The Question That Continues To Haunt Me: Sell Apple Stock To Take Profits Or Let It Ride?
I have written several articles recently about my Apple (AAPL) stock trading actions. The stock has had a roller coaster ride throughout 2008, plummeting close to 40% to start the year then making most of that back over the last few months. The true believers, myself included, bought more stock near the lows several months ago. The question that I sit up at night thinking about and have been for a while now is if and when should I take profits in this stock?
Why Do I Always Talk About Apple?
I feel it is necessary to address this question before we move on. First, Apple is an interesting stock and an interesting company. It is a stock I personally own. It is a stock that moves significantly in both directions. Lastly, just because Apple is the example used in this discussion, the same issues can apply to other stocks in your portfolio. If you don’t own this stock specifically, then pay attention in case a similar scenario arises for one of your positions.
My Recent Activity
In my previous articles, I have noted my recent selling a portion of my position in Apple. I have justified these actions by telling myself that it is never a bad idea to ring the register and realize my profit. Until I ring the register, the profit is only on paper.
Fundamentals in the company have had no part in my decision to sell the stock. I am still a believer that the long term Apple story is in tact for many reasons that you can read all over the internet (I won’t detail here). However, this is a stock that moves in heavy momentum to the upside and to the downside. Will the stock be higher in two years? Probably. But I feel the market conditions are creating an environment where the stock needs to pull back first.
Ideally, a pull back to the $150 range would be beautiful. I would buy up as much as possible in that range. In the move to take a profit, I risk the stock going up further and missing out on potential additional gains. This is why I have been reducing my position in small chunks. I still have more than half of my original position in the stock; therefore, I am well poised to take advantage of more moves to the upside.
I have over-traded in the past, as detailed in my previous analysis of my Apple trades, but I don’t think I am over-trading by taking profits after a big run in the stock such as what we have experienced in the last few months.
I am still long Apple, just not as much as before. I will be watching intensely to see what happens with this stock in the near term and in the long term. Whatever happens, I will learn from my trading decisions one way or the other.
Related Apple Discussion
- The Case For Cash
- Took Some Profits in CHK and AAPL
- Will Apple Release an LCD TV?
- Finding Buying Opportunities: An Analysis of My Apple Trades
What are your thoughts on this question about selling Apple? Join the discussion by adding your comments.