Not buying shares in a quality business, only to see its shares rally in price, is one of the most painful experiences in investing – sometimes even more so than buying shares in a business only to watch them fall!

Every seasoned investor will know what this feels like. Not good.

Here are three companies that I could have bought – I certainly saw them early enough – but didn’t, for whatever reasons…

Catapult Group International Ltd (ASX: CAT)

Yesterday, I watched as shares of Catapult Group climbed to a new all-time high, peaking at $3.40. They’re up 10.4% this week and 208% over the last 12 months.

Catapult Group is a business that provides the software and hardware used by elite sports men and women to monitor their performances whilst also alerting them when they are at risk of an injury. Indeed, this company has gone from strength to strength, recording a string of quarters of record sales whilst increasing its sales guidance on Tuesday.

The reason I didn’t buy shares in Catapult largely related to its valuation. The shares still aren’t cheap today, but could still be worth a look by long-term investors. If only I’d listened to my own advice back then…

Pro Medicus Limited (ASX: PME)

Pro Medicus is a company that sells medical imaging software to hospitals and other imaging centres which acts as an end-to-end offering in radiology. The company has signed a number of large contracts, including an $18 million contract with US private healthcare provider Mayo Clinic earlier this week.

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t buy. The shares have risen nearly 150% over the last 12 months and roughly 390% since the beginning of 2015.

oOh!Media Ltd (ASX: OML)

oOh! Media is one of Australia’s leading companies in the out-of-home advertising space – an industry that is experiencing far greater growth than some of the more traditional corners of the advertising market (e.g. free-to-air television, newspapers). It’s also focused on increasing its digital signs (instead of static signs) which will not only allow it to enhance its product offering to advertisers, but also grow its pool of potential customers.

As is the case with Catapult and Pro Medicus, oOh!Media’s shares have soared in price. From an initial offer price of $1.93 late in 2014, the shares are now fetching $5.07, representing a gain of 162%.

Of course, hindsight tells me that it was clear I should have bought these shares a long time ago, but it can be difficult to know for sure at the time. Click here or on the link below to discover three shares we think you should avoid, and one you should buy today, even if the market does turn south.

Free Report: 3 Rotten Shares to Sell, and 1 to Buy Today

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman (unfortunately) has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.