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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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Morningstar Category
Morningstar Rating for Funds
Total Return
1 Year
Total Return
3 Year
Total Return
5 Year
Baron Asset RetailBARAXMid-Cap Growth9.33%2.99%7.27%
Fqnwd Xkpqhcy Xfpglccvm BbzyhtttYLDBLarge Growth16.83%12.34%12.34%
Gzgdr Dyyrnrw Gklcss CxgtbVDKCSMid-Cap Growth8.97%24.81%21.47%
Kyqzw Vxssxr WrzsqqDSNXMMid-Cap Growth13.59%9.67%10.02%
Sqgpc Mwfzbdgc Xlwxnbcykkg Jqgwlh QgnqVMQWVHLarge Growth9.88%9.72%13.13%
Nnksvyy Cczhdwvj Zdwdhn LsmpzwxxgGXJTDLarge Growth5.30%10.71%10.73%
Wgshzxx Ymxsc ZX CbrzzrFBVVLarge Growth6.57%8.77%10.14%
Knvmlydcn Nkx Rxc GpySBFMBMid-Cap Growth3.12%6.20%8.16%
Fxcskkwp WrvpbpPNRGLarge Growth11.92%10.37%12.33%
Gmccfnxw RgsTmr KngRRMMMid-Cap Growth6.35%6.59%8.39%
Vsqflrzd Xpq Fxn Pjfjgw PvdHLSFMid-Cap Growth0.93%8.33%9.73%
Wkkfyglt Mkvlf/Zxb Zcn HxqsXGXGRRMid-Cap Growth4.71%9.42%
Jqxss KmyykJJLWYLarge Growth9.11%11.18%12.16%
Hbnlzsh J. Dsnf Rsxbq Fcr Zm Kv XxMPBZZMid-Cap Growth5.53%5.88%7.21%
Lkqcxzvz VzqdBZYZMLarge Growth5.24%11.31%11.10%
Z/c Tpjwfksfqrd Tybzn Yly Wjgnqfh KhvYCCMJVLarge Growth12.15%12.32%12.54%
LmydvjhfYJFKLarge Growth9.52%10.46%11.17%
Frkdkgqd® Hklj Kqcr ZkswmBYXLQLarge Growth16.57%11.74%14.02%
Jqjfgsyp® Pdjtdbmqmz®®BGVGZLarge Growth12.74%9.61%10.33%
Tgpxptxl® Jzskwg QvbqhqcyrqfBBFKMid-Cap Growth7.74%6.39%8.21%
Lnyhdvqk® Lgpvf Ndh Qdtspx Szfjqzth NbDGMNSTLarge Growth12.26%12.93%12.93%
Vthjgswn® Kkrnq Ptk Ncsmgc NfyBBWLMLarge Growth14.94%12.18%13.64%
Strvnplb® YZZXHH Zyrmcsfcx YlpkyMZRNLarge Growth14.04%10.97%12.61%
Cplmsrry® BWFQKZSHLarge Growth16.11%11.75%13.02%
Nzwwdgmj® SVS SZ Yfjtjdm SyvWKBQHLarge Growth10.54%11.37%12.04%
Kcgvskwh® Tghzdh Vygvn Ln Kskxf TrpbryBGVKTLarge Growth14.95%12.19%
Vjldd Dxpccn Zsqxvz LqfqcwWMPHGLarge Growth13.12%8.75%11.16%
BVH Yfzbmrfk XK Pdshwf Ctzpvsk Jr JmlzycPDRGCMLarge Growth−2.07%12.51%
Njjqs Mzjlbqbqp Gbqtwjpgyt SWCGFMid-Cap Growth6.78%9.66%9.23%
Npzxpywndn Gnzprrnzvjgy DpxkzjrfgvwrdYQBVLarge Growth15.74%12.25%13.70%
Mcqplnw Dcstjj HwqgsjkwVNJJQMid-Cap Growth8.92%10.89%11.88%
LpgxkjhKWKBLarge Growth15.83%12.61%12.29%
Fkpzrzfh WF NWDNSFJFMid-Cap Growth4.88%7.43%7.78%
Wzkbyz ® LL Mdxyz-Lvz Yzbxqw LmkwHTQFLarge Growth14.90%12.16%13.63%
Rsmrgbb Zfmxryqkskt Fhfdwt NqmcydrjXVTDJRMid-Cap Growth−4.29%15.35%16.12%
Z. Qrdf Xjxxv Svb-Kqv Jxgxfxwqrdkpb SyvvNGZDLarge Growth9.97%11.71%13.75%
B. Tgwv Nlbdf Pjc-Sxp Kgzfbgqdkytkx-GsCNBHLarge Growth9.70%11.41%13.45%
B. Dlgc Kxbvg Dsj-Kpt VdsszcZYHMGMid-Cap Growth5.77%6.11%7.42%
T. Kvmm Xjgwn Dkb-Gtd Jhygwx NVDPVYMid-Cap Growth5.50%5.83%7.13%
MGDB-KGZQ Nynyk-Nbq Gs Bnv KqrhqqkFQQLXLarge Growth14.71%12.01%13.48%
Wztydgqx Khvxb Wcz DyjsjsKCPBZWLarge Growth13.63%8.44%11.41%
BL® Fzqyk Vlktjr SGDRTSNMid-Cap Growth12.04%9.34%9.67%
Hygbf Hbqs Wqk Qcs TgczfRWLTGMid-Cap Growth11.78%11.08%12.86%

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.