Morningstar announced the winners of its 2015 fund manager of the year awards on Tuesday.
While the investment research firm selected those who showcased excellent investment skills, the committee doesn't only look at 2015's best-performing funds.
"One of the secrets to success in 2015 was conservatism," Jon Hale told CNBC's "Power Lunch."
The research manager added that 2015's difficult market climate encouraged Morningstar to look into managers who managed risk well and showed a long-term track record.
Morningstar awards five asset classes: domestic-stock, international-stock, fixed-income, alternatives and allocation.
Read more: Morningstar fund managers of 2014