Image source: via Flickr.

In order to produce market-beating returns, it helps to identify stocks with lots of room to grow in the coming years and decades. With that in mind, we asked three of our contributors to share some high-potential stocks they have on their radars as we head into 2016, and here's what they had to say.

Brian Feroldi: Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX), a biotech with a focus on treating cystic fibrosis, released some great news during 2015 that looks to position it nicely for strong growth for many years into the future. Vertex Pharmaceuticals' current best-selling cystic fibrosis drug, Kalydeco, was recently authorized by the European for two new indications, which should expand its current addressable market and allow it to grow strongly in the years ahead. 

Beyond Kalydeco, Vertex also recently won approval in both the U.S. and European Union for its new cystic fibrosis treatment, called Orkambi, that looks poised to become a blockbuster. Orkambi's labeling will allow it to be used by a much larger portion of the cystic fibrosis population than Kalydeco can, so its sales should grow at a much faster rate than Kalydeco did when it launched.

When you combine the launch of Orkambi with Kalydeco's label expansion wins, Vertex looks poised for strong growth in the years ahead. Analysts are projecting that Vertex's revenue will more than double in 2016 to $2.4 billion, and over the next five years, it should show compounded growth of nearly 30%. 

Matt Frankel: Real estate investment trusts may not seem like high-growth stocks, but one that has lots of potential is HCP (NYSE:HCP), which specializes in healthcare properties – particularly senior housing.

I like HCP's growth prospects because of the favorable demographic trends and a highly fragmented market for healthcare real estate. As far as demographic trends go, the U.S. population is aging fast. In fact, the percentage of the U.S. population age 65 and above is projected to triple by 2050. And, healthcare expenditures are expected to increase by 76% in the 10-year period from 2014 to 2024.

According to fellow healthcare REIT leader Welltower (NYSE:WELL), U.S. healthcare real estate is a $1 trillion market, and no REIT has more than a 2.5% market share. Plus, HCP is expanding into the U.K. at a rather aggressive pace.

The point is, there will be no shortage of profitable investment opportunities over the coming decades. HCP is in a strong position to take advantage -- it has partnerships with some of the best operators in the business, and the REIT's investment-grade credit rating gives it access to all of the financing it needs to pursue any attractive investment opportunities that present themselves.

HCP has delivered an average annual total return of 14.9% since going public in 1985 -- a remarkable level of performance to sustain for 30 years. Going forward, I wouldn't be surprised to see another 30 years of market-beating growth.

Jordan Wathen: A few weeks' work with the company was all I needed to make Interactive Brokers (NYSEMKT:IBKR) a relatively large part of my portfolio. I believe it can grow revenue and profits at a double-digit annual clip for the next 5 or 10 years -- perhaps even longer.

I love the company for a simple reason: Interactive Brokers offers the best product at the lowest price, while banking larger margins than any of its competitors. It's only when you compare its metrics to another discount broker -- I'll pick on E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) -- that you see just how exceptional it is.


Average Commission Per Trade

Pre-Tax Brokerage Margin

Interactive Brokers






Data source: Company investor relations.

Interactive Brokers can charge less per trade and generate larger margins because of its intense focus on automating every facet of its business. Equally important is that Interactive Brokers goes for the best clients -- people who make an obscene number of trades each year. In November, its clients were on pace to clear more than 400 trades annually. By contrast, E*Trade's average account will make fewer than 10 trades each year.

All in all, Interactive Brokers is an extraordinarily efficient business built on a product that can literally sell itself. And while there will be ups and downs in its business as the financial markets ebb and flow, I'm perfectly happy to let it sit untouched while I wait for time to work its magic.