The largest gains are enjoyed by investors with the longest time horizons. Let’s take Amazon, obviously an extreme example. From the time of its IPO through the end of 2014, Amazon gained 12,600%. Even after such a remarkable run, Amazon is up over 100% through the first ten months of this year! However, the reality is having any sort of risk management would make it all but impossible to enjoy these outsized returns as even the best performing stocks have experienced massive drawdowns.
Thinking about these long-term gains is mostly an academic exercise as there are probably just a handful of people with the ability to receive multi-thousand percent returns on stocks. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to dip a toe into fantasy land and think about the giant winners.