Which Major Tech Stock Should You Have Invested In?

Snap Inc. – the company behind Snapchat – is poised to join the stock market this year, with some people estimating the company to be worth at least $25 billion. Snap Inc. isn’t the first tech company to go to the market though – there’s a long list of companies who’ve started selling stocks, with some faring better than others.

So as Snapchat heads towards its IPO, we've taken a look at other tech stock you could have invested in to see how much you could have made. To see whether you should Snap up some stock, we’ve looked at some of the largest tech companies and how they performed on the stock market to find out who you should have invested in.

Who are the winners?

Amazon +4,513%

IPO price: $18 per share | Current price: $830.38 per share | Highest price: $839.43 per share

Amazon was the best investment from the companies we looked at. If you’d invested $1,000 at its IPO on May 15th, 1997, that money would be worth $45,670.90 today – a whopping 4,513.22% return on investment by February 1st, 2017.

Netflix +841%

IPO price: $15 per share | Current price: $141.22 per share | Highest price: $142.45 per share

Despite how young the company seems to be, Netflix stock has actually been trading for close to 15 years – that’s two years longer than Google. In this time its stock has risen over 800% to make it the fourth highest-performing stock on our list.

Facebook +244%

IPO price: $38 per share | Current price: $130.98 per share | Highest price: $132.07 per share

Facebook’s IPO received a lot of attention when it went to the market in 2012, with the social media giant being valued at $104.2 billion. This valuation could have led to the company’s growth, with $1,000 at IPO being worth “just” $3,405.48 today.

Tesla +1,374%

IPO price: $17 per share | Current price: $250.63 per share | Highest price: $286.04 per share

Elon Musk’s Tesla was the second-highest performing stock that we looked at, offering investors a 1,374.29% return on investment to turn $1,000 into $14,536.54 in under seven years. This is a great improvement but, if you’d sold it two years earlier the company’s Initial Public Offering, you’d have made $16,590.32 – an extra $2,053.78.

Baidu +547%

IPO price: $27 per share | Current price: $174.72 per share | Highest price: $249.70 per share

Whilst it might not be the most well-known stock, Baidu (the Chinese version of Google) has been trading on the NASDAQ for over 11 years. In this time you’d have seen a $1,000 investment at IPO grow to $26,424.29 on November 14th 2014, before falling to the $6,464.64 it’s worth today.

Alphabet (Google) +869%

IPO price: $85 per share | Current price: $823.83 per share | Highest price: $823.83 per share

Despite the company’s incredible size and pervasiveness Alphabet, the parent company of Google, only places third in the companies we looked at – and a $1,000 investment would only be worth $258 (£206) more than Netflix. It’s currently around the highest it’s been.

Apple +452%

IPO price: $22 per share | Current price: $121.63 per share | Highest price: $132.54 per share

One of the most attractive stocks for any amateur investor must be Apple. The tech giant is considered one of the coolest companies in the world, and there’s many a story of people who sold before they should have. Despite this, a $1,000 investment at their IPO on December 12th 1980 would only be worth $5,473.35 today. Compared to a high of $31,594.50 in May 2015 it’s quite a drop, though still a 452% increase.

Who were the losers?

Yahoo +237%

IPO price: $13 per share | Current price: $43.93 per share | Highest price: $108.17 per share

The stock market is a tricky game, and not all companies have the same success. Yahoo is a very notable company that’s not had success of late, and that’s been reflected in their stocks. Yahoo’s high of $36,100 in December 1999 is the second highest in the companies we looked at, whilst their current price of $3,338.68 is in the lower half of them.

eBay +78%

IPO price: $18 per share | Current price: $32.17 per share | Highest price: $66.29 per share

eBay – the world’s largest online marketplace – is another company that, whilst it would have been a good investment, would have been far more lucrative several years ago. Whilst a $1,000 investment would be worth $1,769.35 today, had you sold two years ago on July 17th 2015, that same investment would have been worth $18,370.

Zynga -74%

IPO price: $10 per share | Current price: $2.60 per share | Highest price: $14.69 per share

At the very end of the spectrum was Zynga – the people behind the once popular Facebook game Farmville. A $1,000 investment at its IPO on December 16th, 2011 would be worth just $260 today – an almost 75% loss. Compare this to its high on March 2nd, 2012 though, and you could have made $1,469 – an almost 50% increase.

Microsoft +210%

IPO price: $21 per share | Current price: $65.13 per share | Highest price: $65.78 per share

One surprising tech company is Microsoft. Whilst just about everyone in the world has owned or used a Microsoft computer, the company’s stock is one of the cheapest in our table. Worth $3,061 currently and just $30 more at its high, the stock is certainly more affordable than others.

Alibaba +41%

IPO price: $68 per share | Current price: $101.02 per share | Highest price: $115.10 per share

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has been trading for almost 2.5 years on the New York Stock Exchange, and in that time your $1,000 would have steadily grown to $1,414.28. Had you sold just two months after it went to market though, you’d have made an extra $253.82.

PayPal +206%

IPO price: $13 per share | Current price: $39.86 per share | Highest price: $44.15 per share

PayPal is another company that, though well-known and exceedingly large, isn’t the most prominent on the stock market. That’s not to say it hasn’t done well – stock bought at IPO is still worth over 200% more today. Had you invested $1,000 in PayPal in February 2002, it would be worth $3,029.36 today.

Twitter -34%

IPO price: $26 per share | Current price: $16.94 per share | Highest price: $69 per share

One surprising, or perhaps not so surprising to those “in the know”, stock was Twitter. The name is synonymous with social media, but the company’s stock has been declining for over two years. Had you sold your $1,000 worth of stock at its high on January 3rd, 2014, it would have been worth $2,800.98 – a far cry from today’s worth of just $643.72.