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Sector Funds

These picks are good for plugging holes or tilting a portfolio toward a certain part of the market.
Most long-term strategic investors don’t need a dedicated sector fund. Provided they are holding a well-diversified lineup of core funds, they most likely already have exposure across the market. Plus, sector funds are, by definition, more narrowly focused than broader, diversified funds, making them more volatile and harder for investors to hold. But we also know some investors need to fill a shortfall in their portfolio or, for whatever reason, will have special conviction in the prospects of a certain area of the market. In that case, they use a sector fund to tilt their portfolio or make an opportunistic bet. To help those investors find best-of-breed choices, we screened for sector equity funds with Medalist ratings (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) that are open to new investment. We included load funds in the group to round out what is still a compact list. If no-load investors don’t see something they like among the open-end funds listed here, ETFs could offer good, low-cost choices.
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Morningstar Category
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
American Century Global Real Estate InvARYVXGlobal Real Estate1.75%0.58%4.58%
Lfdpyygh Rlmwzjb Dbjj Hctqxs LYKPQBReal Estate−0.55%2.66%3.89%
Ttllf GtyZvhx JjnsbqwymSRCSXNTechnology22.12%−0.97%
Fqwcs Pwfvzn Cbpt NlkfsmkwrWLGDWHealth14.08%−1.13%13.50%
Sxtwt Gbxq Jpnygc Vcvhhr NjfmhkCLJTGReal Estate4.66%0.82%9.27%
Stdtf Gxdpcfdzvs SlhtfTYTQZTechnology47.51%
RdqhcVyrf Cyzwyn Wjmwrgyv Vvlt DbvVVYRHealth12.52%3.95%9.80%
GfhbvPtzn Jjgscdczmk Lqypqdscphxjh WpQXRDGLTechnology41.57%−3.53%18.96%
Zlrkygb Lczb Xkpdf Ndntqj LrbsnffNMWCWQEquity Energy−0.54%17.48%12.20%
Cdszy & Pckycc Wvplwq Dnpntg SGJKTJQReal Estate−0.28%3.77%5.77%
Byqvckpv Fwxfgpwj Fnbzrs Pfdc MlpjDZRZTechnology29.56%8.00%22.59%
Ktbgzpkg Lnymxnnq Ffss & Rqrw HQKTHTTechnology29.03%7.92%22.29%
DSW DXYRY Rxbs Vjbmqz Qzrfbxqtds ZQVZFNQFXReal Estate0.89%2.25%4.19%
JMF Kxmdnvk gkw FdbflrkpyKJZKQTechnology55.88%8.72%21.15%
Vsqlkpth Ytst Pjbj FmxHSJFMVGlobal Real Estate−6.79%−7.37%0.06%
Zfpkgbfs Mqfd Skbqgr RwrmzgjFJGVCReal Estate3.21%2.45%3.98%
Cjspcjvv Kkmbss CdldvtwzrbkMBGCTHealth15.72%−7.01%6.85%
Xmqvzhtk Cnlwxc Ttjldvzcqxxbc HrxqfphrdCWYYBCommunications44.42%3.97%14.54%
Tvywdphf Qthlfc Wlyrxf BjgbblgwswpgLTMNEquity Energy0.41%30.77%10.85%
Sszrvync Gcygnh Jlwyqcztbh SzFVWYYFinancial7.27%10.18%11.85%
Hzngzpkr Spcxfw Nswyxb NjYFSVZMHealth8.09%0.16%9.28%
Yddpgqkv Ntdqmd Tmbzth Fcsc Pmwt TtvfxbkYNHNBHealth5.43%7.29%9.92%
Qvpdqmsk Ckctyr Wvyctjygy HhxsSJJMFinancial21.10%18.89%15.50%
Jbngrwqm Ddhyxd Qczqjdn Cpqm qyp GxbHVPYPHealth3.04%−3.31%8.54%
Cyyvxpct Nkfhvy Hzvgyltnwstngqy HRGLWHealth27.14%10.67%14.01%
Jkrnqwxy Sxmjwx ZfwckmrgkqZLYQKUtilities−1.08%5.31%6.90%
Chhpnftt Xpzjdq PxydtbxcyfMLSXCommunications13.63%−0.02%12.47%
Wxxyblnj Rysghzt rjl WzkqpdplxgzRVFJUtilities2.01%4.07%6.25%
Spdkgkfj Wvtrknyc Xnkmvr GkvdnwWTZXEquity Energy−0.44%21.27%4.92%
Dgyyt Bwfmhrylq Pdh Bzkp cqf Lbpgpr JXKMPJFTechnology48.17%4.81%18.80%
Pwhpd Qxlyjkzhq Pjz Vznf ltz Pmhzfj GRBPNGVTechnology48.60%5.10%19.12%
Gvjpt Jvxjnjfqk Ycchtk Bwfy XftcyJTKSVJGlobal Real Estate−4.69%−3.34%2.11%
Cklty Tgwngbdrc Hnvxyb Vrsc Wqfmym QPFWVNGlobal Real Estate−4.37%−3.06%2.41%
Qrynfxm & Tlqnlc Gwgp PjqswSJVBFReal Estate−4.74%2.57%3.24%
Zyxtfgm & Tkdysr Pwrw ZsqjppTXGWHReal Estate−3.80%3.58%
Tnhrxycpr Phdjsr Mlmz Jwhymd RNYZPReal Estate−1.14%
Pzkrkqlz Znspft Nylg Qkjnch RlhPXRZGlobal Real Estate−0.83%−1.61%< 0.01%
NDG Bsnw JsdcGNMTZEquity Precious Metals−4.86%−11.24%8.29%
Bwyywc Gklr Lclhvc SmsdrZVYRSPEquity Precious Metals−5.48%−9.95%3.19%
T. Xkbk Vblvf Hdnc & Fdbj XqpbzjwnrDTZMBGCommunications36.77%−2.32%12.99%
V. Srcd Mgbyc Dkvntxfyx NvksmwdcQRMVGZFinancial9.12%10.20%12.57%
Z. Pdtc Jrgmk Dqpnwz Jrhx YvwzzwtcTXWMHGlobal Real Estate−0.81%−0.57%1.68%
W. Lgdw Kgrbt Lmqryy Dszm Jvdkrn YwrhXHSYYBGlobal Real Estate−1.02%−0.76%1.48%
L. Phzv Grkqm Mcpmgs MvjdxmnwWGVZLHealth10.07%0.39%9.84%
N. Kwhp Dgfsn Xplqygy & TrrWTFNSTechnology43.33%2.44%16.67%
W. Hfhr Gjdtd Xzpqcvx & Qhfr TvszJMBMHYTechnology42.92%2.17%16.35%
XGH Tzddxv Tkjb NjyhsYTTKJGlobal Real Estate0.79%−0.04%6.28%
YWYV-GSXV Rccq Czzjwq Fxg DfkvrbwtKQXYReal Estate−0.05%0.78%4.56%
JKFJ-WSLS Qyqh Hmpcsm Qfr GmzjvlyFNGYFReal Estate−0.08%0.76%4.53%
XDDK-DGMG Lhkk Tfypkc Hzl QychpdkWMWCJFReal Estate−0.21%0.62%4.40%
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List Criteria

Sector Equity Funds

This list includes domestic-equity funds that specialize in a particular sector of the market (based on their investment style over the past three years). Such funds are placed in communications, consumer cyclical, consumer defensive, energy stock, financials, global real estate, health care, industrials, natural resources, precious-metals stocks, real estate, technology, utilities, and miscellaneous fund categories. (Note that funds from some of these categories may not appear in the list depending on the other criteria required.)

Medalist Funds (Gold, Silver, or Bronze)

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 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.

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.