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A great business can grow and generate value for shareholders for many years. Years of great returns can create millionaire investors. But there are many roads to El Dorado, and different types of stocks can get investors to the same goal of building immense wealth.

So, here are three magnificent stocks that have made investors rich in the past and can still do it. You might be surprised by some of the names on this list, but don’t rush to judge: Multiple investment styles can pay off over time.

1. This growth stock is not done

Growth investing typically comes to mind when you think of a millionaire-maker. Amazon (AMZN -0.36%) is one of the poster stocks of this category. Amazon birthed modern e-commerce in America and, as a result, amassed a whopping 38% market share in U.S. e-commerce. A $10,000 investment at its initial public offering (IPO) would be worth over $18 million today.

So, how will Amazon, now worth nearly $2 trillion, make investors wealthy moving forward? Well, some things will change, but some won’t. Today, Amazon is a multi-headed juggernaut with tremendous businesses in e-commerce and cloud computing and is a rising star in streaming and advertising.

The essential playbook will remain the same. Big-picture growth trends in e-commerce and the cloud are still strong. In America, online sales are still just 15% of total retail. There’s a ton of room for expansion. Cloud computing was growing before artificial intelligence (AI) took off in 2023, and that’s probably even more likely to grow now over the coming years.

Investors might see Amazon begin returning capital to shareholders via repurchases more as the company grows and matures. At some point, Amazon could repurchase enough shares to drive years of earnings growth, translating to investment returns, even if the company’s ballooning market cap slows down.

2. A big-time wealth compounder

For most Americans, the home is central to their identity. It’s also an expensive investment and often a person’s largest lifetime purchase. Home Depot (HD -1.06%) has become an all-time performing stock due to home ownership being a foundation of the American dream. A $10,000 investment at the IPO of America’s leading home improvement retailer was recently worth more than $318 million.

It’s a simple business model. Home Depot sells tools, appliances, materials, and services to individuals and professional contractors. It’s an ongoing business cycle: People move, upgrade their homes, remodel, and build new homes when old homes are destroyed. Home Depot’s massive size means it can sell for lower prices than the competition.

Home Depot has dished serious cash to shareholders over the years, which plays a significant role in investment returns. The company has lowered its outstanding shares by 56% since 2000 and has paid dividends for years.

Investors don’t have to make it complicated: Buy and hold Home Depot. While returns will undoubtedly slow as the company grows, Home Depot’s proven wealth-building formula makes this blue chip stock as likely to enrich investors over the long term as any.

3. A high-yielding dividend machine

Tobacco is seen as a dying industry today, but industry giant Altria Group (MO -2.77%) is one of the greatest-performing investments ever. A $10,000 investment at Altria’s IPO recently was worth over $326 million. It’s even more impressive when you consider that smoking rates have declined in America for roughly half a century.

Altria, which sells Marlboro cigarettes in the United States, is a rare business that can continually raise prices as it sells less of its product. Tobacco is highly regulated in America, so Altria’s business faces little competition. The result is a lean and profitable business that generates a ton of cash that flows to investors as dividends and share repurchases.

Investors get a whopping 9.5% dividend yield today, and Altria has paid and raised its dividend for more than 50 consecutive years. It’s a Dividend King. Now, nothing lasts forever, and even Altria will reach a point where it needs to do something else besides sell smokeable products to make money.

Altria is developing alternative  nicotine revenue streams, selling products like electronic vapes, oral nicotine pouches, and heat-not-burn devices. These are still early in their rollout but will play a significant role in the company’s future. Investors should monitor the situation to ensure this transition goes smoothly, but feel free to collect that hefty dividend in the meantime.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Justin Pope has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon and Home Depot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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