Every night on Mad Money Jim Cramer tells you that if you pick stocks carefully, and if do your homework, you can beat the pros.
That is, if you identify companies with attractive fundamentals, strong balance sheets, good management teams and an ability to grow profits, you can thrive in the stock market.
"On the show's 8th anniversary, it felt like a good time to illustrate just how much you could have beaten the pros," said Cramer.
Starting with the benchmark, had you put money in a fund that mirrored the S&P 500 on March 15th, 2005 – when Mad Money started – the fund would have returned 52%.
However, if you'd used the Mad Money strategy of picking high quality stocks and investing your money in them – you would have done a lot better.
Following is a look at 8 top performers over the last 8 years – from March 15, 2005 to March 15, 2013.
(Because share price fluctuates, total gains are approximate. Also, the following stocks all had market caps large enough at the time to be cited on CNBC television and therefore may not be the absolute best performers. "You won't find any of those single digit names that we never could have told you about, Cramer said with customary candor.)
Core Labs gained more than 1000% over the past 8 years.
"Core is a company that uses technology to help oil producers get more crude out of the ground, and we've been behind this one for ages," said Cramer.
"I think it still has plenty of room to run," he said.
Salesforce.com gained more than 1000% over the past 8 years. This stock is a Cramer 'fave'
"I've been recommending this stock repeatedly ever since Salesforce's visionary CEO, Marc Benioff, came on the show in November of 2008—right in the midst of the financial meltdown—and told us his company would be just fine."
BioMarin has gained about 1200% over the last 8 years.
It's also an orphan drug maker and develops treatments for rare diseases. This is an example of a spec play that Cramer talks so much about and how they can generate big profits.