That time I bought a G4 Cube instead of stock in Apple

My group’s project is Algorithmic Stock Market Trading Strategies. We haven’t really gotten started yet, but talking with our sponsor a bit about trading made me think about my own investment experiences and how my life might be different now if I had been … better at it.

I was always rather careful with my money. I would save up birthday money in a dresser drawer until I found something that I really wanted that my parents would not buy for me. Like a Nintendo.

My first actual investment was in a small company in Iowa that made “fuel management systems.” I got the “stock tip” from my dad, who heard about it from some guy at work. I bought 300 shares at $5 each. This was when I was in high school, around 1999 or 2000. Their website has not been updated since 2012.

When I went to college, I was lucky enough to get some extra scholarship money. I decided to buy a computer. The Power Mac G4 Cube had just come out that summer, so that’s what I got. It was a cool looking thing. But it was pretty expensive. And I got the “cheap” CRT display, which was not only heavy, but also resulted in me having to get stitches in my ear over winter break. That’s a story for another time though.

Anyway, sometimes I think back to how I might have been smarter with money. If I had purchased the G4 Cube equivalent of shares in Apple back then, I’d have ~$500k now. That would be nice. I do still have the Cube though, so there’s always eBay.

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