A recent study from Brazil suggests that only 1.1% of day traders earn more than minimum wage. In other words, even though it may be tempting to try your hand at timing the market, short-term investment strategies tend to fail.
If you want to build lasting wealth, buy and hold high-quality stocks over a multiyear horizon, meaning at least five years. Investors who take this approach don't have to worry about fleeting market volatility, or the higher tax rates imposed on short-term capital gains. More importantly, a long-term strategy leaves plenty of time for compounding to supercharge your portfolio.
With that in mind, here are two smart stocks that could grow fivefold over the next decade.
1. The Trade Desk
The Trade Desk (TTD -0.88%) is an ad tech company. Its demand-side platform helps marketers create, measure, and optimize targeted campaigns across digital channels, such as display, mobile, and connected TV (CTV). To do so, The Trade Desk leans on big data and artificial intelligence, correlating variables such as viewer demographics with outcomes such as clicks and conversions.
This approach creates a network effect. As more clients run campaigns on the platform, The Trade Desk captures more data, enhancing its understanding of viewer tastes and preferences. Over time, this approach makes its predictive models more effective, helping clients deliver targeted ads to the right audiences.
If you're familiar with the digital ad space, you probably know that Alphabet's Google dominates the industry. So why would anyone use The Trade Desk's platform? The biggest reason is its content-neutral business model. Specifically, Alphabet owns content such as Google Search and YouTube, and the company sells ad space on those Web properties, meaning it has incentive to steer ad buyers toward its own ad inventory. That's a conflict of interest.
By comparison, The Trade Desk is not affiliated with any content, and it works only on the buy-side of the equation. That means the company's business model is better aligned with the interests of its clients. And that has been a significant growth driver.
Over the past year, revenue rose 52% and free cash flow skyrocketed 169%. Also noteworthy, The Trade Desk has kept its retention rate above 95% for the past seven years, evidencing the stickiness of its platform.
Looking ahead, The Trade Desk is well positioned to maintain that momentum. According to eMarketer, global digital ad spend will reach $645 billion by 2024, growing at 14% per year. That puts the company in front of a massive market opportunity, and management is executing on a strong growth strategy, which is heavily focused on CTV, international expansion, and retail advertising. That's why I think this stock has fivefold potential over the next decade.
Zscaler (ZS 0.48%) is a cybersecurity company. Its platform, referred to as a secure access service edge, is designed to replace traditional corporate networking and security solutions. And because the company's platform spans 150 global data centers, Zscaler's network offers greater capacity than most enterprises could achieve on their own, which translates into better performance.
Likewise, Zscaler inspects far more Web traffic than any single company would generate by itself, which makes its artificial-intelligence models more effective in blocking threats. In short, Zscaler enables clients to quickly and securely access corporate resources and the open internet from any device or location. And because its platform is delivered from the cloud, clients avoid the cost and complexity of managing on-site hardware.
More importantly, Zscaler is the best secure Web gateway on the market. Research company Gartner has named Zscaler the industry leader for the past 10 consecutive years, indicating a greater ability to execute and a more complete vision than any of its rivals.
That advantage has translated into impressive financial metrics. Over the past year, Zscaler's sales surged 56% to $673 million, an acceleration from the 42% growth in the prior year. The company's free cash flow margin also tripled in fiscal 2021, which ended July 31, to reach 21% of revenue, up from 6% in fiscal 2020. But management still sees plenty of room for growth.
In fact, the company puts its market opportunity at $72 billion, more than 100 times its trailing-12-month revenue. And with its recently launched tools for digital experience monitoring and cloud workload protection, Zscaler is well positioned to expand its business with both new and existing customers. That's why I think this growth stock could grow fivefold over the next decade.