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By Rob Wile
May 15, 2017
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Twenty years to the day after going public as a humble online bookseller, Amazon Inc. is worth more than twice as much as Walmart.

Amazon’s current market cap is $466 billion; Walmart’s is just $228 billion.

Amazon has fully come into its own in the past few years. The company has firmed up its position as the most dominant force in online retail, and has arguably become the most important player in retail period. Amazon has also finally found a product, the Echo, that showed it can become a fully diversified tech company (its Fire phone did not work out so well). The soaring popularity of its Amazon Prime subscription service and the ubiquity of its cloud services have also lifted its share price.

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Since May 15, 1997, when Amazon went public, the company’s share price has climbed 39,000 percent, while Walmart is up “just” 406 percent. In other words, a $10,000 investment in Amazon when the company went public in 1997 would now be worth $3.9 million, compared to a little over $50,000 if you’d put the money in Walmart instead back then. Amazon passed Walmart’s market cap in 2015, and has since added a whole other Walmart in value in the ensuing years.

In the process, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has become the second-richest man in the world, and could soon pass Bill Gates for the No. 1 spot.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

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