The past four years have been a roller coaster for investors. The pandemic brought the longest bull market in history to a screeching halt, only to see it quickly rebound and go on a two-year extended run. The S&P 500 index then tumbled hard in 2022, only to reverse course again and surge more than 20% last year. Investing for 10X returns might not have been on your mind.
For short-term investors, it was probably a sickening ride. Long-term investors, though, took it in stride. They understood it’s all part of how you generate real wealth. Every double-digit bear market correction has offered amazing opportunities to buy good companies at great prices before the next bull market roars higher.
However, getting good deals is only half the equation. The second part requires having a long-term mindset. You can’t buy stocks looking to make a quick buck. Three to five years is the minimum you should own the stock; 10 years is better. Holding for a lifetime is best. Warren Buffett once said, “The best time to sell is never.”
Investing legend Peter Lynch coined the term “ten-bagger,” meaning a stock that grows 10 times your initial investment. If you’re investing for 10x returns and want $10,000, just invest $1,000 in great companies and hang on. You’ll want to own the following three stocks for 10 years at least, probably more.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been a phenomenal investment over the past year and an even better one for the past decade. There’s no reason to believe the next 10 years won’t be just as remarkable.
The tech giant’s shares gained 57%, earning it a position amongst the Magnificent 7 stocks. Amazingly, that was still only good enough for fifth place in that group of high-growth tech stocks. Yet over the past decade, its trailing returns average more than 27% annually, meaning if you had invested $1,000 in MSFT stock in 2014, you’d have more than $10,000 today. You’ll be able to do it again going forward.
Artificial intelligence () will be a large part of the reason for the growth. Microsoft is a partner and investor in OpenAI, the owner of the generative AI chatbot ChatGPT. It has integrated AI into its services, including its Bing search engine, Teams collaborative tools, and the Azure cloud services platform. You can access the latest iteration of ChatGPT by using Bing Chat.
Microsoft has been growing so fast that it just surpassed Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the biggest company in the world. It’s a juggernaut that will rapidly expand for years to come.
Telecom chipmaker Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) wasn’t part of the Mag 7 stocks, but its performance last year could have warranted it. Its stock doubled in 2023, and its 10-year trailing returns are even better than Microsoft’s. Over the past decade, it has returned over 36% annually. It’s also on a long-term trajectory higher.
Broadcom will benefit immensely from the ongoing national rollout of 5G infrastructure by the major phone carriers. It recently inked a multiyear, multibillion-dollar agreement with Apple to produce 5G radio frequency components for Apple products. 5G represents the most significant network upgrade in a decade that could spur the next leg of the mobile upgrade cycle. The chipmaker also sees AI as a major driver of future growth. Through its Symantec unit, Broadcom believes AI could represent approximately 15% of its chip business revenue and ultimately encompass one-quarter of total revenue. AI-related products and services revenue already surpassed $1 billion in the third quarter and will frame how it integrates its recently completed VMWare acquisition.
A slight slowdown in Q4 sales had analysts worried competition was growing and enterprise spending was slowing, but Broadcom’s long-term outlook remains unmatched.
UnitedHealth Group (UNH)
It seems counterintuitive for a health insurer like UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) to be on a list of fast-growing stocks. It presents the appearance of a staid and stodgy business that belongs in the stock market’s slow lane.
UnitedHealth’s performance last year fit the bill as its stock was essentially flat. Yet over the past 10 years, it offered investors meaty 22% annual total returns. A $500 billion market cap opens the possibility of becoming the first healthcare stock to achieve a $1 trillion valuation.
UnitedHealth can achieve that distinction because healthcare is something you can’t ignore, at least not for long. Doctor visits, prescription medications, and even emergency services are all necessary and in high demand, regardless of the economy. The insurer is a perfect safe haven stock for your portfolio and one to create wealth.
Its Optum health services business remains the primary driver of future growth. Despite the company’s performance last year, the segment expanded revenues by 20% or more each quarter. Home healthcare will also be a key component of UnitedHealth’s future. Last year, it acquired LHC Group, and this year, it will close on its $3.3 billion purchase of Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED).
When you offer services that people literally can’t live without, you have a solid path to long-term growth.
On the date of publication, Rich Duprey did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.