Spectacularly bad Apple advice, revisited

Found in my “save for later” folder…

From Colin Barr’s Wall Street Journal column in the Aug. 4, 2017 issue:

Why It’s Time to Dump Apple

Whatever you do with your post-Dow 22000 stock portfolio, history shows it pays to steer clear of the most-valuable U.S. company.

That’s right, it’s time to sell Apple Inc…

Below: Apple’s share price since Barr’s Aug. 4 column.

Click to enlarge.

The evidence doesn’t look any better for Barr’s thesis today than it did five months ago. See Spectacularly bad advice from the Wall Street Journal

My take: Barr was hardly the only financial columnist giving bad Apple advice last summer. But his was printed in the Journal.

See also: Bumblebee to big to fly

4 Comments

  1. John Kirk said:

    Ah, this was bad advice indeed. But when I read the headline, I thought you were going to list some of the worst suggestions for acquisitions, or product development or the like. To be fair, if you kept a folder on “Spectacularly bad Apple advice” It would be too large to read and probably consume all of the memory in your computer. 🙂

    One of the things that makes Apple so interesting to follow is:

    1) They don’t do things the way other companies do them;
    2) Their patterns seem consistent, but no one seems to ever fully put their finger on exactly what makes Apple a success;
    3) They’ve been wildly successful, but no one seems to be interested in doing what Apple does; and
    4) They’re one of, if not THE largest company in the free world, but no one seems to believe they’re doing it right.

    I look forward to watching Apple confound the “experts” for a long, long, time to come.

    5
    January 11, 2018
    • Fred Stein said:

      Good points John,
      The bull case for Apple is too boring for most journalists, even though Apple’s and AAPL’s performance has been consistent** and spectacular since 2000.
      Plus no one considers potential upside of the “Pod” series, i.e. screen-less devices; or Apple Pay as an entry to financial services; or entry into healthcare, a $3.6T US market and $16T WW. The upside potential may take a decade. It may be just my wild imagination.

      ** FY16, while poor in comparison to FY15. was excellent;;compared to FY14. Any large non-tech company would be happy to have such a two year comparison.

      1
      January 11, 2018
    • Ken Cheng said:

      Companies and pundits and others believe Apple’s success is a magic trick, so there’s no need to understand anything about Apple’s success. It goes back to when Apple was failing, and dropping to 2% marketshare, until Steve came back and put Apple on its recovery. Without Steve, Apple would have failed. With Steve, he pulled a bunch of magic tricks out of his hat, so they recovered. Now that Steve is gone, they’ll eventually revert to their pre-Steve failure pace. So, no need to study a company destined for failure.

      0
      January 11, 2018
  2. Gregg Thurman said:

    “2) Their patterns seem consistent, but no one seems to ever fully put their finger on exactly what makes Apple a success;”

    What Apple does comes from within. It’s a deep conviction that can’t be taught in an MBA program. Other companies “succeed”, as it were, due to strict management of their respective income statements and having a product(s) that are essentially commodities.

    “4) They’re one of, if not THE largest company in the free world, but no one seems to believe they’re doing it right.”

    Apple does do it differently (see above). Others don’t copy Apple because they have nothing within that drives them to do more than manage their income statement.

    For proof, just look at the innovation emanating from the DOW or S&P 500 members. Innovation among the DOW and S&P 500 boils down to incremental improvement that sometimes skips a cycle.

    2
    January 11, 2018

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