Choosing the best stocks to invest in during a bear market isn't easy. While we've seen a nice bump in growth stocks thus far this year, we're also nearing valuation levels we haven't seen in some time. That's enough to give many investors pause, for good reason.

Valuations have come down, largely as a function of higher interest rates. With interest rates still on the rise amid recent inflation reports showing little slowdown in rising prices, it's hard to envision a situation where this year's relatively consistent rise in equity prices will continue. As we've seen in recent years, plenty of headwinds have materialized to derail the linear growth so many investors hope for.

That said, there are some high-growth stocks with parabolic upside potential, should this risk-on rally continue. Three such stocks I'd put in the "parabolic potentials" bucket are Coinbase (COIN 8.59%), Marathon Digital (MARA 5.63%) and Lucid Group (LCID 2.21%)

Coinbase

The price of Coinbase stock is tightly connected to the cryptocurrency market, which is highly volatile, providing a significant amount of near-term portfolio risk. Whether Coinbase is a suitable investment will largely depend on an individual's risk tolerance and investment approach. Of course, with parabolic upside potential comes higher risk, and that goes for all companies on this list.

But there are some developments in the crypto sector that point to the potential for Coinbase stock to continue regaining much of its losses from last year. Indeed, on a year-to-date basis alone, Coinbase stock has already more than doubled as of this writing. In many respects, I'd call those parabolic near-term returns.

The key driver of enthusiasm for Coinbase stock, outside of surging crypto prices, is the launch of the company's Layer2 blockchain. Called Base, this network is aimed at providing a more efficient and less expensive way to build decentralized applications, and more utility to be created on the blockchain. Notably, this network is aimed at improving the user experience with EthereumSolana, and other blockchains that have seen issues related to cost and performance.

Accordingly, for those bullish on the future of crypto, Coinbase continues looking to provide solutions that will cement its lead as the top U.S. crypto exchange for the foreseeable future.

Marathon Digital

Marathon Digital is yet another crypto-related company on this list, for many of the same reasons as Coinbase. The company's stock price may be even more tethered to crypto prices (Bitcoin in particular), as it earns its revenue via so-called Bitcoin mining, in which complex mathematical problems are solved to validate transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain and secure the network, and in turn earning new Bitcoins. 

As crypto valuations have risen, so too has Marathon Digital's stock price. The degree to which MARA stock has surged on a year-to-date basis (88% versus 33% for Bitcoin as of this writing) is indicative of the leverage Marathon Digital provides to Bitcoin prices. In other words, a one-percentage-point rise in Bitcoin's price may disproportionately (positively) affect Marathon's stock price, due to the company's dollar-denominated debt relative to Bitcoin-denominated revenue.

This suggests that Marathon Digital is an even higher-risk way of playing the crypto sector, and Bitcoin in particular. Thus, for Bitcoin bulls, this is a company that's often looked to as a way to play rallies. 

Interestingly, recent reports suggest that if Bitcoin's price drops, the network's hash rate should theoretically follow suit, meaning Marathon could be profitable at a much lower price, depending on its energy costs. Thus, as Marathon moves to install its previously purchased mining equipment, and an estimated 66% of its hash rate is produced by newer S19 XP miners (which are around 30% more energy-efficient), the company's financial picture could look a lot better in the coming quarters.

Lucid Group

Electronic-vehicle maker Lucid's share price move of about 30% so far this year is impressive, but it's not as impressive as the moves seen in the other two stocks. That's particularly true when looking at Lucid's 12-month performance, in which its stock has lost more than 60% of its value.

Of course, there are reasons for this decline, and for investors to be cautious with this stock. Industry leader Tesla slashed its prices significantly in the U.S. in late January, following previous price cuts in the Chinese market. This move effectively put an end to what looked to be a parabolic year-to-date move to that point, as investors (rightly) began worrying about Lucid's total addressable market and its relative pricing position in the market. 

As an ultra-high-end producer of electric vehicles, Lucid's potential prominence in the luxury end of the EV market could be hampered by Tesla's move. Furthering concerns, if a recession is indeed on the horizon, many car buyers may simply choose to trade down, picking a Tesla over a Lucid for obvious reasons. 

That said, my view is that the two companies don't overlap as much as the market seems to think in terms of their target buyer and addressable market. Those looking for the best-in-class option in nearly every metric are likely to gravitate toward a Lucid. The company exceeded its annual forecast in 2022, and will need to overcome various production hiccups to do the same in 2023. That said, for those taking the view that the EV market is likely about to become much more segmented, this is a great way to play this sector, in my view.

Optimism ahead

While the overall tech market was roiled in 2022, there are reasons for optimism. Lower relative stock prices present a compelling opportunity for potential parabolic returns, should the macro environment return to a pandemic-era state. Of course, such a situation may be wishful thinking, with the likelihood of a "soft landing" seeming to decline. However, I think these companies I have the potential for impressive returns for investors with a high risk tolerance.