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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --"If the last decade has taught us anything, it's that this is a stock picker's market," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday, as he perused the list of the hottest performing stocks over the past decade.

Cramer said while the major averages may have stalled over the past 10 years, all was not lost on individual stocks, which is why he continues to advocate actively managing ones' portfolio rather than passively shoveling money into mutual or index funds.

What do the top performers from years' past have in common? They're all game-changing companies, he said.

Cramer said there's a reason why Apple ( AAPL), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , was up 4,206% over the past 10 years. He said the company has personally revolutionized mobile communications and how we consume digital media. ( PCLN), with its name your own price model, revolutionized how airlines and hotels compete and price their offerings. That's why Priceline tops the list with a 4,962% gain.

Other game changers included Carmax ( KMX), up 1,663%, Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), up 1,407%, and Urban Outfitters ( URBN), up 3,599%.

Cramer said the themes may change but the fact remains that owning the best-of-breed companies in game-changing markets is always the smartest place to invest.

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