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MSFT pays a dividend. Just looking at stock price then vs. now is ignoring that. Very common mistake.

You need to consider both the dividend and inflation; $35 in 2000 dollars is $47 today. In the intervening time, they paid a total dividend of $7.69. I haven’t done the full inflation-adjusted dividend computation, but I would guess that it works out pretty close to a wash, but slightly in the red.

Well, technically it's not inflation you should take into account, but a safe alternative investment, like government bonds. But that probably just makes things worse.

Agreed; I was hewing a bit too close to simplification. The risk-free rate of return is what you really want.

The parent made a good point, this post is just a nitpick that might not even really apply: you don't need to account for inflation when you are benchmarking their performance against APPL and GOOG.

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