The Macalope: Free advice


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The Macalope always warns that he’s not qualified to give investment advice, but having read the rationales used by those who have no such compunctions he’s beginning to wonder if he isn’t being too hard on himself.

Writing for Investor Place, Seeking Alpha contributor Lawrence Meyers warns against investing in Apple.

“Ignore the AAPL Hype – 3 Reasons Apple Stock Is Still a Sell” (tip o’ the antlers to @nolaDB9).

Just three? Sounds like you’re not applying yourself, Larry.

Between strong holiday demand for its products and a newly inked China Mobile Deal, Apple (AAPL)—the fallen-from-grace tech darling …

The whatnow?

… is taking center stage once again.

Or people are just realizing that they were listening to a bunch of idiots when they sold off the stock last year.

But while the deal with China Mobile (CHL) is promising and Apple does continue to make great products, I’m still skeptical that AAPL stock is worth your money in the current mid-$500 range.

Because a proven track record and a strong outlook for future sales can only get you so far.

To start, since the passing of Steve Jobs, I’ve had a ton of concerns over the new CEO of Apple …

Is that a metric ton of concerns or an Imperial ton of concerns? Turns out Tim Cook is not Steve Jobs and you should only invest in companies that have Steve Jobs at the helm, so go ahead and put your money in a mattress.

Our next reason to sell Apple stock goes hand-in-hand with the first: Some AAPL business practices are simply baffling.


How much don’t they understand Apple? Thiiiiiiiiiiis muuuuuuuuuuch:

To start, have you ever noticed that, if you want to buy an Apple product, there are never any coupons?

And what’s a guy gotta do to get serenaded by Bob Mansfield, huh?!

Now you can buy Apple products in Best Buy (BBY) and Walmart (WMT) at a discount.

This is a terrible strategy for Apple stock. I know it’s meant to drive up volume, but it damages the Apple brand and the company image.

The strategy is to put Apple products in geographic locations where Apple doesn’t have stores. Low-grade big box stores fit that bill perfectly and it’s not like they don’t also sell other premium products. An iPhone is an iPhone whether you get it from the Apple Store or Best Buy. It’s just your immortal soul that’s tarnished depending on where you shop.

Toss in the Apple Maps app flop …


… and a pointless iOS 7 update …

Don’t forget it made some people sick.

… and you have reason to question several recent moves by AAPL.

Not good reasons, mind you, but reasons—and when we’re talking about Apple isn’t that enough?

… CEO Tim Cook erases the premium I’m willing to give Apple stock.

And, as Tim Cook is the only person currently working at Apple, this makes perfect sense.

The thing about free advice is that it’s often worth less than what you pay for it.

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