Should I buy Apple stock over product?

I read an article over on John Chow’s blog that lead me to an interesting bit of information from Kyle Conroy’s blog about buying Apple stock over buying Apple product. At first, I expected it to be a rant about how great the stock market is and how we should all invest in our favorite corporations, but after looking at it, it proved to be much more of a “why didn’t I think of that” type of story.

Although I loved the article, I now hate myself for not being “smarter” in my younger years. I guess I can chalk it up to just not being sure about the future, but then again when it comes to Apple, did anybody really think this company would fail? Google maybe, but Apple? Likely not.

The Breakdown

Essentially what Kyle did was compare the selling prices of almost all of Apple’s products to the stock price on the day these products came out and then again to today’s stock price. Here are the products I own for example:

  • Original iPhone – Price paid on January 9th, 2010: $499 – If I had bought Apple stock on the same day instead of the iPhone, I would now have $1,460 in my portfolio.
  • iPhone 3GS – Price paid on June 8th, 2009: $199 – I would now have $375 in my portfolio.
  • 2.4G MacBook (13″ unibody, late-2008) – Price paid on October 14th, 2008: $1599 – I would now have $4,161 in my portfolio.

That would have given me a grand total of $5,996 in my portfolio today! Instead, I have negative $2597. Granted, the products have served me well and I don’t regret owning (or buying) them, but the point is still made.

Could I have forgone these items to have a few extra thousand in a volatile environment such is the stock market? Probably no more than any of us could forgo our new cars and expensive clothes. However, one item that took the cake on this list is one that I could have forgone if only I had that much money at the time.

Apple PowerBook G3 250 (Original/Kanga/3500) – Price on November 10th, 1997: $5700 – If you used that money to buy stock on the same day, you’d now have $330,563 in your portfolio! On the other hand, maybe you used that PowerBook to start your business and now you make more than $300,000 a year being your own boss! You never know how the tides may turn.

Go check out the rest of the list here and see what your Apple products could have amounted to.

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