When's the last time that the satisfaction of owning shares in a company carried over past the end of the trading day? The very concept of equity investing is awfully empowering, but when was the last time it made you swell with pride as well?

If your answer falls somewhere within spitting distance of "never," maybe it's not you. Maybe it's just your portfolio.

Your stocks may be respectable performers. You may know each company well, or least more than just the prerequisite ticker symbol. But is that enough? Are you getting the complete investing experience?

You're not, by the way. If you find your voice dropping when it's time to discuss your holdings at a party, let's face it: You're ashamed of your portfolio. That kind of attitude may not necessarily destroy your wealth. Last time I checked, vanilla still sells briskly as an ice cream flavor. However, if it destroys your zeal for investing, your stocks may be doing you far more harm than any potential damage you see in your monthly brokerage statements.

Bringing back the butterflies
The easiest way to fall in love with investing again is to buy the companies that will get you excited about owning a stake in their future. If someone shouts "I love Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI)" from the rooftop, it's not necessarily the delirium kicking in. It can be an impassioned plea, coming from someone who sees how satellite radio is improving the quality of lives by cutting out the time-sucking ad space of terrestrial music radio stations and opening up the breadth of what's available in terms of audio programming content through 120 different digital streams.

How about a company that may literally save your life? Or at least the life of someone you love? When Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommended shares in Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), the newsletter service knew it had stumbled on something special. David Gardner recognized the potential of the company's da Vinci surgical system. It was starting to make its way into the leading trendsetting hospitals, assisting surgeons by making more precise incisions and allowing operating rooms to perform more daily procedures without fatiguing the live staff.

It's the kind of stock that felt right to own. It's not a matter of making a political stand, or even an ethical one. If you're buying into a revolutionary company that is about to change the world for the better you're going to find yourself more excited about charting its eventual success.

For Intuitive, the financial rewards have been substantial. Subscribers who bought in when the stock was recommended back in March are now sitting on a 166% gain. As more hospitals have ordered da Vinci systems -- and those who have them in place find their operating rooms using them more often -- Intuitive Surgical has seen its top line surge. Thanks to improving margins, profit growth at the company has been even more impressive.

Yes, you can own a stock that will put a smile on your face the moment you issue the "Buy" order -- and make that smile grow even wider as it fattens your portfolio with paper profits.

Celebrating the goosebumps
Some of the biggest winners over the past year have done just that, even though their life-altering actions may not seem obvious at first. Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) is giving the recorded music industry -- and now video content producers -- a new lease on life by popularizing the margin-friendly model of paying for digital distribution. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) isn't just a popular search engine. Thanks to its breakthrough Google AdSense product, small and medium-sized webmasters now have a legitimate way to monetize their online efforts by running Google's successful contextual ads. It's the same kind of cottage industry creator that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) -- another stock that has changed countless lives for the better -- was able to achieve when it allowed antique sellers, craftsmen, and work-at-home moms to market their wares from their own homesteads.

Intuitive Surgical isn't the only Rule Breakers pick to enrich its investors by enriching the lives of others. Among the ranks of the active newsletter recommendations, you will find some pretty impressive corporate heroes. Some of them are obvious, like the active biotech picks with rich pipelines, bent on improving the quality and length of our lives. Some of them are not as obvious, but are still rocking along with Dr. Feelgood. How about a company throwing the fading movie multiplex a lifeline? What about a promising upstart that is making violent confrontations a little less fatal?

Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has also been singled out in the newsletter for providing more dependable transfers of digital data for its growing client base. It allows companies like Apple and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to deliver their website content quicker and more reliably. The stock has risen 59% since it was recommended nine months ago.

You can call it karma. I call it common sense. OK, let's compromise and call it karma sense. In the end, the fact that the most exciting growth stocks are achieving their upticks by improving situations has created fatter wallets. The average Rule Breakers pick is now up 21% higher. The average S&P gain in that time has been a mere 7%. So who says that you can't profit from doing the right thing? Want proof? If you're not a member of the growing Rule Breakers community yet, check it out for free as part of a 30-day trial subscription.

So, yes, you can change the world -- or at the very least, change your portfolio.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz feels that way too many investors dismiss the empowering experience of being charged up by the companies behind their investments. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. eBay is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.