Investing in gadgets vs. Apple stock

June 30, 2010
Tess Vigeland: And finally, we're not usually big into regret on this program. 20-20 hindsight really does no one any good. But remember how I mentioned earlier about the crazy run on iPads last weekend? 500 to 800 bucks for the latest gizmo from Apple. Well what if, instead, you used that same money to buy two, three shares of Apple stock? How mighty would your orchard grow?

A student at UC Berkeley, Kyle Conroy, has been mulling over this idea. And if you follow his logic, it's time to put down the gadgets and embrace the shares. Conroy reached all the way back to 1997 to see what kind of money you'd have now, if instead of buying a laptop, you'd invested its retail value in Apple stock.

Kyle Conroy: If you had bought an Apple Power Book G3 250, it was originally priced at $5,700. And today in stock value, that would actually be $330,000.

Yes... $330,000. And that original iPod that Kyle just had to have in 2001, when Apple stock was going for just nine bucks a share?

Conroy: It was $300 when I bought it and that would have translated into about $7,000.

No regrets though -- that iPod gave him years of tunes on the go. And for all you early adopters out there who shelled out 500 bucks for the first iPhone, if you'd invested that amount instead, you'd have almost tripled your money -- enough to buy seven of today's iPhones.

Now Conroy claims to have no interest in the iPad, so we put it to him this way: A new MacBook or Mac stock?

Conroy: Maybe I'll buy a MacBook Pro and some Apple stock.

Ah... the heart wants what the heart wants. Conroy's blog lists how all Apple products translate into stock gains.

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