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Digesting Apple's $500 Stocks

A personal explanation why Apple's recent $500 stocks are no fluke.

Stocks. I think I know a thing or two about them. Obviously, I’m not the most experienced person to talk about them, nor am I distinguished with a degree in economics or finance. The only thing I’ve really got is common sense, and that doesn’t say much at all.

Apple’s stocks have now soared to more than $500 a share. Five hundred Benjamins a share. That isn’t chump change. I remember my eighth grade video production teacher telling me how she made a sizeable fortune investing in Apple stocks pre-iPod. That was a while ago, possibly when Apple’s stocks were $2.75 a share; even before the neologism itself was introduced. When you have an 18,000 percent increase in anything, besides your BMI, it’s usually something positive. I don’t doubt she’s a near millionaire now, unless she sold her shares.

That’s the strangeness of this whole situation. Prognosticators and experts from everyone short of Peter Schiff have been wary of Apple’s success. Some even predict Apple’s return to normalcy within the next decade. This is in part an overestimation of Steve Job’s brilliance and an underestimation of the capable and talented executives he left in charge. Simply browsing through comments on USA Today shows the great divide amongst participating amateur economists.

Some say stock holders should sell. Now. When the chips are high. Some say to stick with it, and be there for the even bigger rewards to settle. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t sell. It’s rare that something proven for a substantial period of time would abruptly fall off of the face of the earth. Unless of course, someone disproves Einstein’s [incomplete] theory of relativity – which, by the way, is something you should be on the lookout for.

Apple continues to pump out new innovations and gadgets that don’t need to be sold cheap. It’s kind of like the car manufacturer They don’t make the cheapest cars on the block, but they’ve bred that element of condescension that emanates from their products. Apple has become an accessible luxury, and forced people to believe they need something they don’t need. In much more academic terms, [Apple] has made their products (iPhones, iPods, iTouches, etc) superficially integral.

Whenever a company has reached that plateau, at which the number of Apple gadgets one has dictates one’s wealth, the company has attained success. Success in America is not determined wholly by the cash influx, but also the traffic about the grapevine. Word of mouth and popularity is essential, and Apple is undoubtedly one of the titans of this modern era (along with Facebook and Youtube).

It seems impossible for Apple shares to go even higher than $500, but that’s what we said about $3/gallon gas a few years ago. CNN actually posted a story stating the possibility of $5/gallon gas in our not-too-distant future. What else have we yet to discover? Monumental changes have occurred this past decade, such as Pluto’s demotion and the Middle Eastern revolts. What’s there to say that the impossible is impossible, and that Apple shares won’t soon be topping triple zeroes. As they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  

Stocks are risky, and human choices are destined to fail. Just know that when worst comes to worst, you’ll still have your handy iPhone with you, pre-installed with all the “Angry Birds’” and “Temple Run’s” you need. 

KC February 23, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The big reason that apple shares are so high is that they rarely split, in total they've only done 3. No split means the prices also stay high. The predictors are suggesting a split for Apple and Google are near, and in the case of those stocks a lower price would most likely spike demand post split, giving any existing shareholders a nice boost.
Ed February 23, 2012 at 08:10 PM
It's all about what you think you can get for that $500. At the level of profits Apple brings in, increase in stock prices, and confidence in Apple's ability to crank out products that make people want to spend money, many people buy and keep AAPL.
Debbie L. Sklar February 23, 2012 at 08:12 PM
KC: Nice to have you back. I don't care how Apple does it, I just wish I could afford their stock!
Debbie L. Sklar February 23, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Ed: They make great phones, but I'm still a PC user.
KC February 23, 2012 at 08:56 PM
There is some site out there that tracks the stock price using apple products as investment points to calculate the ROI. If you would have taken the $400 to purchase an original ipod (on launch date) and bought stock you would have a little over $11,000. http://kyleconroy.com/2010/04/apple-stock

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