The solid bull market run over the past several years has shifted investor interest away from quality stocks toward growth stocks, but those trends might reverse if the market should turn bearish. This is known as the "Flight to Quality."

Many investors define quality stocks as those that offer more reliability and less risk.

Investors who believe the positive trajectory of today’s market will soon come to a close have several investing options in quality stocks to turn to. These stocks may not have the rapid share prices increases that growth stocks enjoy, but they have a more stable balance sheet and dependable earnings.

Quality stocks have fared well over the past year, although not quite as well as growth stocks. The iShares Edge MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL), which includes quality stocks like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Visa Inc. (V), rose 20 percent in 2017. This fund includes large- and mid-cap stocks that are "quality" for metrics such as return on equity, earnings variability and debt-to-equity.

Goldman Sachs analysts say quality names can help investors beat the market with long-term growth that not only maintains high returns, but expands them. The firm recently identified 50 quality stocks that it believes have defensive characteristics with long periods of industry leadership, as well as high free cash flow that is improving. Goldman Sachs also factored in valuation, which can help investors find bargains amid a market with sky-high share prices.

Here are three of Goldman Sachs' top 50 picks in quality stocks on U.S. exchanges. They have the highest dividend yield of all the companies on the list as of June 11:

Enterprise Products Partners L.P.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (EPD) has a dividend yield of 5.85% with an annualized payout of $1.71. The company has a history of increasing its dividend every quarter, going back for nearly two decades. The energy company – which has a portfolio of mostly fee-based businesses, including pipelines, storage and processing facilities – has been able to do this through building or purchasing assets that generate cash, while also maintaining a strong financial profile. The company completed $4.5 billion in growth projects last year and has more than $5 billion in growth projects in development due to finish up over the next few years.

The energy company has been steadily improving its financial results, and looks to benefit from the ongoing jump in oil prices. The company recently reported first-quarter earnings of 39 cents per share, beating forecasts by a penny and rising from 36 cents a year ago. Revenue also topped forecasts and rose from a year ago. Enterprise saw year-over-year gains in 3 of its 4 segments.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. shares are down just over 11% year-to-date.

Public Storage

Public Storage (PSA) offers a 3.69% dividend yield, with an annualized payout of $8. The company also recently announced a $2 per share dividend, but investors had to get in by June 11, 2018. As of June 12, it trades ex-dividend.

A real estate investment trust (REIT), Public Storage has indirect equity interests in 2,348 self-storage facilities in the U.S. It also has a business segment in Europe. The company expanded throughout 2017 and early 2018 and is primed to continue its growth through the rest of the year. The Glendale, Calif.-based company reported first-quarter 2018 core funds from operations of $2.48 per share, topping estimates and rising nearly 5% from the year-ago figure.

Public Storage shares are up 3.6% year-to-date.

Schlumberger Ltd.

Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) offers a 3.04% dividend yield, with an annualized payout of $2.00. It is the highest dividend yield among the major oilfield equipment and services companies.

The company reported total revenues of $7,829 million in the first quarter of 2017, up from $6,894 million in the same quarter a year ago, but just short of estimates. Earnings rose year-over-year and surpassed expectations.

a better-than-expected $545 million in net income in the third quarter of 2017, up from $176 million in the same quarter in the previous year. Schlumberger had reported a net loss in the second quarter, that was nonetheless an improvement over the previous year's net loss. The growth reflected strength in hydraulic fracturing, higher directional drilling in the United States and increased production in many international locations.

Schlumberger shares are nearly flat, up less than 1 percent year-to-date after falling nearly 20% in 2017, but the company said its outlook for the near term remains robust. (See also: Why Schlumberger is a Name You Should Know.)

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.