It’s tough to remember how Apple developed into a company that is one of the most valuable in the world and one that right now makes more money in a given quarter than any but a handful of companies in history.
Before the iPhone or iPad were even in pre-production, you could see that the key to owning Apple was its developing ecosystem/platform. I was writing and talking about how Apple would eventually sell a “iMiniMacBookPro For Your Pocket” cellphone (what they eventually called the iPhone). I’d owned Apple since March 2003, and the company’s iPod/iTunes eco-system/platform was just getting started. There was no iPhone or iPad, but anybody who studied technology revolutions could see that Apple’s ecosystem approach was going to evolve into something much bigger and better as it moved towards critical mass and was locking in millions of new customers to their ecosystem with the runaway success of the iPod.
A very long-time TradingWithCody.com subscriber sent me the clip from an old appearance of mine on CNBC talking about Apple’s future.
The clip is from 2006, a full seven years ago. I hit on some key themes that played out for Apple, Google, Lion’s Gate and the entire Technology Revolution. (Side note, I remember that the morning of that interview CNBC forgot to send me a car service to pick me up at 6am for the 6:45am appearance, and my hair is sopping wet in the interview because I walked most of the way in the rain to the appearance as no cabs were anywhere to be found.) Apple, which in that clip I explained was “set up as the biggest beneficiary of what’s going to be an incredible tech revolution,” was, at the time of that interview, trading at about $70 a share. My other picks, Google was at $400 and Lion’s Gate was at $9. All are up huge from those levels back in the day. Microsoft, which at the time had been my biggest long soon ran from $26 to nearly $40 a share when I sold it as I closed my hedge fund to do TV full-time.
I even panned Sprint and said it was in big trouble because it wasn’t positioned properly for the revolution — it was at $17 a share back at that time. It’s at $5 or so now.
Great investors and traders will tell you that you’re striving to get more trades right than wrong over the long-term and that if you manage your money effectively as you do that, you’ll end up very successful. Lord knows I’ve made and continue to make my fair share of bad calls. But realize too that even though in that very clip I was right about the fundamental and technological roadmap and the stocks best positioned for it, each of those stocks at one point was down big for a many months or even years at a time.
All this is to underscore how important several of our rules really are:
- Analyze and invest in the very best technology revolution drivers you can find.
- Trade around the near-term fluctuations.
- Believe in your analysis even when the markets don’t.
- Know the importance of eco-system/platform.
So, back to Apple (and Google) today and how all this applies. One stock is currently at a 52-week low and one is near all-time highs. Both are continuing to runaway as the de fact standards for the smartphone/tablet/content revolution. I mentioned in yesterday’s TradingWithCody.com/Chat:
Motion-gesturing, holographic and/or projectory imagery, wearable computing, common-language interaction, and content licensing are all growth areas for Apple to drive innovation and continue to build their ecosystem and lock-in the world’s consumers and enterprises.
Add in Google Glasses and Google’s on a similar future road map. I’m not sure if Apple and Google will go straight up from these levels (actually, scratch that – I am sure that they will NOT go straight up from these levels), but I do think they remain two key components for any serious investor trying to make big money in the markets as safely as possible.
No trades for me yet today. I’m trying to find us another couple Google’s and yes, another Apple.
Stay “tuned”. Ha.