If you'd bought Apple stock instead of an Apple III, you'd be a millionaire

If you’d bought Apple stock instead of an Apple III, you’d be a millionaire


Apple raked in the cash last quarter.
What we wouldn't give to travel back to 1980.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Want a spectacular stat for a Friday? Apple stock has increased 22,250 percent since its IPO almost 35 years ago.

And the accompanying depressing thought: If you had taken the money a new Apple computer cost at the time and instead spent it on AAPL stock during its 1980 public offering, you’d be sitting on a personal fortune of $965,650 today — just a few dollars away from being a freshly-minted millionaire.

In December 1980, Apple’s newest computer was an Apple III, with a starting price tag of $4340. Today, you’d be lucky to get that much for it — despite the relative rarity of that particular model.

Apple’s official IPO anniversary is actually tomorrow, December 12. At the time, the Wall Street Journal noted that, “Not since Eve has an Apple posed such a temptation.” It wasn’t wrong. The company’s public offering turned out to be the biggest since the Ford Motor Company in 1956.

Steve Jobs, just 25 years old at the time, ended the day valued at $217 million.

Check out the below spectacular chart, as tweeted by Mikko Hypponen: