The market has beaten down on large-cap growth over the past few years. And contrary to popular belief, this is good news for investors. Because of the slumping market, a number of extremely well-managed large-cap growth funds are available on the cheap. As master investor Warren Buffett has said, the best time to be greedy is when others are fearful.

Fool fund analyst Shannon Zimmerman is confident that the time for large-cap growth is just around the corner. At his Motley Fool Champion Funds newsletter, he has identified four superior large-cap growth funds for subscribers, in addition to 26 other recommendations. He's so confident in the long-term prospects of each of these investment vehicles that we're loath to give away any of his picks to anyone who doesn't become a subscriber. But we're not above letting you know what attributes make these funds superior or what they're buying and selling now.

One fund for the long run
Back in November 2004, Shannon recommended a large-cap growth fund that was "having a relatively easy time snapping up shares of the names they like at discounted prices." More importantly, the fund boasted a talented management team, a time-tested strategy, and a rock-bottom expense ratio of just 0.50% in a category whose average fund costs nearly 1.6%.

Since Shannon recommended this Champ almost a year ago, that expense ratio has fallen even further (to 0.3%). That's exactly what separates an average fund from a great fund: management that sticks to its investing guns in good times and bad and doesn't charge investors an arm and a leg for performance. Those traits have helped Shannon identify a basket of funds that have outrun their comparable indexes to the tune of 6 percentage points.

The holdings
Before we get to the holdings, let me lead with how this Champ finds its stocks. The management team screens for earnings momentum, relative historical value, and future cash flows. At the time Shannon recommended the fund, its top 10 holdings included Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), AIG (NYSE:AIG), and Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL). Today, Microsoft remains the fund's largest holding, but AIG and Apollo Group have been bounced from the top 10. They have been replaced by Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and General Electric (NYSE:GE).

At the end of July, management also disclosed that they increased the fund's stake in integrated oils from zero to 2.10% of all holdings. Energy stocks went from 2.8% to 4% of all holdings -- including substantial positions in Petro-Canada (NYSE:PCZ) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). These increases came largely at the expense of technology, which fell from 24.5% to 19.1% of holdings, and financial services, which fell from 12.1% to 9.4% of all holdings.

Foolish final fund thoughts
Since Shannon recommended this large-cap growth fund to subscribers, it has beaten its comparable index by 5 percentage points. Taking a look at this successful fund's holdings tells me that I should be looking for large-cap growth in oil and other energy interests. I agree with that tack -- the current rising price of energy seems to be largely driven by demand, not politics. That translates to sustained higher prices -- maybe even approaching $100 per barrel. Technology companies, on other hand, seem to have recovered from the bear market of a few years ago and are approaching their fair values.

If you'd like to take a look at this large-cap growth Champ -- and 29 more superior funds that Shannon has identified for subscribers -- you can see them all for free with a 30-day trial to Champion Funds. You'll also have access to Shannon's aggressive, moderate, and conservative model portfolios, as well as to fund manager interviews and asset-allocation game plans. There is no obligation to subscribe. Click here to get started.

Tim Hanson owns shares of Apollo Group. At The Motley Fool, no writer is too cool for disclosure ... and Tim's pretty darn cool.