Netflix, Asos and Microsoft are just three companies whose share prices have soared since they floated and now you can find out how other global brands have fared.
eToro has launched an ‘Investment Time Machine’ to show savers what could be sitting in their pot today had they invested in some of the world’ biggest brands.
Users can go up to 30 years back in time or to the start of the available data for a given company and invest anything between $25 (£19) and $1,000 (£774) in multiples of 25 at their historic stock prices.
The Investment Time Machine then returns users to the present day and tells them how much their investments would have grown – or shrunk.
eToro’s ‘Investment Time Machine’ shows savers what could be sitting in their pot today
In 1976, for example, American businessman Ronald Wayne sold a 10 per cent stake in Apple for $800.
Today, the tech giant has a market cap of $2trillion and so if Ronald had kept his stake, it would be worth $200billion today.
There are a range of companies you can ‘go back in time and invest in’ such as PayPal, Amazon, Starbucks, Disney and Tesco.
These stocks are available on the social trading platform’s website which is best known for CopyTrading service which allows novice investors to ‘copy’ other users’ trades.
This involves contract-for-difference trading, which is where you are not buying an actual share, but a derivative that allows you to bet on the value of the share rising or falling without taking ownership of it.
One of our Money Pit Stop readers made £15,000 from the service earlier this year, but it comes with risk.
As it warns at the top of its website, ‘CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
’75 per cent of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the risk of losing your money.’
Investors can use the Investment Time Machine to see how their share may have risen (or fallen) since any given time over the last 30 years
Which stocks have soared?
With the Investment Time Machine however, you can see what you might be sitting with – or without – today had you made that particular investment at that particular time.
You can try the software out for yourself, armed with $1,000 in your virtual kitty. But eToro gave us at This is Money an imaginary £1,000 for the convenience of our readers.
For example, had you invested £1,000 into Netflix at the start of this year, you’d be enjoying a 54.39 per cent increase today – thanks to its rise in popularity as more people stayed at home during lockdown’s across the globe.
But Netflix has generally been a successful business and had you invested in it at its initial public offering in 2002, your £1,000 investment would be worth a staggering £322,314.84 today. That’s an increase of 32,131 per cent.
Similarly, those who bought video communications software Zoom when it listed just last year would have seen an increase of 638 per cent.
We’ll never how it would have done had there not been a global pandemic but it’s rise in users this year has meant even late investors have benefited.
A £1,000 investment in June 2020 would still have got you an extra 120 per cent today – a total of £2,205.84.
E-commerce giant Amazon has been a consistent winner since it launched in 1997. A £1,000 investment then would be worth £52,613.98 today – an increase of 5,161 per cent.
But even those that invested the same amount at the start of this year would be enjoying a rise of 60% per cent to be sitting on a total of £1,604.34.
|Company||Invested at IPO||In 2010||In 2015||In Jan 2020||In June 2020|
|Amazon||£52,613.98 (+5,161%)||£22,607.72 (+2,160%)||£9,869.82 (+887%)||£1,604.34 (+60%)||£1,232.29 (+23%)|
|ASOS||£713,634.34 (+71,263%)||£10,283.87 (+928%)||£1,975.66 (+97%)||£1,523.54 (+52%)||£1,664.36 (+55%)|
|£6,433.16 (+543%)||Not available||£3,135.13 (+213%)||£1,513.43 (+51%)||£1,172.42 (+17%)|
|Microsoft||£270,368.96 (+26,936%)||£8,249.10 (+725%)||£4,788.64 (+379%)||£1,251.61 (+25%)||£1,093.57 (+9%)|
|Netflix||£322,314.84 (+32,131%)||£30,410.52 (+2,941%)||£4,430.55 (+343%)||£1,543.93 (+54%)||£1,191.64 (+19%)|
|Royal Dutch Shell||£586.84 (-41%)||£788.58 (-21%)||£759.15 (-24%)||£421.05 (-58%)||£692.29 (-31%)|
|Tesco||£1,051.65 (+5%)||£609.32 (-39%)||£1,586.14 (+59%)||£814.48 (-19%)||£884.19 (-12%)|
|Zoom||£7,382.46 (+638%)||£23,830.67 (+2,283%)||Not available||£6,512.11 (+551%)||£2,205.84 (+121%)|
|Source: eToro. Data to 8 October|
Interestingly, the biggest rise has come from online fashion retailer ASOS which floated in 2001. Investors at IPO would be sitting on a significant profit today of £713,634 from an initial investment of £1,000.
Those investing more recently would still be sitting in the green but by nowhere near as much.
Not everyone has fared as well though and both long-term and recent investors in Royal Dutch Shell will be extremely disappointed with their returns.
A £1,000 investment at IPO would be worth £586 today while a £1,000 investment in Tesco when it floated in 1947 would be up just 5 per cent to £1,051.
Investors in these older FTSE 100 companies however will have enjoyed profits in the form of dividends over the years.
Adam Vettese, analyst at eToro, said: ‘Knowledge really does go a long way when making investments but people often think you need to be an expert to do well. That’s simply not true.
‘What you do need is to understand the fundamentals behind your investment choices and investing in companies that you understand and engage with regularly is a great way to start.’
‘But the fact you have never invested before should not put you off, especially as there is a wealth of good information out there these days, and virtual portfolios, where you can practice risk free.
‘As with all investments, prices can fluctuate over time so it’s about picking the investments you’re comfortable making – whether it’s a financial or physical – and investing for the long term.’