Investing in individual companies on the stock market can often seem like a roll of the dice. Share prices of even the largest publicly traded company can soar 25% over two years only to lose all those gains in a couple of months due to a single bad quarterly report. Those who seek long-term financial gains are usually recommended mutual funds or other lower-risk assets.
There are, nevertheless, a handful of large public companies that have been excellent investments throughout the first decade and a half of the millennium. These stocks have had annualized returns in excess of 20% every year since 2000. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 25 companies that yielded the highest average annual returns, including dividends. Even if the stocks were not owned for the full period, shares in each of these companies have increased nearly every year. The highest returning stock has been Monster Beverage Corporation, which began the century effectively as a penny stock and is currently trading at over $140 per share.
Many of the best stocks of the 21st century will not surprise most casual investors. These include companies that have consistently dominated their industry. Apple, for example, has been arguably the most successful consumer electronics company to date. With dividends and share price increase, AAPL has yielded more than 25% for investors annually.
Other companies have not merely dominated an industry, but have effectively been the only recognized brand in an up-and-coming segment. Keurig Green Mountain has yielded a 46.8% average annual return on investment over the past decade as the company has benefited from the widespread and rampant adoption of single-serving K-Cups.
Other stocks to make this list are not as much in the immediate public eye as companies like Apple, but nevertheless have been a consistently good investment for years. Henry Schein, Inc., which provides medical and veterinary services and products, had provided a positive year-over-year return for investors in every year this century excepting 2008.
In order to determine the best stocks of the 21st century, 24/7 Wall St. considered current SP 500 member companies. The 25 best stocks of the 21st century had the annualized returns, including share price change as well as dividend yields. Splits and reverse splits were incorporated into price changes as well. All dividend payment values are from NASDAQ.
These are the best (and worst) stocks of the 21st century.