What $1000 in Nvidia Stock in 2003 Looks Like Today (Wow)

WRITTEN BY Dan Kent | UPDATED ON: November 2, 2023

NVDA Stock Returns

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Nvidia, a powerhouse in the technology sector, has seen significant growth in its stock value over the past 20 years.

Investors who recognized the company's potential early on and bought shares in NVDA have reaped substantial rewards.

As the company evolved, gaining a reputation for innovation in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, its market value skyrocketed.

How rich are you if you bought $1000 of Nvidia stock 20 years ago?

If an investor had bought just $1000 of Nvidia stock (NVDA) 20 years ago, they would be sitting on over $313,000 today. This works out to be a 33% annualized return. Although this isn't as high as Apple stock, it is still significantly higher than the S&P 500.

Here's a chart to highlight how dramatic the returns have been.

NVDA Returns

A history of Nvidia's stock

Two decades ago, Nvidia was a relatively small player in the technology industry. However, its focus on developing cutting-edge technology for GPUs and AI has led to impressive financial growth, surpassing the expectations of many investors and analysts. 

Today, Nvidia stands as the fifth-largest company in the United States by market capitalization, boasting a valuation of $1.1 trillion.

The success story of Nvidia is a prime example of the potential long-term returns offered by investing in the stock market.

Nvidia, a leading technology company specializing in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI), has grown exponentially over the past two decades, offering investors an opportunity to build their wealth by capitalizing on its rapid market expansion.

The stock's price changes tell an impressive story of growth. Nvidia went public in January 1999 with an initial public offering of $12 per share. Over the last 20 years, the company has experienced remarkable share price appreciation, fueled by the demand for GPUs in the gaming, data center, and AI markets. 

As of November 2, 2023, Nvidia trades at a significantly higher price than its initial offering, turning a small initial investment into a substantial sum for long-term investors. 

Comparison with the S&P 500

Compared to other investments like the S&P 500 or gold, Nvidia has consistently outperformed these traditional benchmarks. The S&P 500, an index measuring the performance of 500 of the largest companies in the United States, has provided consistent returns for investors over time.

However, the gains from investing in Nvidia stock have been considerably higher than those generated by the S&P 500. In fact, you can barely even notice the S&P 500 return line.


Similarly, when comparing Nvidia's growth with the performance of gold, an age-old store of value and investment vehicle, Nvidia's returns become even more impressive. 

While gold has increased in value over the past two decades, it has not kept pace with the rapid growth exhibited by Nvidia's stock.

Factors Driving Nvidia's Growth

Role of AI and GPUs

Nvidia's growth has been driven by multiple factors, including the increasing importance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and graphics processing units (GPUs).

GPUs are the backbone of many AI applications, including deep learning algorithms and high-performance computing. These technologies are crucial in various emerging fields, such as virtual reality (VR), self-driving vehicles, and generative AI. 

Nvidia's innovative range of GeForce, Quadro, and Jetson GPUs has not only provided visual computing technologies but has also enabled the company to tap into these growing markets effectively.

Gaming and data centre markets

Another significant driver of Nvidia's growth is its strong presence in the gaming and data centre markets. Gaming has always been a massive industry, and recent years have seen a considerable demand for high-performance gaming GPUs.

Nvidia's GeForce GPUs have found immense popularity among gamers for their exceptional graphics performance. Additionally, the launch of the GeForce NOW cloud gaming service has further solidified Nvidia's position in the gaming market.

The data centre market also holds promising prospects for Nvidia, with the increasing adoption of GPUs by cloud service providers (CSPs) and the growing need for high-performance computing (HPC) solutions.

The company's data centre platforms have become the go-to solution for both CSPs and large-scale organizations looking to address this hyperscale demand. Their focus on computing and networking has enabled them to make significant strides in this sector.

Innovations and future prospects

Nvidia's commitment to innovation has been instrumental in its robust growth. By continually pushing the boundaries of GPU technology and expanding its product offerings, the company has cemented its position as a leading tech giant in the semiconductor industry.

One such example is the acquisition of Mellanox in Fiscal 2021, which contributed to the growth of their computing & networking revenues.

As Nvidia continues to explore new frontiers in technology, its prospects also seem promising. The rapid advancement of AI, VR, and self-driving vehicles, in conjunction with rising chip demand and chip prices, can potentially drive Nvidia's growth even further.