Due to the immense volatility of last year, and the uncertainty clouding this year, defensive investments have dominated public discourse. In these trying times, you want to grab as many assurances as possible.

Nevertheless, within this context, high-growth stocks provide lucrative opportunities.

For one thing, growth stocks took a beating during the final quarter of 2018. Because they typically don't pay out dividends, panicked investors saw little reason to hold them. As well, the ferocious magnitude of losses made the selloff a self-fulfilling prophesy. This dynamic especially affected up-and-coming stocks which lacked longer-term credibility.

But the irony here is that the same volatility makes high-growth stocks attractive at these levels. Several top names, as well as the upstarts, now trade at steep discounts. That's bad for their management teams, but good for you. Now, those smoking-hot names you've been eyeballing before can be acquired much more easily.

Here are my top nine picks for "monster" growth stocks that will kickstart strong gains in 2019:

High-Growth Stocks to Buy: Amazon (AMZN)

E-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) had a monstrous final third of 2018, and I don't mean that in a good way. AMZN stock peaked on the first trading day of September. Since then, shares plummeted slightly over 34% before clawing back some of those losses.

This is a great time to pounce on AMZN. The marriage between commerce and digitalization is only burning brighter. Naturally, this benefits Amazon and its dominant position in this sector.

Facebook (FB)

When you're talking about opportunities among the high-growth stocks of social media, most folks will likely point to Snap (NYSE: SNAP ). Unsurprisingly, positive earnings reports finally lifted its shares out of an ignominious pit.

Still, I like sustainability in my growth stocks. Unfortunately, core indicators surrounding the social-media upstart suggest further pain down the road. However, I can't say the same thing about stalwart Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ). Sure, they've suffered more controversies than the Donald Trump administration - okay, maybe not that many - hurting their credibility.

But despite all the negativities, we have facts. FB remains the world's biggest social-media network. A key benefit here is that they offer unprecedented advertisement revenue channels. Up-and-coming stocks like SNAP can barely keep up. Therefore, I prefer discount-diving in FB stock over an unproven entity.

Intel (INTC)

Discussions involving high-growth stocks in the semiconductor space end up focusing on the usual suspects: Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD ). Of course, both companies feature heavily in video gaming, as well as the industries of tomorrow.

But what about Intel (NASDAQ: INTC )? Yes, Intel has been around forever, instantly negating it as one of the sexy up-and-coming stocks. Of course, we can't forget its production disappointments revolving around the company's next-generation computer chips.

That said, INTC has surprisingly offered stability relative to most other growth stocks. During last year's October rout, Intel initially absorbed some damage, but it quickly gained back those losses.

Another selling point comes from its 2.35% dividend yield. It's not much, but it's a heckuva lot better than most high-growth stocks.

Dave & Buster's (PLAY)

A cursory look at - or even a deeper analysis of - entertainment trends may lead you to one conclusion: millennials just don't go out anymore. And with wildly successful high-growth stocks like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ), why should they? They can be entertained from the comfort of their own homes.

But Dave & Buster's (NASDAQ: PLAY ) - which decidedly operates a brick-and-mortar business - bucks this trend. Typically, arcades attract the young market (we're talking high school age). However, PLAY allows adults to gleefully let out their inner child, and without judgment. The company's strong growth trajectory confirms this thesis.

Dave & Buster's also benefits from similar cost structures associated with AMC Entertainment (NYSE: AMC ). While cord-cutting is a powerful phenomenon, AMC offers an indispensable social experience, and at a relatively cheap price. This dynamic should make PLAY one of the surprising hits among growth stocks.

Square (SQ)

If you're looking for high-growth stocks with monstrous upside, it's hard to argue against Square(NYSE: SQ ). For starters, SQ has already obliterated the markets - even last year when so many growth names, particularly up-and-coming stocks, hit a wall, Square delivered respectable returns.

As usual, SQ is off to a strong start this year, and I expect further bullishness to unfold. A key factor driving the tech firm is relevancy. With commerce generally moving to the online arena, small businesses in the brick-and-mortar space must innovate. With Square's unique payment app and device, these entrepreneurs can disrupt much bigger competition.

The best part? The fundamentals prove this point. According to recent data, Square continues to enjoy robust gross payment volume increases. That tells me that end-users gravitate towards Square's easy and intuitive platform, boding well for SQ stock.

GrubHub (GRUB)

Among up-and-coming stocks within the past few years, GrubHub (NYSE: GRUB ) has the opportunity to render a monstrous paradigm shift. For those who aren't familiar, GrubHub is a food-delivery service that allows diners to enjoy take-out from local restaurants. Particularly, this service benefits those eateries that wouldn't normally offer take-out.

To the older demographic, GRUB sounds like sheer laziness. Similarly, those who are fiscally conservative (ie. cheap) don't want to deal with GrubHub. I fall into the latter category. However, my recent foray with Uber rides have made me realize something: online-based transportation services represent the future.

Eventually, GrubHub will probably get rid of their human drivers given tech's trajectory. But the concept of leveraging tech for consumer conveniences? Not only will that not go away, but the dynamic is only getting stronger. Therefore, keep GRUB high on your list of high-growth stocks to buy!

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG)

Usually, growth stocks centered on commerce and the consumer gain and retain the most attention. After all, when we're not working or sleeping, we're often buying something. But as Intuitive Surgical(NASDAQ: ISRG ) demonstrates, not all opportunities within this sector involve consumerism.

If you're like most people, you don't enjoy the idea of surgery, or hospitals in general. But what if a method existed that minimally disrupted your life and your body? Through ISRG's groundbreaking da Vinci surgical system, that fantasy has turned into reality.

Even better, health agencies are increasingly supportive of the concept. Just recently, the Food and Drug Administration approved the company's Ion system , designed for minimally invasive peripherial-lung biopsies. This represents another critical breakthrough for ISRG, since lung cancer is one of the most devastating cancers.

Workday (WDAY)

Invariably, if technology changes the way we shop, it will also change the way we work. That's the overriding thesis driving Workday (NASDAQ: WDAY). An on-demand financial and human-resource management provider, WDAY offers a slight wrinkle within this rather staid industry.

Through its cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform, businesses can now access world-class HR programs through a subscription service. Logically, such an option provides small businesses a critical advantage, as HR and other administrative expenses eat up considerable resources.

But WDAY doesn't just benefit up-and-coming stocks. Instead, several of its top clients hail from blue-chip segments, such as Amazon, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ), and Hewlett Packard Enterprise(NYSE: HPE ). First, everyone wants to save money. Second, WDAY provides an unbiased assessment of what (or who) works, and more importantly, what (or who) doesn't.

MongoDB (MDB)

When people think about databases, they usually conjure up the column-and-row structure. Popularized by Microsoft 's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) Excel program, this setup has its place. Invariably, though, you provide the intelligence. But what if a database could do some of the strenuous lifting for you?

That's the key question that underlines MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB ) and its innovative approach to databasing. In fact, it's downright disruptive. Straying far away from the traditional approach, MDB offers a flexible document data model. This enables MDB operators to adapt to new, incoming data. Plus, the MongoDB platform provides seamless changes throughout an organizational structure.

Even more impressive for developers, the platform is completely open source. Therefore, you're not tied into a rigid format such as a traditional database. This is especially useful for tech firms like Coinbase  that seek an edge in a competitive field.

It's not the most well-known name among high-growth stocks, but MDB has monstrous potential.

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