Originally Posted by digitalclips
AAPL 400 .... soon!
Originally Posted by Olternaut
How does the non-business geek invest in tech stocks? Is it simple as going to a website? What should I look out for and how much cash is reasonable to invest in a stock like Apple and still consider it disposable? I mean, for the investment to be worth it how many shares would I have to look at buying?
Without knowing your age, family structure, income, other savings, investments, assets (like a home), debts, investment goals, risk tolerance and more - there's no way anyone can responsibly give you an exact answer to that question.
Your financial life is a 3-legged stool: Fiscal assets
(stocks and bonds, either held individually or in mutual funds/ETF's), Real assets
(homes, land, gold, collections) and Monetary assets
(cash, savings, CD's) and wise investors know they need a balance between the three that works for them.
I've pursued a "get rich slowly" strategy of widely diversified mutual funds since 1985 and have done quite well, thank you. I started with investing $50/month in a single, broad-based fund. I've never owned a single stock as I feel they're too volatile for the average individual who doesn't follow the markets closely, and dig into every document a company issues. And even if you want to go that route, a rule of thumb is to never put more than a few % of your investments into one egg in your basket.
AAPL may be the rare exception to the rule - and with the perfect 20/20 vision of hindsight wish I'd followed my impulse when it was at $17/share. The broad-based horizontally AND vertically integrated "ecosystem" we keep talking about here that they've built is unprecedented in the industry. And their buzz and branding is second to none in the world today. But I do own a number of funds who own fair amounts of AAPL, so I'm in.
Still, what goes up, does come down. The digital and internet revolutions are STILL in their infancy, and the next totally unexpected "insanely great" leap forward could come from anywhere.
The current AAPL team will retire someday, and the "law of reversion to the mean" will exact a toll someday, as the past and current owners of MySpace
found out when a pimply Harvard student started facebook
. There WILL be a next great product that doesn't come from Apple, and eventually, Apple will make a wrong bet. Doesn't mean they'll implode or never get back to leadership, but there WILL be twists and turns over an investor's lifetime.
Originally Posted by melgross
The answers to those questions vary from person to person. One way to invest in an industry is to invest in the leading companies, the cream of the crop. Go to CNN Money online, and open a free account. Join The Motley Fool, also free. Make up lists of stocks you're interested in and track them. You will be able to see stock performance over years, look up financial information, etc. Read the free articles and reports to get some idea of what the thinking is out there, but don't take any one of them too seriously. Remember that past performance doesn't guarantee future performance.
There's a lot more detail I could give you here, but it's a start. I'm heavily invested in Apple, and I'm long, meaning that I'm holding it for at least a year, in my case several years. If I have the cash on hand, I buy more during a downturn, and don't sell when things move upwards.
How much cash can you afford to lose? That's a criterion. If it's $5,000, and you pay attention to what you're doing, then you can invest $15,000, because you would be able to abandon your position before losing a third. That's one way of looking at it.
Agree about CNN, but I'm not much of a fan of the Motley Fool - there's some sound info there - but they're out to sell their own offerings, they hype hot ideas (even while preaching that they don't) and much of their advice is way above the level that neophytes can handle out of context.
Vanguard has a number of excellent, free guides
for new investors based on time-tested principles. Plus they charge the lowest fees of any mutual fund company and their brokerage fees for stocks are fair as well. Fees
are the MOST underrated factor in most people's portfolios - over time 1-2%/year can make a huge difference. Fidelity Investments
has a lot of useful educational tools as well. And both offer a broad array of products suited for all kinds of investors.
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff
'worth it?' You're definitely non-business. Talk to a financial planner. Disposable investments are all about your total portfolio and risk tolerance and not the value of a particular stock.
IMHO, Apple is likely on a 10% per year growth rate over the next 2ish year (400-450 by 2013)... that's the same (and likely less) than the S&P500 and/or Russell 2000. I'm long, and hope I'm conservatively wrong, but that's my analysis;-) My problem is that AAPL is now about 30% of my retirement portfolio. I need to rebalance, but I hate to not dance with the date that brung me.
Notice the technical terms introduced in this reply. Do you really understand all of them? And there's thousands more.
I have nothing against "financial planners" per se - but they're mostly unregulated, and in many states anybody can claim to be one. Further, most work for companies who have particular "financial products" to sell, i.e., their own in-house funds, annuities and more. And nearly every company who uses this model offers a stable of mediocre to poor offerings - but the "planner" makes far more (on commissions) if you buy those, so the planner has a bias to lead you making decisions that are in the planner's interest - not yours! Total conflict of interest.
If you use a financial planner - which is advisable for people who don't want to spend years learning to manage their portfolios - here are two screaming rules: 1. Use a CERTIFIED Financial Planner
(CFP), and 2. ONLY use FEE-BASED planners, and never COMMISSION-BASED ones, i.e., what they make is either a straight-up, out-front fee no matter what they advise you to buy - or if they're going to manage your portfolio over time, that what they make is based on how well they do for you
Originally Posted by syracuse
Apple is a screaming BUY. Pristine balance sheet + 40% margins + tremendous growth. Call TD Ameritrade or Charles Schwab and they will set you up to buy APPL stock, its as easy as setting up a checking/savings account at a bank
Again, respectfully, this person doesn't know you or your situation - so while he could be right, taking a "tout" like this is a shot in the dark. Even if it's Apple.
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff
An Apple Investor (me) wants every store to be sold out at closing, and fully stocked by the next day. wash. rinse, repeat.
I think the key post iPad 2 story will be is laptop cannibalization.... I see growth in laptops to drop 50%. Everyone that needs one has one, and all those people who have one don't need another one.
Samsung, Motorola, BB... they aren't fighting for 2nd place, they're fighting for marketplace relevancy.
This will be a world of home based computing (mac mini's and what ever Dell/Acer/HP/sony sell), and portable computing (Hi End = SSD based laptops, Mid= 'personal internet devices', LE = 'personal comm devices' [aka smarter_than_featurephones]), and home infrastructure (TimeCapsule, AppleTV, Airport Express, free Lion Server OS, airplay and airprint)
Apple is the only company that seems to have leadership/growth/dominance/convergance across all those lines.
Not quite on the rest of my topic (except that you own AAPL), but mostly right on the money about the company.
Except I think that Apple's finally aiming for the Enterprise too - people want to use their favorite tools all the time, and not lug a satchel around for job and home - and they're bringing their Pads, Phones and Pods with them to work every day. IT is feeling the pressure to embrace what their users want, and this time Apple's likely to do quite well in the business computing world - by being on the bleeding edge of mobile tech, not trying to catch up in commodity markets like rack servers.