In 2001, a PowerBook G4 would have set you back $3500. Suppose instead that you had purchased $3500 in Apple stock instead of the computer…that stock would now be worth about $110,000. Even an original iPod’s worth in AAPL ($399) would be worth almost $12,000 today.
[source] Hat tip to Jason, the force behind the invaluable Kottke.org.
I don’t have the nerve to investigate what, say, $500 of Apple stock would have grown into had I purchased it the year I started using Macs, 1985.