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Please forgive me as I talk of finances. This may be considered uncouth, but I think it’s an interesting tale to tell.

I had a plan middle of last year: sell my Disney stock (gained through the employee stock purchase plan), and buy Apple stock. Take the money that was doing me no good, and put it into a stock that was doing very, very well. After a certain time, sell the stock and pay off all my remaining debts.

It was my Debt-Free Super Plan! (Long-time readers might remember me discussing this plan here and here.)

When I finally got all the arrangements in order—setting up an online account, selling the Disney stock, getting the funds deposited and transferred and ready to go—I’d missed an opportune time. Apple was at $40ish when I’d decided to do this, $50ish when I finally got all the tidbits in order, and then $60ish when I finally made the purchase. I was a bit peeved that I hadn’t acted sooner to get in on that $40ish price.

And now here I am. At the close of yesterday, Apple was above $186. Incredible. I have been patient, through some dips, only to be rewarded with this excellent gain. I had decided to be a little more patient, wait for the holiday season, when Apple is going to kick some retail ass. Then, in January, when the no-doubt very exciting Macworld announcements create some buzz, finally sell. Poof! Debt-free, including any taxes incurred from this experiment.

Then yesterday, Google announced their own mobile phone OS platform, Android, to be executed and sold with the help of 33 other companies. This, I reasoned, is the kind of thing that sets people to panicking. I’d lived through a few of these kinds of seemingly bad-for-Apple announcements, and Apple had bounced back. But why not get out now, when I was way ahead? This was Google. Google can do no wrong. Only Google can kill Apple! I pondered this last night, and came to a conclusion: Sell! Even if Apple takes a dive and then recovers, how much more is there to gain? Why not sell and be happy that I did so well?

I logged into my online trading account, perused the trade trigger options, and then sat. Pondered. Made sure I was doing the right thing. I set a trigger to go off if Apple sank below $183 today. Was this correct? Smart? Foolish? Whatever the answer would prove to be, I did it. Time to finish gambling with my money. I went to bed, assuming by this morning that I’d have no more Apple stock to my name.

My trigger never took. This morning, Aplpe was up almost a dollar. Then as the day came to a close, I watched my Dashboard widget in wonder until, by the close of the trading day, Apple ended up at almost $192. Impossible! Amazing! What happened?

The Google announcement, once analyzed, is of no consequence. As some guy named Steven Frank says, he’s “never seen so much hot air.” The press today has, in fact, been fairly unanimous: This is a nothing announcement from Google. Nothing is coming. Sure, Google will be releasing an SDK for their new open mobile OS, but no products are due until late next year, and there’s no promise that such products will even ship by then. Whereas Apple has, today, a shipping product that is popular, revolutionary, beloved, and bound to be even better by the time anything comes out of the Android camp.

Read that Steven Frank post, linked above. He’s exactly right. “A 34-company committee couldn’t create a successful ham sandwich, much less a mobile application suite.” Even though I thought last night that Android might be Apple’s Nikon, I thought the touchy markets might not see it that way. Competition is bad for success in some eyes. But this is Apple, and I think people are learning that that means something. Apple can weather competition. It has a strong foothold in the minds of people who love things that just work and look good while doing it. Vaporware from Google can’t challenge Apple. Only later, if or when Android-based product ships, can we judge what might happen.

Tonight I will ponder this: Shall I return to my plan of waiting for the holidays? Or shall I take today’s boost and sell? Is it worth it to me to have some fun finding out how high Apple can go? Or would I be better off on the sidelines, enjoying Apples success while being free of the burden of debt in my own life?

Oh, what will I do?


John Expounded Thusly:

You’re rich! Come visit soon.


Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 • 11:32am • Permalink

The Wren Forum » I Made More Money, Now I’m Poor Expounded Thusly:

So I’ll tell you what I did… […]

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 • 3:31pm • Permalink • This is a Pingback

Steve Expounded Thusly:

Rich as in un-rich! I’ll come visit you on bicycle.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 • 3:35pm • Permalink


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