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What if you had bought AAPL stock instead of Apple products?

Since 2003, the rise of Apple's stock has been stratospheric. Currently AAPL sits at US$346, but many analysts expect it to be at $450 or higher in the next 12 months. The growth of the stock over the years is attributed to Apple's bottom line, its creative and business teams, the fact that it has zero debt, tens of billions of dollars in the bank, and of course, the fact that it sells the hottest consumer electronics on the planet. But what if instead of buying Apple's products, like a PowerBook or original iPod, those who are most responsible for the stock's increase -- you, the consumer -- bought AAPL stock?

Software engineer Kyle Conroy has compiled a list of how much money you would have today if, for example, instead of spending $5700 on a Apple PowerBook G3 250 when it was released on November 10, 1997 you'd spent that same amount on AAPL stock. The answer? Instead owning of a laptop that's probably worth all of twenty bucks today, you'd own $330,563 of AAPL stock. Makes you cringe, doesn't it?

For those of you who bought an original 5 GB iPod for $399 on October 23, 2001, your money, had you purchased AAPL stock, today would be worth $11,914. Spending $1599 on Apple's original iBook G3 on July 21, 1999 would net you $32,031 in AAPL stock today. The list goes on and on.

The good news is that Apple is one of the strongest, healthiest companies on the planet, which controls many emerging markets that still have a decade or more of growth (smartphones, tablets, etc.). In three years today's closing price of $346 is going to make AAPL stock look cheap.

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