Many investors like to buy high-flying stocks on dips. It's psychologically rewarding in a way. You feel like you're getting a better deal on a stock that has performed really well. 

There are two main problems that can arise with this approach, though. First, you might have to wait a long time for those dips and miss out on some big gains. Second, sometimes the dips are the beginning of a much larger downtrend.

Buying stocks that have recently set all-time highs can actually be a better strategy. It only works, however, when the stocks have room to run. The good news is that there are several great picks on the market right now that meet both criteria. Here are three growth stocks near record highs that are still worth buying.

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Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical's (ISRG 0.60%) shares have soared nearly 30% so far this year. The healthcare stock is only a little under its record level set last week.

It's quite possible that Intuitive Surgical could experience additional momentum in the near future. The company plans to conduct a 3-for-1 stock split in late September, assuming shareholders vote in favor of the move. However, there are much better reasons to consider investing in Intuitive over the long term.

Robotic surgery is still only in its early innings, even though Intuitive has been selling its da Vinci systems for more than two decades. The company could more than quadruple the number of procedures performed with its robotic surgical systems without adding any regulatory clearances or geographical markets.

Further technological innovation should enable Intuitive Surgical to expand its opportunities. The company thinks that it could more than triple its current addressable market by introducing new products and winning additional regulatory clearances.

Microsoft

Like Intuitive Surgical, Microsoft (MSFT -0.18%) stock is only around 1% below its all-time high. Shares of the technology giant have soared more than 35% year to date.

There's a good reason why Microsoft is performing so well. Nearly everything that could go right for the company is going right. It reported 21% year-over-year revenue growth in its latest quarter with earnings per share jumping 49%. All three of the company's business units delivered solid growth, with two of them posting revenue increases of at least 25%.

Can Microsoft keep this momentum going? I think so. The company's Azure cloud business continues to have strong growth prospects. Enterprise system Dynamics 365 is rapidly picking up market share. The new Windows 11 operating system for PCs launches later this year.

Currently, around 5% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) is related to technology. However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in the company's recent quarterly update that he expects the percentage to double on a "more accelerated pace" than some have projected. If he's right (and I suspect that he is), Microsoft will likely be a major beneficiary.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN 1.48%) ranks as the biggest winner of these three growth stocks in 2021. The biotech's shares are up nearly 40% year to date -- a record level.

In the second quarter, Regeneron's revenue skyrocketed 163% year over year with adjusted earnings per share vaulting 260% higher. COVID-19 antibody cocktail REGEN-COV served as the big catalyst behind those impressive gains. 

It's a near certainty that REGEN-COV will continue to make a lot of money for Regeneron over the next several months with the delta variant wreaking havoc across the world. But how will the company fare when coronavirus concerns fade? My prediction is Regeneron can keep up its winning ways.

The big biotech's lineup includes several other products with fast-rising sales, notably including autoimmune-disease drug Dupixent and cancer drug Libtayo. Regeneron also has a pipeline that's loaded with promising antibody therapies targeting a wide range of diseases.