Have you ever wondered how different your life would be if you’d made just one decision differently?

Well, now you don’t have to guess. Online Trading Academy recently released an Investment Time Machine that illustrates what would have happened if a consumer opted not to buy a common product and instead put the savings into company stock. It’s fascinating to see just how well many of America’s beloved brands have done over the past few decades. In spite of a financial crisis that plunged the country into a severe recession back in 2008, many companies have managed to come out on top long term.

Starbucks Success

For example, if you kicked your daily java habit and put the $520 of annual savings into Starbucks (SBUX) stock back in 1992, you’d see returns of nearly $50K today. That’s a considerable profit considering all you had to do was put a small amount of funds typically reserved for morning coffee into the brand as a whole.

Terrific Tylenol

Or what about Tylenol? Let’s say you practiced meditation or alternative pain management techniques instead of popping a pill back in 1974. If you opted not to purchase a bottle of Tylenol, put $1.50 of savings into Johnson & Johnson stock (JNJ) you’d see profits of $164 today. That might not sound like much, but that would pay for a few months of yoga classes today.

Amazing Amazon

Another example of this can be seen with a one-time Amazon purchase. If in ‘97 you chose to study investing strategies with a friend instead of buying the book Investing for Dummies for $30, you could have put that savings into Amazon stock and grown your portfolio by $5,000. Pretty impressive.

It’s common practice to study trends and speculate on how stocks will grow or diminish over the course of a year or two, but if you think about the items you love today, it could be worth it to capitalize on the company behind the products. Even a small investment can translate to serious earnings later on.

Instead of blowing cash upfront, think about whether you truly need another material possession or if you’d be better off financially if you invested in the brand.

See how different your bank account could look today by checking out the Investment Time Machine online. Which company would you invest in if you could go back in time?