After years of speculation about whether or not Apple would be the first company in the world to achieve a trillion dollar market cap, the day finally arrived yesterday.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was a big winner, having made its first purchase of AAPL stock in 2016 – buying a billion dollars worth in 2016, at less than half of today’s value …

The WSJ reports that the conglomerate eventually reached a total investment of around $30B – a stake now worth almost $50B.

Berkshire steadily increased its stake, investing more than $30 billion between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2018, according to FactSet and company filings. Berkshire’s Apple holding was its largest equity investment as of March 31 and would be worth nearly $50 billion based on Thursday’s price.

The largest combined investors are US mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, totalling almost 1.1B shares worth close to $220B.

The exchange-traded fund, or ETF, with the most Apple stock is State Street Corp’s $274 billion SPDR S&P 500 ETF , the biggest fund of its kind globally and one of the world’s most traded securities. It holds 55.8 million Apple shares […]

Index fund giants including Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street are among Apple’s biggest shareholders […] The three fund firms have a combined Apple stake of almost 16%, spread across dozens of mutual funds and ETFs.

One perhaps surprising investor is John Scully. Having fired Steve Jobs in 1985, he began increasing his stake in the company when the co-founder returned. He said that the stock buyback program was a powerful incentive to stay invested.

Just like Apple locks in loyalty with its beautiful marketing and products’ ease of use, it now has a financial strategy that locks in shareholders.

At the smaller end of the scale, a former employee of an Apple reseller, Mark Coughlin, was given shares as part of his reward package in 1980 and 1981. At the time, accounting for stock splits, his 1000 or so shares were worth 51 cents each; today they are worth $207 each. He said he ended up buying because he believed in Steve, eventually ending up with 60% of his net worth in AAPL.

My financial adviser has scolded me every year for 15 years about it, but I was sold on Jobs as a person, who I’d met in those early years, and was a believer in him. If something terrible happened, my paper loss would be huge but I would still be way ahead. It’s done pretty good by me.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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