If you invested heavily in Apple around 5 or 6 years ago you’re probably feeling pretty financially savvy. And with the stock up 1,474% since 2003 you very well should. On top of this huge stock gain, Apple is sitting on 20.8 billion dollars in cash and short term investments. I’d like to take a brief moment to put the number 20,800,000,000 into perspective. Around 20.8 billion seconds (659 years) ago it was the year 1349. Right about the same time marked the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, the Hundred Years War, a few serious plagues that wiped out large portions of the population, the invention of a technique called knitting, and Mel Gibson played the heroic character Braveheart, who won Scottish independence from British tyranny. If Apple decided to give you 1 dollar for every second that you are alive, and you live to be 80 years old, they will only have to pay you 2.5 billion dollars. Think that is impressive? Analysts predict the company’s hoard of cash could surge to nearly $30 billion over the next year because of strong sales of computers, iPods, and iPhones. This would put Apple well passed Microsoft’s 23.7 billion dollar bank account. Don’t remember Microsoft? They had that innovative software back in 98’. They were also noted in the 1999 definition of oxymoron: ox·y·mo·ron. Noun. – “contradictory words in conjunction.” see: Microsoft Works. Also see: Government Worker”   So what is Apple going to do with all that money? There are a number of things. For one the company could seek acquisitions (For Microsoft Corp. we will start the bidding at 1 billion dollars do I hear 1 billion dollars?). The market is down, and Apple has the marketing ability to turn emerging technologies into the next big thing. Alternately Apple could take advantage of the dire straits that the major record labels’ are in. Or Apple could simply put some money into raw materials. As prices of everything rise, it would be nice for Apple’s suppliers to stock up. And what if Apple keeps putting it all away? Where they will go only Apple knows. If Apple needs a few ideas for what to do with 20.8 billion dollars, I have some ideas here: With 20.8 billion dollar bills placed side by side Apple could make an 18 foot wide path around Earth’s equator. Or placing 20.8 billion dollar bills end on end Apple could make a path to the moon and back 4 times. Maybe Apple is feeling generous? If so they could give every person on Earth $3.15.