Buying Apple shares rather than a PowerBook 100 would have made you $158,243 richer

Humans love short term pleasure over long term gain. But delayed gratification can be very gratifying indeed – discovering you missed out after the event, however, is less so.

Buying Apple shares rather than a PowerBook 100 would have made you $158,243 richer

Which is why you might want to avoid visiting InvestedInstead, especially if you spent $2,300 on an Apple PowerBook 100 back in 1991. The site is simple but genius: It takes the price of an old piece of tech, and tells you what the equivalent price in company shares would be worth today. Visit the site now, and you’ll see that $2,300 worth of 1991 Apple shares would be worth $158,243 in 2016.

Tesla is a similar story. If you invested $57,400 in the company on 22 June 2012, when the Model S was released, you would now be $344,434 richer. Perhaps most astoundingly of all, if you’d invested the $169.95 RRP of the TI SR-50 scientific calculator back in 1974, you’d have $10,781 today.ti_sr-50_calculator_

But before you go invest instead of buying the latest gadget, there are some cautionary tales along the way. Buying Sony stock instead of the PlayStation back in 1995 would only give you an extra $89 in your pocket (and no memories of the original Crash Bandicoot, either), and if you’d invested $199 in BlackBerry on the launch of the 8100 Pearl in 2006, you’d have just $53 left to play with now.

Fun as this is, there are, of course, very real problems with the sums involved. For starters, who knows what skills you could have learned tapping away on that Apple PowerBook 100? More pressingly, it doesn’t take inflation into account: $2,300 back in 1991 would be worth around $4,000 today.

Still, it’s fun to see companies changing fortune in such stark terms. And maybe it will make you think twice before buying that must-have gadget on release date. If the product is that good, maybe it’s time to back its creators up in the stock market.

Images: Raneko and Joe Haupt used under Creative Commons

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