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What was the better advance in 1985: Super Mario Bros or Apple stock?

Wanna hear article disgusting? A best copy of on the NES was just sold at bargain for $114,000.

Admittedly, it’s one of the most affecting games ever (it introduces Mario to the world) and the specific copy was given a 9.4 grading, which means it’s in near-perfect condition. Oh, and there’s some weird technicality about a agenda hanger tag that makes it super rare. But still… $114,000?

This got me cerebration — how good of an advance would it have been buying a copy of and abrogation it about safe for 20-odd years? Well, I’m going to find out.

After a bit of consideration, I absitively that the best thing to analyze it to is Apple stock. The Cupertino aggregation has been the angel of investors for years now, with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owning $91.3 billion of it, making up 43% of its portfolio.

So, let’s find out which would’ve been a better investment.

I couldn’t find a specific US absolution date, but was launched in Japan on September 13, 1985 — so I’m going to use this date.

After a bit of digging, I found the rough price range of NES games from a print issue of Electronic Games Monthly:

NES games super mario bros cost on release

Now, as was a flagship title, let’s just assume that it was one of the most big-ticket games on the NES. That means it would’ve had a retail cost of $49.99.

Next? Well, we need to find out how much Apple stock cost on September 13, 1985. Which I did:

Apple Stock 1985 super mario bros

It closed at $0.281250 on that day, acceptation $49.99 worth of it would leave us with 177.74 Apple stocks. 

Not bad at all.

In terms of dates, the $114,000 copy of sold on July 10, 2020. At close on the same day, a single Apple stock was worth $383.679993.

This means your 177.74 Apple stocks were worth $68,196.14 last Friday. Oof.

Yep, the mint action copy of is worth $45,803.86 more than all those sweet, adorable stocks.

But don’t tear up your advance portfolio just yet (I know how close you were), as this is a bit of a blip for two reasons: one, the rarity of this specific copy of the game and two, stock splits.

Let’s look at the rarity first.

A bit of browsing on Price Charting shows that even an unopened copy of normally only goes for, on average, $298.26.

super mario bros new price chart
Of course, there’s a fair amount of aberration here and none of these new copies were clearly graded, but hey, it gives us an idea.

So yeah, if you were cerebration of branch to your parents’ loft to try and find that beat-up copy you used to play with your siblings, and make a killing, you might be disappointed.

Now, onto the stock splits.

Basically, this is what happens when a aggregation divides its absolute shares so there are more of them. Apple has done this four times since 1985. The long and short of it acceptation that if you held 177 when was released, you’d absolutely have 9,912 now.

So, rather than the $68,196.14 we mentioned earlier, you’d be sitting on $3,803,036.09*.

Which — in case you were apprehensive — is quite a lot more than $114,000.

Anyway, let’s wrap this up and answer the question: what was the better advance in 1985 out of and Apple stock? If you’re a boring stock splitter tracker, then Apple, easily.

But if you love to ride free and easy on the wind? With truly basic (read: incorrect) maths? Then 

Yes, it’s a shame, but I think what I want to say is this: suck it, Buffett.

*Note: I didn’t annual for assets because, literally, you cannot make me. Just be happy with what you’ve got.

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Published July 13, 2020 — 14:42 UTC

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