After rising 18% in 2020 and 29% in 2021, the stock market, as indicated by the S&P 500, is down 16% this year. A cooling economy, driven by surging inflation and higher interest rates, could be the reason that investor enthusiasm has declined. 

As a result of the market's poor performance this year, opportunistic investors have the chance to buy shares of solid businesses while they're selling for attractive prices. Here are my three top growth stocks to buy in 2023 and hold for a long time. 

1. Block 

First on the list is fintech giant Block (SQ 0.60%), which reported third-quarter revenue of $4.5 billion and adjusted earnings per share of $0.42 that both exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The company's Square segment, providing point-of-sales solutions to small businesses, posted gross profit of $783 million, up 29% year over year. And Cash App, a personal finance app for individuals, grew gross profit $774 million and counted 49 million active customers in September. 

Block's historical growth is astonishing as the business saw a market opportunity to better serve merchants and consumers that wasn't being addressed by traditional banks. Today, the company is essentially ingrained in its users' financial lives, and with the introduction of new features like buy now, pay later and Cash App Pay, further expansion shouldn't be a problem. 

According to CFO Amrita Ahuja, Block currently has just 3% penetration (based on 2021 gross profit) of a massive $190 billion total addressable market for Square and Cash App combined. As commerce continues moving from cash to digital means, Block should thrive. 

Since its initial public offering in November 2015, Block's stock is up more than fivefold, even though it's down 58% this year. This means 2023 could be a good time to scoop up shares in this fintech pioneer. 

2. Crocs 

With revenue up 57.4% in the most recent quarter (ended Sept. 30), Crocs (CROX 1.49%) is next on this list. The maker of popular foam clogs is showing no signs of slowing down. Part of the credit goes to the HeyDude acquisition that closed earlier this year, which saw sales jump 87% year over year in Q3. 

The management team, led by CEO Andrew Rees, is so optimistic about Crocs' business right now that financial guidance for 2022 was raised to a 49% to 52% year-over-year revenue gain. It's hard to find another retail-based business, let alone any business, that's posting that type of stellar growth in this macroeconomic environment. 

Looking out over the next few years, Crocs is well-positioned to continue its success and reach management's goal of $6 billion in total annual revenue by 2026. Expanding further into Asia is a focus for the leadership team. China is the world's second-largest footwear market, so if the brand can succeed here in the U.S., the next challenge is gaining market share in the world's most populated country. 

As of this writing, Crocs' stock is down 26% in 2022 and now trades at a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 10.5. That's an incredibly attractive valuation, making now a good time to become a shareholder. 

3. Lululemon 

Another top apparel stock, Lululemon Athletica (LULU -0.72%), rounds out this list. The athleisure leader's fiscal 2022 second-quarter results crushed Wall Street expectations on both the top and bottom lines, an impressive showing given just how badly rival Nike's latest numbers were received. Lululemon saw same-store sales increase 23% versus the prior-year period. And e-commerce revenue represented 42% of overall revenue. 

According to Piper Sandler's most recent Taking Stock With Teens survey, Lululemon was the second most popular clothing brand, and the fourth favorite shopping website, among the Gen-Z demographic. This customer mindshare, along with a Q2 gross margin of 56.5%, clearly demonstrates how strong Lululemon's brand really is. 

In April, the executive team laid out financial targets for the company to hopefully achieve over the next few years. The goal is to post fiscal 2026 sales of $12.5 billion, double 2021's result. Boosting the men's and digital segments, and quadrupling international revenue, are the key growth pillars.  

With shares down 11% in 2022 and 27% off their all-time high, Lululemon is now selling for a P/E multiple of 41, lower than its five-year trailing average of 54. Despite this, the stock has been a major winner for investors over the years. Should the company reach its 2026 outlook, shares should certainly trend higher.  

All three of these businesses are poised to continue performing well for years to come, making 2023 the perfect time to become a shareholder.