Posts tagged “investing”.

A bite of the AAPL

May 3rd, 2010

About two years ago, I took a dive into the Apple stock pool – with no idea what I was doing. It didn’t take long to learn how over my head I was, but I’ve stuck with it and it’s finally starting to pay off.

My original idea was to invest in a company I care about just when it was about to really break open. The previous year, Apple announced the first-ever iPhone, and I had a good feeling that after Macworld an investment in AAPL stock was a decent idea. What’s the worst that could happen?

AAPL entry point

Then the worst happened, and for two long years I’ve agonized over the stock market like never before.

But now AAPL is cruising at its highest selling price ever, thanks to stellar quarterly numbers, and I could knock out my goal in the next few weeks.

The goal? To make enough off the AAPL stock I own to keep one share and sell off the rest and still make a profit.

In January 2008, I bought AAPL at $189 – just a smidgen under it’s then-high of $200 or so. I bought five shares, meaning I paid $945.

Now, to keep one (currently at $250 or so) and still make money, I need to sell off the remaining four so that I get back something north of $945. If I were to sell four shares today, I would earn more than $1,000. That’s a $55 profit, and I still get to keep a share of AAPL stock.

See how that works?

Why keep one measly share? To have a sense of ownership in a company I respect. It’s not about the money (although it’s fun to make some). It’s about investing in my favorite West Coast computer maker – a vote of confidence.

And confidence is the word lately. AAPL has been on a tear, especially considering the low point it was at a year ago:

AAPL stock low

The little burgeoning investor voice in my told me to buy, and buy a lot, because it can only go up. But my experience after the January 2008 crash spooked me a bit, so I left well enough alone. Now, it’s paying off.

My last step is to set a limit price at $290, meaning if the stock hits that number I sell four shares automatically. Also, I’ve set a loss price at $250, meaning if it hits that mark my four shares are sold automatically, too. It’s a sweet spot, that range in between. I don’t want to get greedy, but I also want to ensure I make enough to keep that one share, plus some extra dough on the side.

AAPL investors are demented and depraved.

April 23rd, 2008

Today I learned that, really, I know nothing about investing.

I reached this conclusion earlier today after, despite all the good news that came our way earlier this week, the word “caution” was thrown around on investing sites like a circus midget.

All this before Apple released its second quarter report:

On Tuesday, Shaw Wu, of American Technology Research, cut his rating on Apple’s stock to neutral from buy. Wu called the move “a very tough decision as we have been bullish on Apple for the past several years.” Wu said he had concerns over the run-up in Apple’s share price after it rose more than 45% in the last two months, saying the stock is “no longer inexpensive” as it traded at 32 times his 2008 calendar year earnings estimate of $5.30 a share. Wu also said there is a chance Apple could experience a product “vacuum” as it prepares to launch new products late in the summer, such as a refreshed line of Mac computers and the anticipated launch of a third-generation iPhone that will run on a faster network that AT&T Inc.’s current network.

So, am I to understand that this kind of “concern” comes from…what…Apple being too successful? Or a calm before the 3G iPhone storm?

I just don’t get it. Yesterday it was “Buy AAPL!” Today’s it’s “well, shares are no longer inexpensive” and “results might not meet expectations.”

What we can all learn is that anyone who puts their brain on AAPL stock immediately loses all sense of focus, self, and sanity. Some call it “volatile,” I call it, “we just did some acid and got on E-trade to mess around.” It makes no sense.

That E-trade baby? The one who pukes and jokes and hangs out with clowns? Even that’s funny compared to this.

And I’m not looking at this as a concerned investor who might get his money back after a stupid gamble. What I don’t understand is how a company’s self-worth is determined by one guy whose quotes enter the financial echo chamber and amnesia sets in – much as a black-out drunk forgets the night before – and everyone behaves as if the day before never even happened.

Have these people no sense of decency? Is this why Alka-Seltzer does so well in the American marketplace? Is it any wonder why Prozac remains in production?

Speaking of Prozac, I think mine’s wearing off…

We’ll see how the shit-fit settles in tomorrow’s market. In the meantime, consider my investing waywardness and day-trading daydreams officially over.

Beware of darkness.

January 23rd, 2008

Apple stock prices fall.


Turns out the recent price drop in Apple stock is a good lesson in day trading.

I wasn’t too worried, even after yesterday’s stock market weirdness. But then last night investors dumped their Apple stock in after-hours trading.

So much for my great idea to cash in before Macworld.

So my five shares are worth about $50 less than they were a week ago, but I’m not going to panic. Investing is long-term, and it’s the false Apple fan that dumps his stock on the first sign of bad news. Sure, it’s the economy stupid, but it’s also Apple. They find a way back.

Buying stock in Macworld 2008.

January 14th, 2008

Steve Jobs introducing the iPhone at Macworld 2007.

My GCal countdown says “1 day until: Macworld.” The time is almost here, and every Apple fan knows it.

But unlike last year, there’s no oh-my-dear-sweet-Jesus news waiting for us. At least that’s what everyone, like John Gruber at Daring Fireball, thinks:

And so what I’ve noticed over the years is that in the week or so prior to a keynote, if expectations are running too high, word somehow gets out, at least to the press. What made last year’s pre-Expo prelude so electrifying is that while speculation was rampant that Apple would announce a phone, there was no one — no one — saying “Well, that’s not what I’ve heard.” When, in the face of white-hot speculation, Apple goes totally silent both officially and privately, that’s when they have something big.

Things were dead quiet last year. And they seem pretty quiet again this year. Donning my Cupertino-Kremlinology hat, I can’t help but see last week’s week-before-Macworld debut of brand-new Mac Pros as a hint that their keynote announcements plate runneth over. But there’s a big difference this year — last year, speculation was running rampant about one particular thing, “the phone”; this year, not so much. The consensus rumors and guesses are interesting but not earth-shaking.

In a mild/medium/hot scale, where mild is a lame keynote that’s mostly a “state of the Apple Union” address and hot is a major new product along the lines of the iPhone, my gut feeling is that we’re looking at a medium — spicy enough to be enjoyable, but not one for the ages.

Meanwhile, over at AppleInsider, the Newton drumbeat goes on. They say “Newton 2.0” won’t be coming at Macworld 2008, but it’s “remains a work-in-progress, according to people familiar with the matter.” I think the Newton 2.0 rumor is still pie-in-the-sky mythmaking, especially considering that Apple has two items that could serve as light-weight PDAs. The iPod Touch and iPhone may lack the handwriting technology, but they’ve got just about anything else you’d need.

Anyone want to place bets? I already have. I just plunked down about $850 for five shares of AAPL, courtesy of ING’s buy-out of ShareBuilder. Apple’s stock was over the $200 mark for the first time about a week ago, and now it’s dipped to about $172 a share. Well I’m putting my money where my mouth is, and investing in a company I have great faith in.

Even if this Stevenote isn’t as big as last year’s, my money says it’ll be enough to keep Apple in the spotlight.