Apple vs. S&P 500: 2013
Apple vs. S&P 500: 2009-2013



FORTUNE — Apple AAPL as an investment looks very different, depending on your time frame.

This could explain why long-term investors tend to be happy campers. More recent arrivals, not so much.

People who tried to beat high-frequency trading algorithms in the Apple options markets may never come back. See The rise and fall of Andy Zaky.