The stock market's 2022 sell-off has highlighted the importance of investing in growth stocks with a long-term perspective. Doing so can safeguard your investments from macroeconomic headwinds like the ones that brought down the shares of numerous companies over the past year.

Microsoft (MSFT 0.22%), Apple (AAPL -0.82%), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -0.17%) each suffered double-digit percentage stock price declines since January. However, investors who bought these growth stocks five or more years ago are still doing quite well, as these tech giants' shares are still up by more than 180% over that time frame. 

With a recession possible in the new year, it will continue to be crucial to hold growth stocks for the long term. Here's why Microsoft, Apple, and AMD's stocks are great picks amid a sell-off. 

Microsoft 

The tech industry was hit especially hard in 2022 -- the Nasdaq-100 Technology Sector index is off 38% year to date. Weakening consumer demand has concerned investors and sent the stocks of some of the industry's biggest players tumbling. For instance, Microsoft shares have fallen by 28% since January as its position as a leader in the world of PC software and operating systems has hurt its stock.

However the company is headed into its 48th year of business, and its stock is up 181% over the last five years. Microsoft has continued to see immense growth thanks to its diversification, which has earned it considerable market share in a variety of promising areas. Big brands such as Windows, Xbox, Office, and Azure have protected the company against market declines over the last year.

In Microsoft's fiscal 2023 first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, shrinking demand in the PC market sent revenue in its "more personal computing" segment down slightly, with operating income falling 15% year over year to $4.2 billion. However, the company's other segments were less affected by macroeconomic headwinds and kept Microsoft on a growth track. 

A booming cloud computing business based around its Azure platform brought in $20.3 billion in revenue in fiscal Q1, up 20% year over year. According to Grand View Research, cloud computing is a $368.97 billion industry and will grow at a compound annual rate of 15.7% until 2030. With a 21% market share in that space, Microsoft is well-positioned to continue to see significant long-term gains and remain an excellent growth stock

Apple 

Apple's stock has decreased 27% year to date. However, its shares are still up by 197% over the last five years, and its robust business continues to offer long-term investors strong growth. 

In recent weeks, the company's reliance on China for its iPhone production has been increasingly a cause for concern. Uneasy investors have dragged Apple shares down 8% since November, as the supply of its most successful product, which accounted for 52% of its total revenue in fiscal 2022, is being threatened. Newly instituted COVID-19 restrictions after a rise in cases in China have put strains on the Foxconn factory that manufactures about 70% of all iPhones.

However, not all hope is lost for the company with the largest market cap in the world at $2.06 trillion. Apple already produces a portion of its iPhone 14s in India and is making plans to move its manufacturing out of China completely. In fact, J.P. Morgan estimates that about 25% of iPhones will be produced in India by 2025.

Moreover, the company is swiftly growing other parts of its business to alleviate pressure from its iPhone revenue. For instance, its services segment was responsible for the second-largest portion of revenue in fiscal 2022, rising 14% year over year to $78.1 billion, with a profit margin of 71.7%. Comparatively, iPhone revenue increased by 7% and delivered a profit margin of 36.3%.

It will take time for Apple to cut ties with China. However, the cash-rich company is more than capable of heavily investing in that move while its other segments continue to grow. 

Advanced Micro Devices

Advanced Micro Devices is one of the most prominent producers of graphics processing units (GPUs), but as GPU sales have slumped to a 20-year low (per Jon Peddie Research), its stock has suffered steep declines -- down 55% year to date. However, the growth stock is still up by 527% over the last five years.

Additionally, though AMD's reputation is as a leader in GPUs, its data center segment contributed the most to its top line in Q3. That thriving segment's revenues rose 45% year over year to $1.6 billion. Data centers are crucial to the cloud computing industry, and AMD's well-positioned to profit from that booming market over the long term. 

AMD may have performed worse amid 2022's sell-off than Microsoft and Apple. However, its shares have recently outperformed both companies. They're up 10% since mid-October. Meanwhile, Microsoft's stock has risen by 3% in the same period, while Apple's has fallen by 6.3%.

Advanced Micro Devices stock was hit hard in 2022, but it still has delivered stellar five-year results for its shareholders as its diverse businesses have continued to provide growing revenues. The company looks poised to continue boosting its top line as its data center business expands, making it a growth stock worth considering in a sell-off.