Right now, five stocks have delivered 10-year returns north of 4,500%. That's an annual return of at least 46% -- roughly tripling your investment every two years. How many of these top stocks can you name?
Let's start at the bottom of the list.
Back in 2003, Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) was a micro-cap specialist in genetic testing with negative earnings and more debt than cash. The company almost went under while waiting for the genetic-testing market to mature. Now it's a hot name in a red-hot health-care market. Long-term shareholders have pocketed an outsized 4,600% return in 10 years, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained just 65%.
How's that for market-beating performance? But wait -- it only gets better.
Everybody knows Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Under charismatic leader Steve Jobs, the Cupertino company transformed from a down-and-out wannabe computer-systems builder into a media-player giant, then a leading music-seller, and finally the smartphone-and-tablet powerhouse you see today. It's a classic rags-to-riches story that created a global powerhouse. The result: a 4,800% return.
Then there's coffee vendor Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR), which built an empire out of brilliant acquisitions. The company bought the rights to the Keurig single-serve coffee machines, along with the rest of the Keurig company, and that $160 million investment was the main reason for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)'s 5,100% 10-year climb.
The next name is still a small cap. WisdomTree is an investment firm that specializes in managing exchange-traded funds. It may only be the fifth-largest player in this field, but it's an up-and-comer with a full head of steam. It manages more than $23 billion of investor assets nowadays, up from just $1 billion in 2006. That's good for an astounding 9,600% decade-long return.
The long-term investment king should be familiar to longtime Fool readers. Energy drink giant Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST), formerly known as Hansen Natural, crushed all comers with a 22,200% return. That's nearly 72% per year on a sustained 10-year run, though the pace slowed down considerably in the back half of this jaw-dropping jump. Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) shares have "only" tripled in the last five years, which sounds weak only when compared to the nearly 60-bagger return of the previous five years.