Recently we were asked by the Wall Street Journal how an investor would have fared if they had 500 shares of AT&T prior to its 1983 breakup and held it through today. As the table below details, it is not such a simple calculation. But we thought the results provide an interesting timeline of the evolution of the telecom industry over the last 20+ years. What was once a dominant American long distance telephone company now spans a panoply of wireline, wireless, domestic, international, and cable businesses.
After all is said and done however (and with the help of our Bloomberg terminal), we calculate that the investment which was worth $30,750 then would now be worth around $123,000 spanning a portfolio of 10 different stocks. Over the same period the investment in the S&P 500 would now be worth $239,000.