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Commentary

Which U.S. Equity Funds Beat Their Benchmarks by the Widest Margin?

Our screens reveal a select list of equity funds that have achieved long-term excess returns.

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It's been difficult for actively managed U.S. and international-equity funds to beat their benchmarks. According to Morningstar's Active/Passive Barometer, only 48% of active U.S. stock funds survived and outperformed their average passive peer over the 12-month period ended June 2019, and only 23% of all active funds beat their passive benchmark over a 10-year period. As Morningstar director of global ETF research Ben Johnson notes in the report, foreign-stock and bond funds tend to have higher long-term success rates, while U.S. large-cap funds report the lowest success rates.

To identify funds that not only beat their benchmark but hit it out of the park, we looked for U.S. and international-equity funds that outperformed their benchmarks over the five- and 10-year periods ended in December 2020. Funds had to have a 10-year history and current assets under management of at least $100 million.

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