Which was the best investment in the past 30, 50, 80, or 100 years? This chart compares the performance of the S&P 500, the Dow Jones, Gold, and Silver. The Dow Jones is a stock index that includes 30 large publicly traded companies based in the United States. It is one of the oldest and most-watched indices in the world. The S&P 500 consists of 500 large US companies, it is capitalization-weighted, and it captures approximately 80% of available market capitalization. For these reasons it is more representative of the US stock market than the Dow Jones. Also, the S&P 500 is a total return index, in which all resulting cash payouts (including dividends) are automatically reinvested back into the fund itself. Therefore, it includes all capital gains and it allows for an accurate performance comparison with Gold and Silver.