These FTSE 100 shares are up 177%-343% over 5 years!

The past five years haven’t been so great for the FTSE 100. Since 31 March 2017, the UK’s blue-chip index has gained just 2.2%, excluding dividends. But adding cash dividends of, say, 4% a year lifts this total to over 22%.

Meanwhile, the US S&P 500 index has almost doubled over 60 months, leaping by 92.3% (excluding dividends). And the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index has soared by 139.7% in the past five years (again, excluding dividends). Thus, the FTSE 100 has been the poor cousin of its American counterparts.

The FTSE 100’s winners and losers

As you’d expect, returns from individual FTSE 100 shares over the past five years are widely dispersed.

Of 95 shares in the FTSE 100 over the past five years, only 53 have risen in value since March 2017. Among these 53 winners, gains range from 0.5% to 343.2%. The average rise across all 53 gainers is 76.2% — far ahead of the wider index.

At the other end of the scale lie 42 losers, those FTSE 100 stocks losing value over 60 months. These losses range from 0.8% to 62.1%. The average loss among these laggards is 25.8%.

The Footsie’s five biggest gainers

Over the past five years, only 16 FTSE 100 shares have produced triple-digit returns (gaining 100%+). This seems to support the ongoing argument that the Footsie as an index lacks go-go growth stocks. Then again, a few super stocks have shot out the lights since March 2017. These are the Footsie’s five best performers over five years:

Company Industry Five-year return
Ocado Group Online retailing 343.2%
Anglo American Mining 217.4%
Ashtead Group Equipment rental 211.7%
Segro Property/Real estate 189.9%
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Technology fund 176.6%

As you can see, five-year returns for these five fabulous FTSE 100 shares range from almost 177% to over 343%. Furthermore, these five winners are a mixed bunch. Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust is a highly successful technology investment fund, while Segro (formerly Slough Estates) develops and invests in property in the UK and Europe.

Ashtead Group is a global leader in renting out industrial equipment, largely in the US, UK and Canada. Anglo American is the world’s #1 producer of platinum and also mines diamonds, copper, nickel, iron ore and coal. Lastly, the FTSE 100’s biggest winner over the past five years is technology-driven online retailer Ocado Group. Had I invested £1,000 in Ocado shares five years ago, I’d be sitting on £4,432 today. Nice.

I’d buy one of these champion shares today

I don’t own any of these these FTSE 100 stocks right now. If I had to choose one to buy, it would certainly not be Ocado, which I consider too risky for my blood. The same goes for Scottish Mortgage, whose shares have crashed 23.3% in 2022.

The only one of these Footsie shares that I would buy today is Anglo American. With metals prices soaring in 2021-22, Anglo shares have leapt 42.9% in the past 12 months. Yet they still trade on under 7.7 times earnings and offer a market-beating dividend yield of 5.5% a year. Though history has taught me that miners’ earnings and share prices can be very volatile, Anglo looks right for my income portfolio!

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