The stock market has been on a tear over the past decade and investors who've been steadily adding money to their investments have likely reaped the benefits.

But as great as the overall market has performed, there are a handful of individual stocks that have brought massive gains for investors.

In this video from our YouTube channel, we take a closer look how five companies have easily outpaced the market over the past decade and why investors should use these companies as a prime example of a long-term investing strategy.

Narrator: The U.S. stock market has been on an amazing run over the past decade. The S&P 500, one of the best benchmarks for how stocks are performing, has gained 184% since the beginning of 2010.

These stellar returns have come as a result of America's bustling economic recovery that followed after the Great Recession, but they're just a drop in the bucket compared to the best performing stocks over the past decade. 

Let's take a closer look at five companies whose stocks have been a smashing success over the past ten years so that today's investors can benefit from stock investing in the coming decade. 

Let's start with Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX), which has seen its share price skyrocket more than 3,900% over the past decade.

If you've never heard of Neurocrine, the company discovers and develops drugs for neurological and endocrine-related diseases.

The company has a number of commercialized drugs for sale, but one of the biggest ones that has contributed to its success has been Ingrezza. Sales of Ingrezza spiked since it first was approved back in 2017 and now have an annual run rate of $720 million.

With the success of this drug, as well as from royalties collected from a second drug the company helped develop, Neurocrine's shareholders have seen fantastic results over the past ten years.

And then there's Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), with its share price gains 3,700% over the past 10 years.

We all know Netflix as the video streaming giant with its 158 million subscribers worldwide, but in 2010 the company's video streaming service was just three years old.

Netflix's success over the past decade comes from its foresight to see that video streaming and original programming was the future of in-home entertainment.

Third on our list is Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), with a phenomenal 3,400% gain since 2010.

If you took a time machine back just over a decade ago, you probably wouldn't believe that Domino's Pizza would be on this list. Customers were extremely unhappy with how the pizza tasted and Domino's' share price, was taking a hit because of it.  

But Domino's took ownership of its product, and completely overhauled the company. It made the pizza better, made it easier to order food online, went on a media blitz to show customers how it was making things right.

The results for the company have been nothing short of amazing. Domino's Pizza now has 16,000 stores worldwide, up from 9,000 in 2009 and online sales have spiked to 65%, up from just 20% about a decade ago.

Fourth on our list is Novanta (NASDAQ:NOVT), which has gained more than 3,300%.

Novanta is a technology company that makes precision devices for motion, computer vision, and photonics for industrial and medical devices. The company has experienced a massive turnaround over the past decade by boosting its sales more than 150% and turning a profit after bleeding cash back in 2009.That growth has brought investors back to Novanta in droves. 

The company's huge share price gains began their positive ascent a few years ago, and haven't looked back since.

And lastly, we have Exact Sciences (NASDAQ:EXAS), with its share price gains of more than 2,400% since 2010.

The company sells just one product, which is an at-home colon cancer screening test, called Cologuard, that allows people to avoid a rather unpleasant trip to the doctor.

Cologuard became available about six years ago and since then more than 3 million people have used the non-invasive test, which is impressive considering that the product has has just 6% of the market right now. 

Additionally, Exact Science recently purchased Genomic Health, the leader in breast cancer and prostate cancer screening. All of which means that Exact Sciences is positioning itself for even more growth in the coming years. 

If we zoom out and take a broad look at these companies, a few patterns of success begin to emerge. 

For one, getting the jump in a niche market and creating a sustainable moat around a business is what's helped both Netflix, in the video streaming market, and Exact Sciences, in the at-home colon cancer screening space, achieve massive success over the past decade. 

Additionally, with Domino's and Novanta, investors should take note that these two companies were struggling as of a decade ago, but they were able to turn themselves around under the right leadership and by refocusing on making good products.

But the one thing that all all these companies have in common, is that they've returned phenomenal gains only for the investors who've taken a long-term approach to investing. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.