Astronomical Amazon

Amazon is now easily the most recognized online retailer in the world, seemingly selling everything and anything.

While the impact of profoundly questionable government sanctions around the world in response to Covid-19 has powered Amazon shares this year to all-time highs because of its all-embracing online presence, it should be noted that Amazon has been moving rapidly and comprehensively around the world to establish its global dominance - and not only in retail.

These days its future growth is all about branching out and investing heavily in fast-growing sectors to become a market leader in cloud computing services [AWS] and Artificial Intelligence solutions; both applications that also significantly support its massive retail presence.

Many questions are currently being asked in the corridors of power worldwide as to Amazon's almost overbearing presence, not least its payment of local taxes or non-payment, as it is alleged.

In the USA, it goes further since founder Jeff Bezos also happens [quite separately to Amazon] to be the owner of the respected national broadsheet, The Washington Post [bought in 2013 for $250 million] and its pro-democratic party slant.

President Trump [or maybe now ex] has often singled out Jeff Bezos and the influence of his multifaceted empire as something of national and international concern.

After an early career and apprentice in technology applications and related investment banking, Bezos founded Amazon with vaulting ambition and some family financial assistance amounting to a few hundred thousand $ in 1993 as an online bookseller.

Based in Seattle, it was always Bezos's intention to expand beyond books with the ambition of becoming the world's largest online retailer.

In recent years he has occasionally been selling into the rapidly escalating stock price to finance his space travel projects and other ventures, but as of this publication, he still retains a 10% stake in Amazon.

Bezos is worth somewhere near $200 billion, making him the wealthiest individual on the planet as Amazon at $3300 = $1.6 trillion and again nudges to a nearly $2 trillion market valuation to reach its all-time high, achieved in September at $3550.00

The Amazon IPO was at $18 on May 15th, 1997, raising $58 million, capitalizing the entire enterprise at $438 million. Adjusted for subsequent multiple bonus/scrip/split issues that would now equate to $1.50 which we will use from hereon as it illustrates the massive increase in value to a shareholder more clearly than any other measure.

Some weeks after launch, the shares drifted below its IPO level and touched its lowest price at $1.31.

At the crazy peak of the dotcom bubble in December 1999, it was trading at $113.

Subsequently, in the blood bath bust that was the collapse of the dotcom era, it dropped 95% to $5.51 in late 2001

Thereafter it took till 2009 to regain the $113 high of 1999.

But patience is a virtue and often favors the brave.

From 2009 to now, the share price rise can only be described as both parabolic and stratospheric, unlike anything witnessed at any time before in the history of stock markets.

To put it in another context, $10000.00 invested in Amazon at the $1.50 [$18.00] IPO price today would be worth around $15 million.

There is a lot to be said about patience and long-term investing.