Google > Apple: A Lesson In Value
It happened officially on February 1st, but being late to the part does not diminish its significance for the long-term. Google (GOOG) just recently surpassed Apple (AAPL) as the most valuable company in the world - not larger, but on the whole worth more money. Google is now has a market cap of a whopping $466 billion (more than the annual GDP of most countries). The value of the company has less to do with how much the company's current assets are worth but has more to do with how the company will be able to grow and keep expanding into the future.
This is important to understand when you join the stock market. Before you put all of your money behind a company like Apple, which obviously is great and produces a ton of products, consider it's immediate future: exactly how much MORE can the company do into the future? The long-term growth potential is factored into the value of every stock, so make sure to pay close attention to all that you read.
Google is not necessarily better than Apple and visa versa; this should just be a warning to direct your attention to what makes a company a growth powerhouse. Need proof that performance between the two has been notably different? Check out the changes over the last 5 years; just keep in mind that the new Google stock only started trading a few years ago.