Here are my 3 ASX shares of the decade

The 2010s are nearly over, so I thought it would be a good time to look back on the past 10 years and see which shares have done great.

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The 2010s decade has seen a big shift towards technology businesses, both here and abroad. It has been a decade of recovery and disruption. It has been an age of new politics and the continuing rise of China. 

In our own share market, Australian investors came up with an acronym for some of the brightest businesses on the ASX, WAAAX. I would have chosen Altium Limited (ASX: ALU), as one of my three 'share of the decade' picks, but my colleague James Mickleboro already chose it in his article, so I'll go for something else.

Whilst these below three picks aren't the biggest returning shares, I think they have had large impacts on Australia and perhaps the world:

A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M

If it weren't for A2 Milk, I'm not sure even half of us would know what a 'Daigou' is or does.

It takes a special business to take something as mundane and basic as infant formula and turn it into a luxury product with supermarkets constantly sold out.

There are few Australian or New Zealand businesses or brands that truly make it overseas. A2 Milk is definitely one of those winners. You know you've done well when some of the biggest companies in the world like Nestle are trying to copy and disrupt you. 

A2 Milk is still growing revenue at an impressive rate and could become one of the most profitable food businesses in the world in the 2020s if it keeps growing at this speed.

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

At the start of the decade it would have been hard to imagine that any business on the ASX could be as large or larger than a bank or BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP). Yet CSL stands today with a market capitalisation of $127.75 billion.

The biotech giant has excellent research and development credentials and its products are making an enormous difference in Australia and internationally.

Healthcare treatment is one aspect of humanity that is improving over the years and CSL plays an important part of that as one of the biggest healthcare businesses in the world.

Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT) 

One of the ways that people acknowledge that Google has had an effect on society is that "Google it" is an actual phrase. "Afterpay it" is also apparently a phrase, although I've never actually heard anyone say that.

I think Afterpay can be credited for the huge growth of buy now, pay later services in Australia. It seems like every other shop in a Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) centre offers Afterpay as an option.

This decade Afterpay has gone from a tiny player to a large part of Australia's retail economy and is an internationally-growing payment provider.

Foolish takeaway

Each of these shares have generated enormous growth for shareholders this year. If I could only buy one of them today it would be A2 Milk because I think there's still a lot of geographical and product expansion it can do, whereas CSL is already very large and Afterpay doesn't yet make a profit.

Tristan Harrison owns shares of Altium. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk and Altium. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Scentre Group. 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 Scott Phillips.

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