Bill GatesBy Frank Byrt,

BOSTON -- Many of the most highly rated mutual funds sought solace and safety in conservative large-company stocks last year as the European sovereign debt crisis dragged on.

Morningstar, the mutual-fund and stock-rating firm, regularly tracks the top holdings and portfolio changes of 26 of its highly rated funds run by veteran managers, including Donald Yacktman's Yacktman Fund (YACKX), Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Fund (FAIRX), William Browne's Tweedy, Browne Value (TWEBX) and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), a holding company.

Morningstar comes up with a short list of the most widely held stocks of the 26 funds and then whittles it down using its own stock ratings to end up with a portfolio of 10 stocks for what it calls the "ultimate stock pickers."

The stocks in the latest list have one thing in common: They're mega-cap stocks with market values ranging from ConocoPhillips' (COP) $96 billion, on up to Exxon Mobil's (XOM) $400 billion.

The 10 stocks also include a number of reliable consumer-goods providers, including Walmart (WMT), Procter & Gamble (PG), Pepsi (PEP) and Coca-Cola (KO).

So the 10 stocks are all ultra-conservative picks and it seems clear these funds were trying to minimize downside risk well into the fourth quarter as the sovereign debt crisis raged, and there was lots of doom and gloom in the air at home.

Such stodginess may be why many of these stocks are lagging the S&P 500's 7.7% gain this year.

Here, then, are 10 stocks that are the most popular with the 26 funds that make up the "ultimate stock pickers" team, per Morningstar, in inverse order of the number of funds in the group that hold them:

To see these stocks in action, visit the 10 Companies in the "Ultimate Stock Pickers" Portfolio portfolio on Stockpickr.

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No apple or verizon safe ones or lvs or pot for a little more risk and drexion funds for max risk. Annuities are jokes if you are going to do them make sure they are fixed. You would beat them and not have your money tied up if you just bought tickers appl vz gld pot bmy. Another trick you can do is just type in top 50 or 100 mutual funds and just look at there top 10 holdings. You begin seeing the pattern. Long term means what ? The best yo could possibly do is try to forecast 6 months. No one knows what North Korea is going to do. Or when Europe will get there act together. All we know is Christmas is coming up and you want to be in early.

July 16 2012 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jgdraft if you want to invest your money for six or eight year time period there are some anuities that may be worth looking in to.

February 16 2012 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am just looking for some advice that I can use to increase my,quit little investments. I was in the construction field for a long time and I just played it safe. I was let go (5) five years ago and I had to tap into my investemts to survive,now I would like to take, a little chance, of investing in somthing more than the safe long term, because the long term is gone. I just have a bit to play with,but I want to play- any help?

February 15 2012 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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February 13 2012 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply