Home >Companies >News >Jeff Bezos shares a note: 2 shares of Amazon bought in 1997 fetches this couple a house

Founded in 1994, Amazon is now one of the most valuable companies in the world. The firm went public in 1997 and has made its founder Jeff Bezos the richest person in the world. Not just the founder, along the way, Amazon has created $1.6 trillion of wealth for shareowners, as mentioned by Bezos in the 2020 annual letter to shareholders.

The wealth created by Amazon includes that of its Chair whereas more than 7/8ths of the shares, representing $1.4 trillion of wealth creation, are owned by others which includes pension funds, universities,401(k)s and others, Bezos said. He shared a note of one such story of a couple who had bought just two shares of Amazon in 1997 and after the exponential growth in value of the company's shares, they are planning to buy a house by selling some of its shares.

For their son's birthday, in 1997, Mary and Larry bought two shares of the book selling company, which was all they could afford at the time, the couple shared in the note. Within a year or so, the shares split 2 for 1, then 3 for 1, then 2 for 2 again, giving them 24 shares.

Several times over the years, their son wanted them to cash in the stock but they always insisted in holding the stock. The couple said that they would tell their son that they would ‘buy’ it from him and then eventually turn around and give it back to him as a ‘gift’.

The letter blurred out the purchase date of the shares. However, as per data compiled by Insider, if the couple bought shares at the closing price on Amazon's initial public offering (IPO) day, it's made 172,499%, after the split-adjusted percentage increase.

Their son is now planning to sell some shares in order to purchase a house. ''After searching for the original certificates, we needed to convert the paper shares into digital before selling them. We noticed that the first share certificate was a very low number. I can’t image how many more shares have been issued since that date!'', the letter by the couple stated. At the end of the letter, the couple said how they wished they had bought 10 shares.

Bezos added that he is approached with similar stories all the time. ''I know people who’ve used their Amazon money for college, for emergencies, for houses, for vacations, to start their own business, for charity – and the list goes on,'' he said.

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