Stock Trading

What are the Top 5 Investments of the Last Decade?

· 5 min read

Every investor dreams of stumbling onto the “next big thing” - getting in early on that cutting-edge tech company or start-up to benefit financially from a meteoric period of growth.


Every investor dreams of stumbling onto the “next big thing” - getting in early on that cutting-edge tech company or start-up to benefit financially from a meteoric period of growth.

In recent years, some truly unique companies have entered and disrupted the market, carving out their own gap or operating with such efficiency that they blow their competitors out of the water. While names like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook often lead the pack in terms of market capitalisation, measuring growth is slightly different.

However, while these huge names are still growing dramatically, many of them were already established at the beginning of the 2010s. To look at some of the newer players in the market, and look at growth in terms of percentage increase, we put together this list. Read on to learn more about five of the best-performing stocks of the last decade.

We’ve considered these stocks based on their compound annual growth rate (CAGR), which is their average annual growth rate from 2010 to 2019. This is not indicative of how much money the stocks have made, but rather how quickly they have grown across a ten-year period.

Netflix - NASDAQ, 45.01%

For most people, streaming giant Netflix has been a fixture of life only in the past five or ten years. Netflix and on-demand streaming services have changed the way we engage with television, and “binge-watching” boxsets has become more and more popular.

Today, most television series are released a season at a time, rather than week-by-week, as was the most popular format before 2010. However, Netflix was founded almost 30 years ago as a DVD/VHS rental service that worked by post and delivered one billion DVDs by mid-2007.

However, Netflix started streaming content online at the end of the 2000s, and by 2011, the company had made this its mainstay. The advent of Netflix original content in the early part of the decade only cemented its status as the first true streaming giant.

What would my returns look like? £10,000 invested into Netflix at the beginning of 2010 would have been worth £411,130.34 at the end of the 2010s.*

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Ashtead Group - LSE, 43%

Although not as high-value as some of the other firms on this list, the Ashtead Group was reported as having the highest annualised growth rate of all UK companies during the 2010s.

Founded in the 1940s in Leatherhead, Surrey, Ashtead is a plant and vehicle hire company that was worth more than £4 billion in 2019. The company has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since the 1980s and has been part of several acquisitions and MBOs ever since.

Today, the company operates all around the world, conducting some 85% of its business in North America through subsidiary Sunbelt Rentals. It is estimated there are more than 600 Sunbelt locations throughout the USA and Canada, as well as more than 180 across the UK under various brand names.

What would my returns look like? £10,000 invested into Ashtead Group at the beginning of 2010 would have been worth £357,569.42 at the end of the 2010s.*

MarketAxess Holdings - NASDAQ, 39.56%

While many of us might not know the words “MarketAxess” in the same way that we recognise brands like Netflix or Amazon, the company is still huge - valued at more than $8.5 billion as of 2018 - and a massive player in the investment market.

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MarketAxess was founded in 2000 as an electronic trading platform for high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds. It was initially pitched to JP Morgan (and rejected by them) as part of some of their early fintech programmes in 1999.

Today, MarketAxess accounts for more than 80% of the investment-grade and high-yield corporate bonds trading in the USA, which supposedly equates to more than 20% of all corporate bonds traded in the country.

What would my returns look like? £10,000 invested into MarketAxess Holdings at the beginning of 2010 would have been worth £280,291.29 at the end of the 2010s.*

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Domino’s Pizza - NYSE, 36.27%

While Domino’s Pizza was founded in 1961 - making it one of the oldest companies on this list - it has grown to the point where it now turns over more than $3.5 billion a year.

There are more than 17,000 Domino’s locations around the world, and while there are only just over 13,100 direct employees, the jewel in the chain’s crown has been its franchise model. Between Domino’s stores and franchises, the brand is responsible for the livelihood of almost 300,000 people worldwide.

Following a stock low point at the end of the 2000s, Domino’s have bounced back, rebranded, and expanded massively.

What would my returns look like? £10,000 invested into Domino’s Pizza at the beginning of 2010 would have been worth £220,801.77 at the end of the 2010s.*

TransDigm Group - NYSE, 28.42%

Founded in 1993, TransDigm Group is a commercial and military aerospace component manufacturer and supplier. Despite hearings regarding overcharging the US armed forces in 2019, the company remains one of the highest-growth firms of the decade.

Today, TransDigm turns over more than $5.5 billion and employs some 22,000 people. It has had a rocky few years in the public eye, having been accused more than once of operating a “hidden monopoly” in the commercial and military aerospace sectors, and price gouging for public-sector contracts.

Nonetheless, it is one of the best performing stocks of the decade, following several high-profile aerospace acquisitions in the mid-late 2000s.

What would my returns look like? £10,000 invested into TransDigm at the beginning of 2010 would have been worth £121,990.68 at the end of the 2010s.*

So, there you have it - five of the best-performing publicly-traded stocks of the last decade. However, it’s important to point out that while these are five huge public success stories, you shouldn’t necessarily rest on publicly-traded stocks and shares for your investment portfolio. Make sure you do your research before making any investment decisions, and always speak to a financial professional if you’re not sure.

*Calculations conducted using data from https://www.macrotrends.net/ and https://cagrcalculator.net/reverse-cagr-calculator/.

Ross Hindle
Ross Hindle
Ross Hindle is a content writer based in London. He has previously worked on content and reports with organisations including Gallagher, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Indeed and Maersk. He is also a freelance novelist and short story writer.
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