Glassdoor is a website that allows folks to publicly rate their employers -- and it just might represent a gold mine when it comes to investment ideas for 2014. Every year, the company comes out with a list of the Top 50 Place to Work.
Had you invested a total of $10,000 in the five most highly rated public companies back in 2009 -- the first year Glassdoor published its list -- your investment would now be worth $65,500! That kind of return is almost quintuple what you would have gotten if you had invested in the S&P 500, including dividends.
This shouldn't come as an earth-shattering surprise. Anyone who has worked for a company knows that the culture permeating an organization has tangible results on how the group fares over time.
So which companies are on the top of Glassdoor's list this year, and what characteristic do three of them share? Motley Fool contributor Brian Stoffel gives you the details below.
Many investors are shying away from social-media companies, worrying that these companies are more hype than substance. But it's hard to deny what these three companies have created: platforms that dominate our time spent online. Combine that with a culture that breeds innovation, and you've got a recipe for market-beating results.
Our two outliers -- Eastman Chemical and Guidewire -- also have their own unique advantages. Eastman is an outgrowth of the old Kodak company, and investors are hoping the recent acquisition of Solutia, a maker of performance materials and specialty chemicals, will be a growth driver. Guidewire, on the other hand, is carving out a unique niche in the software industry. It provides back-end software to insurance companies to replace previous iterations that were usually developed in-house. This means Guidewire's applications are usually far more advanced than what many companies use today.
John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool recommends Adobe Systems, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Whole Foods Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.