Should You Buy Apple Shares Instead of an iPhone 4S?

A recent report suggests that the answer is definitively yes. The article on tech site MainDevice points out that the $399 you might have spent on a 5GB iPod in 2001 would be worth over $15,000 in Apple stock today.

The author also claims that "a onetime investment consisting in the price you should have paid for a PowerBook G3 14 years ago would have matured into $400,000."

But how much more can the company grow?

In the last ten years, Apple shares have had their ups and downs but since 2009 the trend has been a steady, if not remarkable, increase. Apple's strategy has been to release a new product each year, building up the consumers' expectation and desire, breaking sales records with every new launch and going beyond forecasts.

The company has seen 'organic growth', growing from within rather than expanding by swallowing up other companies. Microsoft and Google have acquired 40 companies between them over the past four years, whereas Apple has bought roughly one per year in its 25 year existence.

If you are considering an investment, the first step is research with the ability to put things into perspective. Apple provides a useful source of information for investors and inquisitive readers, but you should also check independent sources and reports.

To make things easier you could find a certified financial planner (CFP) who will manage your portfolio. An online broker could also make it easier for you to buy Apple shares (Apple Inc. Stock is found under AAPL); this method is simple and cheaper than the traditional brokerage though you will have to know the stock you want to buy and do the purchasing yourself.

Just think - the $500 that you're thinking of paying for the latest iPhone could mature into a tidy sum. (ed: ...or it might not)

You can still enroll in our competition to win an iPhone 4S by answering a very simple question by tomorrow, the 21st of October. Terms and conditions as well as the other details are here.