We might act like the unimaginable is under way, but the ongoing stock market meltdown isn't anything new. In fact, the benchmark S&P 500 index falls by at least 10% at least once every couple of years on average.

The important thing to remember is that each previous crash has been wiped away by a subsequent bull run. Nobody knows if stocks will fall further before they rally again, but recovery is always around the corner for stocks with successful underlying businesses.

Investor shopping for stocks on devices.

Image source: Getty Images.

Duolingo (DUOL 8.39%) and Pubmatic (PUBM 1.25%) recently put up some stellar first quarter results that didn't get the attention they deserved. These two are likely to outpace the broad market when it recovers and you don't need to be rich to get in on the action. At recent prices, any amount of cash, even $500, is more than enough to load up your portfolio with these promising growth stocks.

Duolingo

If you harbor a desire to learn a foreign language or simply have school-age children, you're probably already familiar with this company's increasingly popular smartphone app. Duolingo's gamification of language learning combined with artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that constantly fine-tune the lessons have made it a leading education application.

Most adults use Duolingo to brush up on a foreign language before visiting a new country, but this isn't where the money is. I'm excited about this stock because educational institutions around the world are increasingly reliant on Duolingo to bolster their programs.

Long-term investors like Duolingo because it's constantly improving. Its AI-fueled algorithms relentlessly prune lessons that turn subscribers away while promoting the lessons that work best. With the only language learning courses successfully employing AI at the moment, the company's head start on the competition appears easily defendable. 

Getting native English speakers to spend their hard-earned money on language education is an uphill battle compared to selling English as a second language (ESL) instruction. This could be why Duolingo's most important growth driver, the Duolingo English Test is consistently overlooked by investment bank analysts on Wall Street.

The Duolingo English Test is increasingly accepted as a standardized measurement of communication skills by U.S. universities and employers. Learners don't necessarily need to subscribe to Duolingo premium to pass, but why take the chance when your professional future depends on a positive outcome?

Duolingo has reported record high quarterly revenue twice since its stock peaked last fall but the stock is still down by more than half. With a competitive advantage that grows by the day, investors can reasonably expect this stock to eventually recover and reach new heights.

Pubmatic

The internet as we know it wouldn't exist without advertising, but the way advertisers shop for inventory is quickly changing thanks partly to this company. Pubmatic operates a sell-side platform that links publishers with ad buyers who bid in real time for access to their available ad inventory.

Shares of Pubmatic soared after the company's stock market debut in late 2020, but the stock has tumbled about 68% from the peak it reached in early 2021. That's more than a little surprising because first-quarter revenue soared 25% year over year even though far fewer people were stuck at home all day as they were in early 2021.

Pubmatic's bottom line even remains squarely in positive territory and the impending loss of browser cookies won't be much of an issue because Pubmatic doesn't rely heavily on ads that display in internet browsers. These days, connected televisions (CTVs) are where the big money is and Pubmatic is succeeding on this front. First-quarter revenue from CTVs jumped more than 400% year over year.

Pubmatic isn't nearly the size of its largest competitors, Meta Platforms and Alphabet. but it still has a strong advantage over these titans of digital advertising. Publishers and advertisers know they aren't going to end up competing with one of Pubmatic's other businesses for your attention.