Bank of America (BAC -0.27%) was one of the hardest-hit stocks in the last major bear market, triggered by a near-collapse of the financial system in the United States. But in the years since, it has also been one of the most impressive turnaround stories -- management has dramatically improved the asset quality and efficiency of the institution, and Bank of America isn't the same bank it was prior to the financial crisis.

Because of its impressive turnaround story, investors who bought during the crisis and held on to their shares have been handsomely rewarded. Here's a look at how investors who bought Bank of America stock in March 2009 have done, and whether now could be another golden opportunity to add the big bank to your portfolio.

Here's what a $1,000 investment in Bank of America in 2009 would be worth now

The bear market fueled by the financial crisis started its decline in 2007 but didn't hit a bottom until March 2009. At that time, Bank of America shares reached a low closing price of $3.14 per share on March 6, as the future of the U.S. financial system was in serious doubt.

Well, Bank of America managed to turn itself around over the next decade or so. Largely under the leadership of CEO Brian Moynihan, the megabank managed to shed troubled assets and doubled down on technology and efficiency. Now, Bank of America is one of the more profitable big banks, is well-capitalized, and has won several awards for its mobile and online technology.

Fueled by this impressive turnaround, Bank of America shares trade for $31.81 as I write this -- more than 10 times their closing low during the financial crisis. But it's also important to mention that Bank of America has been paying and growing its dividend in the years since the crisis. In fact, assuming reinvestment of dividends, Bank of America has produced a stellar 1,110% total return in just over 13 years. That's an annualized return of about 20.7% and means that a $1,000 investment in Bank of America at the lows would have grown to $12,100 today.

Of course, most people who bought shares of bank stocks in the financial crisis didn't time the lows perfectly, but they didn't really need to. Bank of America shares traded for less than $10 for most of the first half of 2009 and even dipped back below $5 in late 2011. In short, there were plenty of opportunities for long-term investors in this era.

Is 2022 another opportunity for long-term investors?

Impressively, these returns are including the recent downturn that has sent Bank of America stock down by nearly 40% from its recent highs. To be sure, there are some good reasons for the recent pullback in bank stocks. Consumer confidence is declining, and this can lead to lower loan demand. Plus, a U.S. recession could lead to an uptick in loan defaults.

However, it's possible Bank of America could actually benefit from the current environment. Management has estimated that a 100-basis-point rise in the interest rate yield curve would translate to an additional $5.4 billion in annual interest income for the bank, and although inflation is high and stocks are down, all indicators show consumer spending is still strong. While investors who buy today aren't getting the same fire-sale valuation we saw during the financial crisis, it's starting to look like a very attractive entry point for long-term investors.