The 50 Best Stocks of All Time


Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. Netflix has grown its sales from about $36 million in 2000 to $15.8 billion last year, and swung from a net loss of $57 million to net income of $1.2 billion over the same period. Equinix has grown from revenues of $13 million in 2000 to $5.1 billion last year, and transformed a net loss of $120 million into net income of $365 million over the same period. Intuitive has grown its sales from about $27 million in 2000 to $3.7 billion last year, and swung from a net loss of around $19 million to $1.1 billion in net income over the same period.

It should come as no surprise that the greatest value investor of all time would be behind one of the best stocks of the past 30 years. Morgan & Co., the stock was added to the Dow in 1991 to reflect not only its place of prominence in the financial industry, but its weight in the American business landscape. Wall Street typically ranks HD as one of its favorite Dow stocks, with analysts expecting even more outperformance in the years ahead. As great a wealth creator as HD has been, the bulk of its outperformance has come in only the past decade or so. In addition to being the largest beverage company in the world, Kweichow Moutai is also China's most valuable non-technology company.

Today, management, analysts, bond investors, and rating agencies all believe MO can deliver 3% to 7% growth for at least the next 40 years. The top 20 hedge fund firms collectively generated $22.4 billion in profit after fees, according to estimates by LCH Investments, a fund of hedge funds. Citadel’s gain was the largest annual return for a hedge fund manager, surpassing the $15 billion that John Paulson generated in 2007 on his bet against subprime mortgages. This was described as the “greatest trade ever” in a subsequent book of the same name by Gregory Zuckerman. While all of these stocks produced massive returns, the forces that fueled their growth may not continue into this decade.

The company has been able to ride over many shocks, but it will be interesting to see how it manages to turn the tide in its favor in the future. This has been the best stock on the market over the past 50 years . A dollar invested in Altria in 1968 would've turned into $6,638 by 2015; with dividends reinvested, this amounts to a mere 663,700% of total return, or 20.6% annually. The a man for all markets addictive nature of tobacco has made Altria so profitable that even despite dwindling smoking rates, the company has continued to grow by raising its prices. In 1975, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to start a computer company with childhood friend Paul Allen. The company quickly revolutionized personal computing and created a generation of so-called Microsoft Millionaires.

Altria Group Inc.

Disney – a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1991 – has had its pandemic ups and downs recently, but you can't quibble with the stock’s past performance. Shares in the sprawling entertainment conglomerate have delivered outstanding multi-decade returns. Investors won’t have to stress when investing in a diverse company like Microsoft because it has acquired so many different platforms and services to expand its brand. The company traded for around $0.60 in January of 2000 and currently trades at a price of $149 per share. In terms of performance, it’d be pretty challenging to find an investment that has provided better returns since 2000.

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Coca-Cola was one of the best-performing stocks over the 20th century as the company built up a number of competitive advantages in beverages. First, the namesake brand itself has become one of the most valuable in the world. Coca-Cola is the first beverage many people around the world think of when they reach for something to drink, thanks to decades of successful advertising and the popularity of its original formula. Coca-Cola has used the same strategy to build up similar brands, such as Sprite and Fanta, as well as younger brands it's recently acquired, including Vitamin Water.

best performing stock of all time

After notching an all-time high in early 2018, it remains to be seen how much upside is left, at least in the short term. The original Hewlett-Packard, started in 1939, was the granddaddy of Silicon Valley technology firms. The company's fortunes really took off as home PCs and printers gained in popularity. Two years later the company spun off Agilent Technologies to house products that didn't relate to computers, such as scientific instruments and semiconductors.

The Best-Performing Stocks of All Time

Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 9.5 million shares in the payments processor. Roche also stands out – and does well by its shareholders – as a dividend machine. Indeed, the company is a European Dividend Aristocrat, having maintained or increased its dividend annually for more than three decades.

  • Exxon Mobil's dividend payments have grown at an average annual rate of 6.1% over the last 38 years.
  • Johnson & Johnson operates in several different areas of health care including pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
  • But what really changed the company's fortunes was its often painful transition away from traditional software licensing to providing cloud-based services.
  • The S&P 500 generated a total return of 373% over the same period.

Known as Tesla Motors when it went public in 2010, the company adopted its current moniker in 2017 to reflect an expansion into lithium ion batteries and solar energy. Meta' share price has gained roughly 800% in its relatively short life, creating more than $553 billion in wealth. The S&P 500 is up about 250% on a price basis over the same span. As much as Samsung has emerged as a major supplier to the tech sector's supply chain, consumers know it best for its ubiquitous smartphones, televisions and home theater systems. Samsung washers, dryers and refrigerators are likewise major brand ambassadors helping to drive top-line growth. Buffett's single biggest investment, at more than 42% of Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio, makes a starring appearance on our list below.

What Are The Best Performing Stocks of All Time?

The company should rebound back as the core business remains strong with good brand recognition. The dividend payout of the company, along with the growth rate of dividends, has been a noticeable factor. Even after existing in the sector for so many years, or maybe because of it, the current yield of the company is still significant enough for investors to consider it. Along the way, Microsoft created $1.91 trillion in wealth for shareholders, good for an annualized return of more than 19%. Investors can thank the company's sprawling operations in the world's largest consumer market for those eye-popping results.

best performing stock of all time

Cash payments to stock holders have also been growing steadily over all these years. Although the dot-com days of the 1990s minted many a "Microsoft millionaire," the aftermath of the tech bust led MSFT stock to trade mostly sideways for a decade. Shares of what was then known as Google – the corporate name was changed to Alphabet in 2015 – were initially offered to the public less than 20 saxo forex broker years ago. And by the end of the first trading day in 2004, the company was worth $27 billion. Indeed, no company on this list has created as much wealth as FB has in such a short period of time. 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.

Stocks Mentioned

We've put together a list of the 10 best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 this century. 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. With a current market value in excess of U.S. $600 billion, Tencent is China’s most valuable company and a top-10 most valuable stock in the world.

Just a year later, Microsoft shares reached 21 USD per share, which equates to 6 cents a share, if we account for dividends and stock splits. The company truly made a revolution in the digital and PC business. Its co-founder, Steve Jobs, is legendary, its gadgets are ubiquitous, and with a current market capitalization of $900 billion it's on course to become the first $1 trillion company in market history. Investors can thank the iPhone for the eye-popping run-up in the value of the stock in recent years.

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HP Inc. carries on the legacy of the original stock, which was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1961. Stock price initially rode the technology bubble during the late 1990s but retraced back to earlier levels. Since then, it has been steadily climbing upwards as the company has continued to develop new technologies with time. Currently, it is banking on its cloud-based platform to generate revenues. Many investors generally value the company higher than its peers in the technology space.

SEE ALSO: 11 Dow Stocks Owned by Warren Buffett

Today, the company's operating businesses continue to focus on tobacco including cigarettes , smokeless tobacco (U.S. Smokeless Tobacco) and cigars . Altria also owns St. Michelle Wine Estates, a major wine producer. The company is best known for its iconic Marlboro brand of cigarettes, but at one time or another Altria and its predecessors had a hand in other famous names including Miller Brewing and Kraft Foods. The stock originally joined the Dow in 1985, when the company was called Philip Morris Cos. The name changed to Altria in 2003, and the stock was replaced in the Dow in 2008. Philip Morris International is a separate publicly traded company that was spun off from Altria in 2008 to sell cigarettes outside the U.S.

Today, the company is reconfiguring itself to take advantage of the growth of cloud-based computing and the Internet of Things. Verizon has been a Dow stock since 2004, and it's currently the sole representative of the telecommunications industry. Rival AT&T was dropped from the industrial average in 2015 to make room for Apple . Verizon came out of the 1980's federal break-up of the old AT&T on antitrust grounds.

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Like rival Chevron, Exxon has to contend with uncertainty regarding the future of fossil fuels, not to mention the wild swings in oil prices. (But, hey, at least the dividend checks kept coming.) Exxon has been part of the Dow ever since the industrial average expanded to 30 companies in 1928. It was dropped from the industrial average a year later before being added back in 1925. It remained a component of the Dow until GM was forced into bankruptcy in 2009.

Lockdowns led to a surge in demand for spirits, which in turn sent shares soaring nearly 70% in 2020. And analysts expect more of the same going forward, thanks to the ongoing revolution in digital transactions. Visa, like rival Mastercard, is a favorite name with analysts, hedge funds and billionaires, including Warren Buffett.

AT&T has a long and winding corporate history that started with Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone in 1879. However, for the purposes of Bessembinder's study, the lifetime wealth creation above represents the performance of shares since 1984. That's the year AT&T was broken up into seven new regional phone companies, known as Baby Bells, with the original AT&T retaining its long-distance business.

Altria is the best-performing stock in history, delivering 17.7% CAGR total returns for 90 years, or 173,000X returns, adjusted for inflation. While falling stock markets hit the performance of many equity-focused funds, plenty of the biggest macro funds benefited from bets on rising rates and volatile currencies. And major hedge funds that have dozens of trading teams across assets showed the upside of such diversification.

And it designs software, provides logistics, financing, marketing and consulting services. Samsung is also active in artificial intelligence and cloud-based services. Thanks in no small part to dividends, Johnson & Johnson’s total return comes to 4,220% from 1990 to 2020, per YCharts, versus 1,950% for the S&P 500. If you were to exclude dividends from this Dow stock’s performance, JNJ would have gained just 2,020% over those same 30 years. Consumer staples stocks like Nestlé are defensive in nature and tend to lag in up markets. Nestlé serves as proof that when held patiently over several market cycles, defensive dividend payers can create more than their fair share of wealth over the long haul.

The company was formed in 1987 via the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy. The combined company continued on its acquisitive path, and today claims a total of 75 prestige brands organized into six business groups. Fast forward to 2021, unholy grails and the stock’s price is above $700 per share with more than 18,000% gains for the original investors that jumped into a Tesla position early on in the stock’s lifetime. Now the company has a stock price above $3,000 per share with no signs of slowing down.

Their extensive drug portfolio has been built through internal research and disparate acquisitions. The company today is one of the biggest biotechnology firms in the world. Its most popular products are Atripla, Sovaldi, Truvada and Harvoni. Altria's origins can be traced back to a 19th century tobacco shop in London.

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