Tuesday I bought two shares of stock in Apple. Something I’d been meaning to do for many years, but for one reason or another I just never did. Of course, when you put things off, sometimes the thing you want quickly climbs out of reach and you have to wait. For a time when it becomes affordable again.
Now granted, I could have bought them a week earlier and ended up with 8 shares right now instead of 2, since Apple just recently split it’s stock 4-1, but to buy those 2 shares at that point would have cost me $1,008. For me, like a lot of penny ante investors, it’s better to wait for something to be affordable, instead of betting the lunch money on something of this nature. As people have often said about the stock market, you don’t put your ‘food money’ into it. Put money that you can afford to lose, because there’s no guarantee you’re going to get rich there.
And over the last couple of days, that’s good advice as from where I bought it ($134) it’s gone down as much as $25 before creeping back up to $120 at the end of business today. From what I’m reading in stock sheets, this is a predictable result of the stock split, and a lot of people getting into the market because of it, expecting large returns, since Apple is such a well known company. Many don’t understand how the markets work, they expect it’s going to be a lot like ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, where you can just jump in, make huge plays and get rich. What people don’t understand is, Jordan Belfort was a scammer, and cheating investors out of huge amounts of money. He wasn’t in any stretch of the imagination a ‘white knight’, he was a pretty low down dirty scumbag when it comes right down to it. Even he admitted that fact.
Needless to say, I don’t play the market to get rich. Quite honestly I’m about as good at picking stocks as I was at playing poker online. I mostly go for blue chip stocks, companies that have been around for a good amount of time (IBM, Xerox, AT&T etc.) and on occasion tech stocks that have had good returns in the past (Amazon, Tesla and yes Apple). The one regret I do have is selling my Tesla stock a couple of years ago. If I’d held onto it (bought it at $60/share) and sold it just before the stock split I would have made $10,000 on my investment. But at the time I didn’t see the stock going anywhere, Tesla wasn’t really touted as being all that much, so I sold the stock when it was worth about $200. I figured I made my best choice and I lived with it. Seeing as Tesla was selling electric cars, it could have very easily gone the other way, since there are lots of other companies that tried to sell that item (Chevy Volt anyone?) and bombed spectacularly.
Even though as a rule I’m not overly thrilled with Apples products, and operating systems (to date I’ve owned two iPods, and iPad and that’s it) I can’t deny the company has been big on innovation. And quite successful as well. Granted Steve Jobs didn’t invent anything, Steve Wozniak was really the brains behind the Mac revolution. Jobs was good at selling, and making himself the face of the company. Even Woz admits that he basically left the company because he wasn’t having any fun with what he was doing there. He took his stipend and went back to coding, and starting other businesses that fed his passion. Jobs stayed in, and it could be argued that he worked himself to death there. But his baby is flourishing. And I’m going to get my piece of the pie. Even if it’s a small slice.