competitive advantage). Morningstar calculates an average economic moat score for mutual funds by utilizing the economic moat ratings assigned to each fund’s underlying stock holdings. At least 50% of a fund’s underlying holdings (as of its most recently reported portfolio) must have a moat rating in order for the fund to receive a moat score.

4- and 5-Star Funds

The Morningstar Rating for Funds (known as the star rating) compares a fund’s risk-adjusted returns to other funds in the same category. (“Risk-adjusted” simply means the star rating also considers the amount of volatility a fund took on in achieving its returns. Given two funds that achieved the same return, investors would generally prefer the less volatile one.) After adjusting for risk and accounting for sales charges, funds are assigned 1 to 5 stars based on how well they've performed for an apples-to-apples comparison to similar funds. Within each Morningstar Category, the top 10% of funds receive 5 stars and the bottom 10% receive 1 star. Funds are rated for up to three time periods-three, five, and 10 years-and these ratings are combined to produce an overall rating. Ratings are quantitative, based entirely on a mathematical evaluation of past performance. They’re a useful tool for identifying funds worthy of further research but shouldn’t be considered buy or sell signals by themselves.

Share Class Exclusions Applied

Many fund families offer multiple versions of the same fund but with variations on the sales fees that are charged and/or investor qualifications. In some cases, certain share classes may be for institutions (such as company retirement funds) or otherwise have a high investment minimum. We've limited our list to funds that are primarily used by and available to individual, or retail, investors.