In the wake of the scandal, Chicago researcher Morningstar introduced its first-ever "Stewardship Grade" to underscore the fact that there's more for investors to consider when choosing a mutual fund than just past performance. This year's results are in and one-fourth of domestic stock funds received excellent Stewardship Grades.

Most of the domestic stock funds rated by Morningstar are now closed to new investors, and all of the funds are characterized as "good or great funds overall," Morningstar said.

The Dodge & Cox Stock fund was given an outstanding stewardship grade. The San Francisco fund was closed to new investors early on in 2004. The fund boasts some of the best returns in the large-value arena with "a sound and patient strategy, and a savvy management team."

A few blue-chip-oriented funds were give great stewardship marks as well, and many of the funds are still open to new investors. The Portland, Maine-based Sound Shore Fund, for example, outdid many of its peer funds in the large-value category. It concentrates on beaten down stocks that have strong fundamentals.

Many smaller-cap funds were awarded good grades, too. The Fairholme Fund of Malvern, Pa., got a first-rate stewardship grade due to its distinctive strategy and distinguished management team.

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