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In a bull market, it’s easy for investors to feel like geniuses when record levels are a daily occurrence and a 10% return (or more) is for the asking. But even at dizzying heights, advisers can help clients keep their eye on the big picture by focusing on a fund's alpha instead of just its return. A more solid measure of a portfolio manager's investment savvy (or luck), alpha shows which funds are really generating value over and above a benchmark, and which are just rising along with the market.

Click through to see the 20 mutual funds with at least $1 billion in assets with the highest alpha, each compared to its respective benchmarks, for the past three years.

It's worth noting that alternative strategies have a strong showing on this list and that expense ratios are rarely rock-bottom. The median expense is 1.05%, and on this list they run as high as 1.97%. All data from Morningstar.


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