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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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20. Fidelity Real Estate Investment Port (FRESX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.09%
3-Yr. Return: 11.67%
Expense Ratio: 0.77%
Total Assets (millions): $4,619
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19. PIMCO Income Instl (PIMIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.10%
3-Yr. Return: 5.93%
Expense Ratio: 0.45%
Total Assets (millions): $75.368
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18. Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Admr (VMNVX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.20%
3-Yr. Return: 10.12%
Expense Ratio: 0.17%
Total Assets (millions): $1,703
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17. JHancock Balanced (SVBAX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.22%
3-Yr. Return: 5.63%
Expense Ratio: 1.09%
Total Assets (millions): $1,864
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16. Dreyfus Global Real Return (DRRIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.24%
3-Yr. Return: 1.99%
Expense Ratio: 0.88%
Total Assets (millions): $1,411
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15. MFS International Value (MGIAX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.31%
3-Yr. Return: 4.82%
Expense Ratio: 1.01%
Total Assets (millions): $25,600
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14. Westwood Income Opportunity Instl (WHGIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.57
3-Yr. Return: 5.40%
Expense Ratio: 0.84%
Total Assets (millions): $2,572
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13. AQR Managed Futures Strategy (AQMNX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.59%
3-Yr. Return: 2.62%
Expense Ratio: 1.47%
Total Assets (millions): $12,877
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12. Eaton Vance Glbl Macro Abs Ret Advtg (EGRIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.78%
3-Yr. Return: 6.03%
Expense Ratio: 1.23%
Total Assets (millions): $1,790
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11. Invesco Dividend Income Investor (FSTUX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.79%
3-Yr. Return: 11.82%
Expense Ratio: 1.13%
Total Assets (millions): $2,528
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10. T. Rowe Price Global Technology (PRGTX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 5.96%
3-Yr. Return: 20.18%
Expense Ratio: 0.90%
Total Assets (millions): $3,803
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9. SEI Global Managed Volatility (SVTAX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 6.35%
3-Yr. Return: 9.91%
Expense Ratio: 1.13%
Total Assets (millions): $1,388
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8. Fidelity Select Medical Equip & Systems (FSMEX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 6.50%
3-Yr. Return: 16.02%
Expense Ratio: 0.75%
Total Assets (millions): $3,130
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7. Aberdeen US Small Cap Equity Inst Svc (GSXIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 7.05%
3-Yr. Return: 12.96%
Expense Ratio: 1.14%
Total Assets (millions): $1,824
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6. Fidelity Select Gold (FSAGX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 7.62%
3-Yr. Return: -0.90%
Expense Ratio: 0.93%
Total Assets (millions): $1,544
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5. AQR Multi-Strategy Alternative (ASAIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 10.09%
3-Yr. Return: 20.97%
Expense Ratio: 1.12%
Total Assets (millions): $1,925
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4. Fidelity Select Semiconductors (FSELX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 8.45%
3-Yr. Return: 22.41%
Expense Ratio: 0.74%
Total Assets (millions): $3,011
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3. Matthews India Investor (MINDX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 10.09%
3-Yr. Return: 20.97%
Expense Ratio: 1.12%
Total Assets (millions): $1,925
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2. Western Asset Macro Opportunities (LAOSX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 10.29%
3-Yr. Return: 5.09%
Expense Ratio: 1.23%
Total Assets (millions): $1,004
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1. AQR Style Premia Alternative (QSPIX)
3-Yr. Alpha: 10.68%
3-Yr. Return: 8.36%
Expense Ratio: 1.49%
Total Assets (millions): $4,065