Stock market crashes can be frightening. They typically occur without warning, and the often violent plunge in stock prices they bring about can be harrowing to even the most experienced investors.

These shocking declines occur relatively often (a market correction of 10% or more happens every 1.84 years, on average), and yet they can give you a chance to buy outstanding businesses at steeply discounted prices you might not otherwise find. In this way, a market crash can provide you with an opportunity to build tremendous wealth -- if you know which stocks to buy.

To help you in this regard, here are three excellent companies to put on your stock market crash shopping list.

A post with signs labeled risk, loss, and profit.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. CrowdStrike 

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift to the cloud for many companies. As more companies migrate their operations online, the need for effective cybersecurity solutions is becoming that much more vital. Fortunately, CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) is helping to meet this growing need for cloud security -- and business is booming.

CrowdStrike uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect threats and prevent cyber breaches. It excels at providing protection at the device level -- think laptops, mobile phones, and sensors -- which has positioned it to profit from an increase in remote work and the growth of the Internet of Things. CrowdStrike's revenue soared 70% year over year to $302.8 million in its fiscal 2022 first quarter. Its free cash flow, meanwhile, climbed 35% to $117.3 million. 

Better still, management sees a path from its current $1 billion in annual recurring revenue to $3 billion by fiscal 2025, fueled by strong customer growth. If CrowdStrike can hit its expansion targets -- and all signs suggest it will -- investors should be well rewarded. And if you can pick up shares at bargain prices during a market crash, your odds of earning sizable returns will be even greater.


The shift to the cloud is also helping to turbocharge NVIDIA's (NASDAQ:NVDA) growth. The semiconductor giant is enjoying surging demand for its chips in a wide swath of industries, as more companies integrate AI and other cutting-edge technology into their daily operations.

NVIDIA's revenue rocketed 84% to $5.7 billion in its fiscal 2022 first quarter, driven by strong growth in its gaming and data center businesses. Its adjusted net income, in turn, jumped 107% to $2.3 billion. 

Yet despite its torrid growth in recent years, NVIDIA has a long runway for further expansion still ahead. With intriguing opportunities in cloud computing infrastructure, telecommunications, and autonomous vehicles, management pegs the chipmaker's total addressable market at a staggering $250 billion.

NVIDIA's stock currently trades for a rather steep 50 times Wall Street's earnings estimates for fiscal 2022. But should a market crash give you a chance to scoop up shares of this tech titan at a discount, consider buying some. A few years from now, you'll likely be glad you did.

3. Shopify

COVID-19 has also accelerated the movement of retail sales to the internet. Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) is helping to fuel this megatrend, by giving small businesses the tools they need to build and grow their online stores.

More than 1.7 million merchants use Shopify's software to power their e-commerce operations. Payment processing, fulfillment, shipping, and business financing are just some of the services Shopify provides. Demand for these services is soaring, much to Shopify's benefit.

The total dollar amount of sales merchants generated on the e-commerce platform -- a metric known as gross merchandise volume, or GMV -- rose 114% year over year to $37.3 billion in the first quarter. Shopify's revenue, in turn, surged 110% to $988.6 million, while its adjusted net income increased more than elevenfold to $254.1 million. 

Shopify is an outstanding business that's growing at a torrid rate. But there's one problem: Its stock price already reflects this. Shopify currently trades for about 300 times analysts' earnings estimates for 2022, which is not cheap. But if a stock market crash gives you an opportunity to buy shares of this e-commerce leader at a more attractive price, consider jumping on it. Shopify has created fortunes for its long-term investors, and it's poised to continue to do so in the coming decade.

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.