Current return on $10,000: $1.7 million
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne formed Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) around their hand-built computers in April 1976, and Jobs and Wozniak incorporated it in January 1997. By December 1980, Apple came public at a $1.79 billion valuation.
While Apple was the pioneer of the PC revolution, the company stumbled during the 1980s, and Jobs was kicked out. It would not be until the late 1990s that Jobs would return, and Apple would change the world with breakout products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad, setting up AAPL’s fantastic charge through the aughts.
Still, it wasn’t until early 2011 that investors would’ve received $1 million on a $10,000 investment. Throw in Apple’s scorching run since then, including Wednesday’s boost to more than $600 per share, and those same investors would be looking at about $1.7 million.