This is goodbye

AAPL breakup
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My Breakup Letter to Apple

Dear Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL),

I’ll cut right to the chase: It’s over between us. We had some good times and I’m thankful for that, but the arcs of our lives have led us in different directions.

It’s over.

Look, you know I love you. I still use that old iPod shuffle when I go running for cripes sake. But we’re very different now than when we started … and it’s time to move on.

I’ll never forget the first time we met. It was 2008 and I was in a rough spot. I had done some stock market games in high school but had finally started to have a serious relationship with stocks. I was convinced I could find a life-changing relationship with a publicly traded company, one where we could grow and be happy together with compound interest for 50 or 60 or even 100 years.

You probably think that’s naïve. And maybe it still is. But that’s how I feel.

Of course the stock market proved to be a lot more than I had bargained for, and I began to wonder if I’d ever have a relationship with a stock that lasted more than a few weeks. Some investments reduced me to tears in short order as they took my money and ran. Others were giddy rebound relationships that helped make me whole again, but I knew they wouldn’t last and always left before they got too serious.

I noticed you, of course, but didn’t even consider you in my league. You were around $200 a share at this point and I didn’t think I had the capital.

But we started flirting in 2011 and I started to get confident. So I made my move in the low $400s — and in about a year, you had almost doubled.

I only encouraged you, of course. I bought more — because on paper, you were perfect. I even started telling my friends I would hold you forever — that no stock could ever treat me like you did, and that you could provide for my children and my children’s children.

I should have known then that this would end badly.

Your margins started to slip. You stopped innovating and started iterating. Aside from that dividend and buyback announcement (which seemed to come more from guilt than love), you have never returned any of your capital to me.

Even your best friend Brian White, who always said you were destined for $1,111, admitted he had misjudged you.

I could tolerate it at the beginning, making excuses after that minor crash in mid-2012 and waiting faithfully for you to rebound. But things have really gotten ugly over the past few months and I simply can’t bear it anymore.

I’m still fascinated with you … and maybe I always will be. Your product line is sexy, your balance sheet is strong and your valuation remains very attractive. But I’m tired of telling myself this is just a natural transition from growth to value, or that I see the real you while others on Wall Street are just plain wrong.

The sad fact is that there are other fish in the sea, Apple. And I deserve better returns.

You have a lot to offer, but I think there’s a better investment for me out there — and I’m committed to finding it.

It’s not you, Apple. It’s me.

There’s more to life than a forward P/E of less than 9. And it’s time to say goodbye.

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Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.

As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here. Of course, when he’s alone and the sunlight hits his smartphone just so … he thinks fondly of the time not so long ago when he was long Apple.

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Comments
  • Defiant1764

    Really? How dramatic….are you f***cking kidding me??

    • Tomislav Kustura

      C’mon its funny and entertaining, and it does explain how many AAPL investors feel about now. At the current price of $434, and sinking, AAPL has “only” returned 117% since Feb 2010!!! Pretty damn good, if you were smart (lucky) enough to invest at that time, BUT, if you have purchased AAPL at any time in 2012, you are sending breakup letters and threatening lawsuits…

      • tailhook

        Time to start investing in Microsoft.

        No. Really.

        Nobody else is poised to have the growth they’ll see in the next 2 years. The entire fight is going to be over computing for work, and its likely a significant portion of that will blow back into the markets of Apple and Google for computing for play(mobile, pure tablets).

        Its like a game of Othello that can flip very quickly given Microsofts entrenched stance in the workplace and with people who compute for work.

        As an example, a lot of those workers have iPhones or Androids because they’re great for social networking and computing for play(off hours), but if their computing base shifts to a dual based(app/desktop) enviornment(windows 8).. how long will it be until they want those apps they have in conjunction with their Work, to also work with their Phone? Probably not very long. Hence the blowback.

        The Killer App being Surface Pro. That one product will change everything. Being able to take all of your everything from your modern workplace(Photoshop, CAD Tools, Desktop Publishing, you name it) mobile in a 3 pound package no bigger than a book, while still retaining all the capabilities of any tablet, is insane.

  • Steve

    You buy high sell low? Too late to sell out, isn’t it? Are you one of those “unwashed muppets”?

  • steve jobs

    it is bbry