If you're looking to buy stocks, you don't need to have tens of thousands of dollars available to invest. Nowadays, with brokerages offering low or no-commission trading, even putting $500 toward a stock can be a great way to start building up your portfolio. And over time, you can add to your position.

A couple of excellent options for growth-oriented investors to consider now are Axsome Therapeutics (AXSM 4.71%) and Netflix (NFLX -0.08%). Both businesses have the potential to beat the market in the long run, and here's why.

1. Axsome Therapeutics

Investing $500 into healthcare company Axsome Therapeutics has the potential to go a long way for investors. At a market capitalization of less than $2 billion and some promising products, this biotech has plenty of room to get much bigger.

One key product is Axsome's depression medication, Auvelity. The Food and Drug Administration approved Auvelity to treat major depressive disorder (MDD) earlier this year. At its peak, analysts project the treatment could generate close to $2 billion in revenue. The fast-acting medication helps improve results in patients after just one week and is a promising new option for people with MDD.

Another of Axsome's promising medications is Sunosi, a narcolepsy medication the company acquired from Jazz Pharmaceuticals. That drug could peak at $1 billion in annual revenue.

Axsome's business is just getting going (it hasn't generated any revenue until this year) and the future looks bright, with a couple of promising products to build around, plus more in its pipeline (the company has multiple treatments that are in phase 3 trials).

Year to date, the stock is up 10% and has soundly beaten the S&P 500, which is down 21% over the same period. But in the longer term, Axsome's gains could look even more impressive.

2. Netflix

A $500 investment wouldn't be able to buy you even two shares of Netflix, but it's still an attractive option for investors. The beaten-down streaming stock has lost half of its value this year, and with the business coming off a strong quarter, Netflix has been rallying lately.

Concerns about subscriber losses look to be in the past because for the period ended Sept. 30, Netflix added 2.41 million subscribers, coming in at more than double the 1.09 million that analysts were expecting. Sales of $7.9 billion exceeded analysts' estimate of $7.8 billion, and the company also beat on the bottom line, with earnings per share of $3.10 coming in well above Wall Street's projected $2.13.

What's promising about Netflix is that while it is facing competition from many other streaming services -- including Walt Disney's Disney+, which has comparable subscriber numbers -- the business hasn't maxed out its growth opportunities just yet. Next month, it launches an ad-based plan (Disney will offer one as well), giving consumers a lower-priced option at just $6.99 per month. Meanwhile, Netflix is also planning to crack down on password sharing, which is something it has long ignored because subscriber growth came with ease. In the future, that could bring in more subscribers and revenue.

Overall, Netflix is a stock that's in good shape to outperform the markets from here on out because it's making a more serious effort on cutting costs and pursuing additional avenues for growth.