7 Greatest Tech Stocks of All Time

Tech stocks weren't born during the dot-com boom of the 1990s.

Business woman are checking stock market graph on digital tablet
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Tech stocks weren't born during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. In fact, many of today's biggest publicly traded technology companies got their starts decades earlier. One of the most storied names in Big Tech dates back more than a century.

The surprising longevity of many of the top tech stocks, combined with their explosive growth, helps explain why several are among the greatest stocks of all time, according to research conducted by Hendrik Bessembinder of Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business. After analyzing the lifetime returns of 25,782 common stocks over a 90-year span, the finance professor found that 96% of all stocks collectively performed no better than risk-free 1-month Treasury bills. The remaining 4% – just 1,000 stocks – generated all of the nearly $32 trillion in wealth created by the stock market between July 1926 and December 2015. Even more striking, the top 30 stocks accounted for one-third of that amount. Seven of the 30 top-performing stocks are tech stocks.

Given the way technology continues to advanced by leaps and bounds, the greatest stocks of the next 90 years might all end up being tech stocks. Take a look at the seven top-performing tech stocks since 1926.

Stocks are listed in order of the dollar amount of lifetime wealth creation, which includes reinvested dividends, from lowest to highest. Current stock data as of Sept. 8, 2017. Analysts’ ratings provided by Zacks (opens in new tab). For more details on Bessembinder’s study methodology and findings, download a copy of his paper, "Do Stocks Outperform Treasury Bills?" (opens in new tab)face

Dan Burrows
Senior Investing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Dan Burrows is a financial writer at Kiplinger, having joined the august publication full time in 2016.


A long-time financial journalist, Dan is a veteran of SmartMoney, MarketWatch, CBS MoneyWatch, InvestorPlace and DailyFinance. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Senior Executive and Boston magazine, and his stories have appeared in the New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News and Investor's Business Daily, among other publications. As a senior writer at AOL's DailyFinance, Dan reported market news from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and hosted a weekly video segment on equities.


Once upon a time – before his days as a financial reporter and assistant financial editor at legendary fashion trade paper Women's Wear Daily – Dan worked for Spy magazine, scribbled away at Time Inc. and contributed to Maxim magazine back when lad mags were a thing. He's also written for Esquire magazine's Dubious Achievements Awards.


In his current role at Kiplinger, Dan writes about equities, fixed income, currencies, commodities, funds, macroeconomics and more.


Dan holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree from Columbia University.


Disclosure: Dan does not trade stocks or other securities. Rather, he dollar-cost averages into cheap funds and index funds and holds them forever in tax-advantaged accounts.