The Best of the Big 20

Focus: STOCKS

Roger Conrad Image Roger Conrad Founder and Chief Editor, Capitalist Times

After looking at the biggest 20 stocks in the US market, there are some that will continue to dominate and others that may lose their place in years to come, observes Roger Conrad of Personal Finance.

You know them. Chances are you buy their products. And if you own a stock mutual fund or exchange traded fund, odds are over­whelming they're in your portfolio, whether you know it or not.

They're America's biggest companies by market value. Reaching that rarified air means each one of them is a phe­nomenal business success story as well.

Some of the companies on our list made their mark decades ago. Others such as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) made the climb to the summit of the corporate world relatively recently.

All have rewarded their sharehold­ers with massive returns in the past. The question now is whether they'll continue to grow and add value for their shareholders.

Corporate history is littered with the bones of former colossi that, like ancient Rome, were eventually over­run. Only one member of the original Dow Jones Industrial Average is still a company today. More than half the current 30 companies were added in the 1990s or later.

There's little doubt some of today's top 20 will lose their lofty perches. Others will stay dominant for decades to come, and as such will reliably keep building wealth for investors.