Visualizing the 20 Best-Performing Stocks of the Last Decade

The stock’s 31.1% annualized return is among the highest on this list. The performance is all the more remarkable considering most of the best stocks of all time goose their returns by paying out generous dividends for decades. Intel, founded in 1968, is an old-timer among technology companies, and the semiconductor manufacturer’s longevity has paid off handsomely for shareholders. Its early start positioned the company to run away with the market for the chips that serve as a computer’s brain.

  • Lipitor went on to become the best-selling prescription drug of all time.
  • The modern-era Union Pacific was formed in 1969 to manage what had become a spaghetti-like mix of routes.
  • Currently, it is banking on its cloud-based platform to generate revenues.
  • His holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, first started buying shares of the bank in 1989.
  • Monster was driving 90% of the company’s sales by the time it changed its name to Monster Energy at the beginning of 2012.

If you were to exclude dividends from this Dow stock’s performance, JNJ would have gained just 2,020% over those same 30 years. Over the past 30 years, amid cycles of oil booms and oil busts, XOM generated more than $437 billion in wealth. Shareholders can thank the company’s policy of regular dividend increases for much of that windfall. Exxon Mobil’s dividend payments legacyfx have grown at an average annual rate of 6.1% over the last 38 years. Prodigious consumption of Kweichow Moutai’s spirits and wines helped create nearly $400 billion in wealth over the past three decades – albeit with much of that wealth piling up rather recently. Lockdowns led to a surge in demand for spirits, which in turn sent shares soaring nearly 70% in 2020.

Bet on These 4 Top-Performing Liquid Stocks for Solid Returns

Aggressive tightening from the Federal Reserve has caused tech stocks to plummet back to Earth in 2022, and this has shaken up the membership of the trillion dollar market cap club. Fourth place company Transdigm Group gains its stronghold by developing specialized products for the aerospace industry. It has a strong acquisition strategy as well, having acquired over 60 businesses since its formation in 1993. The company earned a staggering 3,767% return over the last ten years, meaning an initial $100 investment would now be worth almost $4,000. However, it remains to be seen whether Netflix’s first mover advantage will remain strong with new competitors entering the space.

best performing stock of all time

We’ve put together a list of the 10 best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this century. Odds are good that you or someone extremely close to you has a Colgate Palmolive product at home. Founded in 1806, today the company is a cleaning and oral-hygiene juggernaut, generating over $15 billion in sales and $2.4 billion in profits in 2016. It’s hard to imagine the founder, William Colgate, dreaming that the company he founded, and later merged with Palmolive soaps, would one day be worth $65 billion.

As it quickly became clear that U.S. textile manufacturing was in decline, Buffett decided to shift gears. By the late 1960s Buffett had already diversified into banking, insurance and newspaper publishing. Berkshire is now a holding company comprised of dozens of diverse businesses selling everything from underwear to insurance policies . Berkshire has also been a vehicle for Buffett to invest in stocks, which he has done shrewdly and successfully.

After graduating with a BSc in Economics from the University of Victoria in 2010, Matthew developed a passion for helping clients meet their financial freedom through strong, risk-adjusted portfolios. Formerly, he was responsible for managing and co-managing over $600MM in assets for private households and institutions. Matthew also completed his CFA® charter in 2015, a rigorous professional credential program promoting the highest standards of education, ethics, and professional excellence. All seven of these companies are highly recognizable because they have had great success in recent decades. Microsoft has been another reliable investment over the years because it continues to deliver exceptional revenues every quarter. The seven stocks in our list come from very different industries in the American economy.

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Examples are hypothetical, and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific investment issues. Our estimates are based on past market performance, and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Part of Altria’s growth came before it spun off its international business, returning 2,340% between the end of 1999 and March 2008.

Although 2017 returns aren’t included in Bessembinder’s study, the stock price nearly doubled last year — a remarkable one-year return for such an established blue-chip stock. Any list of top-performing stocks of all time has to include consumer-products juggernaut Procter & Gamble. Today, the company owns not just a few but 21 consumer-product and personal-care brands that eachgenerate over $1 billion per year in annual sales. These products include Bounty paper towels, Oral-B toothpaste, Tide laundry detergent, and scores of others. There are scores of amazing stocks that are worthy of consideration, but in this list we opted for a mix of age and a long history of paying dividends. This blending of criteria, we felt, would at least make for a decent attempt at identifying the best-performing stocks of all time.

The modern-era Union Pacific was formed in 1969 to manage what had become a spaghetti-like mix of routes. Warren Buffett once held a 2% stake in Union Pacific, but sold it when Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) bought competitor BNSF in 2009. Buffett has always had an affinity for railroads because he believes they form the backbone of the U.S. economy. The analysis assumes you bought the stock the year you were born and never sold. The gains exclude dividends and are calculated from the start of each birth year. Higher interest rates make it more expensive for businesses to operate, and less-profitable businesses will have a harder time producing the cash flow investors want to see.

While its income looks relatively moderate, they have a healthy balance sheet that helps the profits they give out in dividends. The company became a publicly traded company in 1919 and has been recognized as one of the best performing stocks of google java style guide all time. It should come as no surprise that the greatest value investor of all time would be behind one of the best stocks of all time. Warren Buffett took control of Berkshire Hathaway, a struggling textile manufacturer, in the early 1960s.

It was first added to the Dow in 1916, when the average expanded to 20 companies from 12. As part of the merger, Texaco service stations were sold to Shell, now part of oil major Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A). It was an anticlimactic end for one of the last independent oil companies. By the late 1950s it was the most popular brand of gasoline and one of the earliest sponsors of the nascent television industry.


Some companies may have become overvalued, or be facing new competition in their industry—as is the case with Netflix. It’s best to consider all current information when building a portfolio. The investing information provided on this page is for educational purposes only. NerdWallet does not offer advisory or brokerage services, nor does it recommend or advise investors to buy or sell particular stocks, securities or other investments.

best performing stock of all time

Ciena is said to grow faster because of its powerful product production. It’s also important to have perspective while measuring stock returns, so you must go a step further and look at the top 1,000 stocks by returns in large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap. One of the best ways would be to measure stock performance by calculating its year-on-year growth. Free Report) is full-service national travel center chain in the United States. The company’s locations serve hundreds of thousands of professional drivers and other highway travelers each month – including virtually all major trucking fleets.

And while Microsoft’s flagship operating system is still one of its major revenue drivers, the company’s product offerings have become much more diverse. While computers are still a core part of its business, the iPhone has become the biggest revenue candle timer indicator mt4 download driver for the company. In third place, healthcare technology company Abiomed develops medical devices that provide circulatory support. The company’s Impella® device—the world’s smallest heart pump— has been used to treat over 50,000 U.S. patients.

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These companies are often profitable, regularly outperform the S&P 500, and have other unique strengths that have made them among the highest-returning stocks ever. S&P 500 index — which includes approximately 500 of the largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. — has posted an average annual return of nearly 10% since 1928. Here’s a roundup of 5 of the stocks that have had the highest total return over the past 20 years. All are listed in the S&P 500, which is comprised of 505 of the biggest companies in the U.S. market.

Although the original GM stock was one of the great winners of the last century, its recent fortunes haven’t been as bright. Shares in the new GM are up just 34% since the 2010 initial public offering. Chevron is yet another member of the Dow delivering a disproportionate share of the stock market’s wealth creation since 1926. With 30 consecutive years of annual growth in its cash payouts to shareholders, Chevron’s track record instills confidence that the dividend will continue to rise well into the future. Chevron’s origins as a company date back to the 19th century and run through John D. Rockefeller’s legendary oil empire.

Dividend income has also been a substantial source of income for shareholders. Warner-Lambert was acquired by Pfizer some 17 years ago, but during its half century as an independent publicly traded company, its stock delivered a remarkable performance. Tracing its roots back to the mid-1800s, Warner-Lambert was no stranger to making plenty of big acquisitions of its own over the years. It bought everything from Trident gum to Schick razors, but perhaps its biggest M&A win came with the purchase of Parke-Davis, once the world’s largest drug maker and the discoverer of Lipitor.

Let’s look at each stock’s history to see why they’ve been among the best performers in stock market history. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions.

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