16 years ago this past Wednesday, shares in Netflix began trading publicly for the first time.
When I saw the story, it showed a picture of the iconic red envelopes that the DVDs used to be mailed in. I had completely forgotten about those envelopes, and now just think of Netflix as offering movies online.
In general, I am not a fan of Netflix’s service. I’d venture to say that of the last 20 movies I’ve gone to check to see if they were available for watching online through Netflix, zero of them were available. This included a mix of fairly new movies as well as some older ones.
That being said, I am a fan of Netflix the company. They seem to have a plan in place on how to grow and expand their services, and seem to have a strong leader in Reed Hastings, its founder, and current CEO and chairman of the board. Despite having a technology background, Hastings has proved innovative in his business practices as well.
Now if I had known all of that about Hastings back in 2002, then perhaps I would have bought some shares in the company.
At the end of its first day of trading, I could have bought the equivalent of 1,000 shares for $1,200 (after accounting for stock splits over the years).
This past Thursday, Netflix shares hit an all-time high of $350 per share.
This would have made my investment worth $350,000 today. Needless to say, I did not have the insight or luck (or likely the money) to buy those 1,000 shares 16 years ago.
So I missed out on that one (and Microsoft, and Amazon, and Apple, and Google, and Facebook), but maybe in 14 years my Twitter stock will have increased 350 times what I paid for it a couple of years ago, making my initial $2,500 investment worth $875,000.
At that point in time, that might buy me a one bedroom condo at the Jersey shore.
I’d call it “Home Tweet Home”.