10 of the top-performing stocks of the past decade

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For investors, the last 10 years have been record-setting. Thanks to the longest-ever bull market, investments made as the markets began to bounce back from the financial crisis and Great Recession have grown significantly.

But the best-performing companies of the decade may not be big names you'd recognize. For example, many pharmaceutical and transportation stocks have seen tremendous growth, but they aren't brands consumers deal with directly.

Other top-performers, like Domino's, might surprise you. The pizza chain's stock has outperformed big names like Apple, Google, and Amazon over the past decade, returning around 3,000%. Check out the video below to see what contributed to the pizza-maker's success, and what you can learn from it as an investor.

Domino's stock performance shows why it's not worth trying to predict the market

Video by David Fang

10 of the best-performing stocks of the past decade

The Grow team used FactSet to find the best-performing stocks of the past decade from the Dow and S&P 500, as determined by approximate stock price change percentage between 12/31/2009 and 12/31/2019. (Despite its noteworthy performance, Domino's doesn't appear on this list because its stock is not included in either index.)

  1. Netflix: 4,011%
  2. MarketAxess Holdings Inc.: 2,627%
  3. ABIOMED: 1,854%
  4. Broadcom: 1,627%
  5. United Rentals: 1,600%
  6. Align Technology: 1,466%
  7. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals: 1,453%
  8. Ulta Beauty: 1,294%
  9. Old Dominion Freight: 1,291%
  10. Amazon: 1,274%

Why a diversified portfolio wins

As the list of top performers shows, it's tough to predict which companies will fare well over the long run — and which won't. Among the decade's biggest losers are companies like Under Armour and Kraft Heinz, both of which end the decade down roughly 60%.

That's why experts recommend investors opt for a diversified portfolio of low-cost investments like index funds that track the market. Diversifying reduces the risk that the performance of a single company will affect your ability to reach your financial goals.

The market has a history of rewarding patient, long-term investors: The S&P 500 Index is poised to end 2019 up roughly 30%. And looking back, the long-term historical average annualized return for the U.S. stock market is around 10%.

If you'd invested $500 in one of the five major U.S. benchmarks 10 years ago, for example, your investments would be worth anywhere from about $1,500 to more than $2,400 today, depending on which index you picked.

Note: This article has been updated with final 2019 stock price data.

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