What if you knew which stocks to invest in every day? What if every bet in the markets was a sure thing? What if you could put all of your eggs in one basket and never lose? How much could you have made in 2013 if you started with $1,000 to invest?
A trader who began the year with $1,000 in her brokerage account and put all of her money in each day’s best-performing equity in the S&P 500—day after day—for the 241 trading days so far this year would have $264 billion in her account today.
By March 4, her gains would have reached $53,200, exceeding the US household’s median annual income. She would have made a million dollars by April 23 while invested in Netflix, and a week later she would have doubled when her stake in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals grew 10.3% on May 1.
Her first billion would have come when AutoDesk saw 7.69% growth on August 23. By October 17, she would have had $10 billion. Less than a week later it would have been over $100 billion. In November, she would have become the richest person in the world.
Over the course of the year, she would have never taken a loss on any day. Here’s a day-by-day calendar of the S&P stock she would have had to invest 100% of her portfolio in to pull off the perfect trading year. (You can enter ticker symbols you don’t know here to see the full company names.)
Although the S&P 500 has—as its name implies—500 members, only 129 companies were top performers on any of the 240 trading days this year. Here are some of the best:
Moreover, even if one made the impossibly optimistic assumption that picking the best stock of the day is a 50-50 guess, there would be only a one-in-3.53 trevigintillion (3.53 x 1072) chance of matching these results.