Investing would be a breeze with just a little hindsight, right? No one would need to worry about having enough for their children’s education, that vacation home, or retirement expenses. Obviously stock markets don’t work that way, but just for fun we looked at how an investor would have fared by buying 100 shares of some well-known companies at the moment of their initial public offering — when the general public is suddenly welcome to invest in a stock — and holding them until today, a range of eight to 102 years. These simplistic calculations are based on each stock’s closing price on Sept. 10, and you may notice a pattern in which the growth in the number of shares (known as stock splits) play a significant role in many of the more successful companies. Here’s where a time machine would come in handy.
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