In the Oscar-winning movie Forrest Gump, there’s a short scene in which Tom Hanks’s character opens a letter of thanks from Apple after his former military colleague and business partner Lieutenant Dan invested some of the profits from the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in “some kind of fruit company.”
It’s been 25 years since that movie debuted. If Gump was real and if he was still clinging on to his investment today, his investment in the Cupertino company would worth around $28 billion.
It’s only a guesstimate
How much of the shrimping profits Dan invested exactly isn’t mentioned in the movie, so a notional amount of $100,000 is used for this. Given the success of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, that’s certainly a plausible figure.
Also, keep in mind that Apple’s IPO wasn’t until 1980 and this imagined buy-in was made earlier than that, so this would have been “angel” investing. Still, over the years various experts have estimated that their money would have given the pair a 3% stake in Apple.
By 1980, that stake roughly translated into 1,476,460 shares, which would have been worth $43 million at the end of the stock’s first day of trading. When the Forrest Gump novel made its debut in 1986, that figure would have reached $46 million, and would have ballooned again to $91.5 million by the time the film was released in 1994.
That’s an impressive sum of money, but it’s hardly anything when you consider what Gump’s shares would be worth today. At market close on Friday, July 2, 2019, Apple’s total market capitalization was $939.7 billion. Assuming Forrest and Lieutenant Dan held onto their stake 3% of Apple, it would now be worth $28.191 billion.
Nearly $30 billion! If only we all had a friend like Lieutenant Dan.
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This article was originally published in 2012. It was updated in 2019 by Ed Hardy.