Pardon Me While I Gloat

And they thought I was nuts.

The last time I bought Apple stock, it was trading for $15/share (July 18, 2002). I bought 100 shares.

Apple wasn’t doing very well back then. Everyone said I was nuts, that I was throwing my money away. I was starting to believe them. I was starting to wonder whether my Mac how-to book writing days were numbered.

Since then, Apple stock has split once (February 28, 2005), turning my 50 shares into 100 shares. And as I type this, it’s trading for more than $110 per share. And, with the exception of two downturns — a small one starting right around the time of the stock split and another larger and longer one starting in January 2006 — it’s been a pretty smooth right up. This chart from my Quicken data file, which I I use to track all my investments, tells the story for the past five years:

Apple Stock for the past 5 years

In the image, the red S’s indicate where I sold stock. The split is also marked, but can’t be seen clearly in this tight graph. I’ve owned Apple stock since 1996 and tend to buy and sell periodically as my personal cash flow varies.

Right now, I’m hoping for another split. I don’t want to sell the certificate for 50 shares that’s in my safe; it’s an old certificate and features the 6-color Apple logo. I don’t know what new certificates look like, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Apple did away with the logo on its stock, too. The certificate is a collector’s item — one currently worth at least $5,500. I’d pull it out and scan it to show it to you, but the safe is locked and I don’t have the combination.

Do they even issue stock certificates anymore? I haven’t gotten one in ages. And I don’t even remember where this one came from. Could it date back to my pre-online broker days? It seems likely.

Anyway, seeing the current price of the stock made me feel like gloating just a little. When everyone else was dumping their Apple stock, a few of the faithful remained — well, faithful.

And right now, that looks like a good business decision, too.

8 thoughts on “Pardon Me While I Gloat

  1. I bought $600 (40 shares) of Apple for my son’s college fund at $14.50. It’s worth over $9,000 today. He starts college this fall. About a week later I had a check written out for another $2,000 but my wife intercepted it… told me I was nuts. The screamin’ and yellin’ lasted for days. That 137 shares that I didn’t buy would have been worth over $30,000 today.

    PS: She’s been harping at me to sell my son’s Apple stock since it hit $45 after the split! She’s been hounding me this week to sell at least half… I think I’ll wait for about two months AFTER the iPhone ships. I figure it will be at $125+.

  2. You need more write offs! You can sponsor me in the BITD Vegas to Reno race now. I’ll advertise your books, Flying M Air, even “condo for sale” on the side of the racecar!

    We can make Jack(?) the team mascot, or maybe that Gila Monster?


  3. I bought some in 2001. I felt the compnay was going to “go somewhere” with Steve Jobs back in control and OSX coming out.

    The hard decision was buying MORE at $85 in March– so far, so good– let’s hope the iPhone is as great as I expect!

  4. Just a quick update, since this post has been getting a bunch of hits lately…I still own that stock. Planned to sell at $300 but have been too busy to send certificate to broker to sell. Also hesitant to part with shares…after all, it has the original 6-color Apple logo on it.

    • I’m waiting for another stock split. Do you know that the stock certificate — really! — that I have in my safe has the 6-color Apple logo on it? If the damn thing wasn’t worth nearly $20K, I could have sold it as a souvenir. It’s also one of the reasons I’m loath to sell.

What do you think?