6 top ASX shares you should have bought in 2015 and 4 to avoid in 2016

Analysts and economists were predicting a huge year for the ASX, cries of 5800 and 6200 points were heard from every corner, those with lower forecasts or cautious about the risks involved were drowned out, yet they were the ones we should have paid attention to.

Perilously Close to 5000 points

In what has been a tough year for the S&P/ASX 200 (Index:^AXJO) (ASX:XJO), investors have still made massive money on some well established ASX blue-chip companies that have taken the next step. Despite the ASX 200 falling over 5% this year, investors have returned over 80% by sticking with the 6 companies below!

6 Stocks up 80% or More

An interesting theme from these companies is that organic growth in Australia is weak as the top performers have seen their growth come from overseas.

Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) and Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) have successfully convinced the Chinese consumer that they need their products. In turn, their profits are surging and investors are reaping the rewards. Bellamy’s shareholders have turned $100 into $673, while Blackmores shares have returned $481!

Acquisitions Galore

On the domestic front, intellectual property and trademark servicing business IPH Ltd (ASX: IPH), car parts retailer Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP), and car sales group AP Eagers Ltd (ASX: APE) are growing revenue quickly via domestic acquisitions funded by cheap debt. Investors have liked the theme and pushed the share prices up 160%, 81% and 90% respectively.

Overseas Potential

The final company we all should have bought (again) in 2015, is the amazing Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP). The unbelievable pizza chain delivered another 100%-plus return this year as its domestic operations continued to dominate and it made another smart acquisition, this time in the form of Germany’s major pizza chain.

4 Companies to Avoid in 2016 and 1 to BUY

There were very few investors that started the year touting the 6 companies above as the potential best performers of 2015. Similarly, I expect 2016’s top stocks will be some we least expect, driven by a theme we might not have even considered yet!

It’s safe to say, I believe, that 2016 will be another tough year for investors in these companies as competitive pressures that made 2015 difficult are unlikely to subside:

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Motley Fool contributor Andrew Mudie has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can find Andrew on Twitter @andrewmudie

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bellamy's Australia and Burson. 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.

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