Let’s say in the year 2000, you bought $2 worth of stock of every company on the Fortune 500, for a total expenditure of $1,000.
Then, the year after, you sold it all and reinvested your gains, again buying an equal amount of every stock on that year’s list—and you repeated that process annually for 17 years.
The result would be that today you would have more than quintupled your money. That’s a return that’s all the more remarkable considering that the market as a whole only doubled during the same period. Your Fortune 500 portfolio would have lapped the S&P, earning 481%.
The takeaway? For better or worse, in today’s winner-take-all economy, you can do pretty well by betting on winners.
A version of this article appears in the June 15, 2017 issue of Fortune with the headline "If You Bet on the Fortune 500, You Beat the Market."