Best Large-Cap Blend Funds for the Long Term

Large-cap blend funds were among the most unloved categories in 2010.

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Payson Total Return (PBFDX). Like many other funds on this list, Payson Total Return has a concentrated portfolio. It holds about 40 stocks, and also contains a small fixed-income position, made up of exchange-traded funds that short—or bet against—long-term treasury securities. Top holdings include blue-chips ExxonMobil, Johnson & Johnson, and Wal-Mart. Its sector weightings are mostly in line with the S&P 500. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 2 percent. It charges annual fees of 1.59 percent.

Invesco Van Kampen Exchange (ACEHX). The fund, which is currently closed to new investors, has returned an annualized 3 percent over the past 10 years. Its annual fees are 0.52 percent.

Mairs & Powers Growth (MPGFX). This fund's unique strategy has allowed it to outpace many of its peers over the past decade. Management invests in a fair amount of small- and mid-cap companies because it believes that over time, they will have higher returns than their large-cap counterparts. It also maintains a regional focus with a preference for companies in the upper Midwest region of the United States, particularly Minnesota. The fund's two largest holdings are 3M and Target, both of which are based in the region. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 10 percent. Its charges 0.71 percent in annual fees.

Manning & Napier Tax Managed (EXTAX). Management takes care to minimize taxes when buying and selling securities for the fund. The fund currently holds about 70 stocks, including a fair amount of smaller companies and a 20 percent allocation to foreign firms. The fund is currently heavy on media companies, such as the Washington Post Company. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 5 percent. Its annual fees are 1.2 percent.

Croft Value (CLVFX). Gordon Croft runs this fund along with his two sons, Kent and Russell. The team invests in companies of all sizes and is known for its high-conviction picks. Generally, the managers look for stocks they believe are trading at discount, but they won't shy away from other opportunities. That's why the fund holds Apple, along with value names like timber company Weyerhaeuser. The fund has fairly large energy holdings in the United States and overseas, in places like Canada and Colombia. It has returned an annualized 5 percent over the past 10 years. Its annual fees are 1.32 percent.

Henssler Equity (HEQFX). Management generally sticks to the sector weightings of the S&P 500 and prefers high-quality companies with a history of financial stability and earnings growth. The fund has large holdings in the industrial materials sector, in companies like General Electric. Over the past 10 years, the fund has returned an annualized 3 percent, and its annual fees are 1.28 percent.