investing · Personal Finance

What Holding Long Can Do

The financial world is replete with articles attempting to preach the virtues of strategies such as value investing, contrarianism, options trading, and growth concentration. Each community maintains a certain level of ideological sway, despite the fact that outcomes are not always grand. In this post I want to consider the notion of holding long using the context of Apple stock, which reveals how sometimes the strategy is not just holding, but holding long enough.

Back in August of 2014, I shelled out the money for some shares of the technological behemoth. This was after its legendary stock split, and opinions diverged as to Apple’s ability to deliver continuously in the future. Over the next nine months, the stock climbed slowly to around $130 per share, and I recall the forecasts suggesting it was time to dump the stock and take profits. My commitment to holding long kept true however, and I did not sell.

A year later, Apple had actually receded to a price of around $90 per share, making my unrealized gain bright and red. Although irritated, I still did not submit the sell order. By the end of 2017, the stock was sitting at $175 per share, and seemed destined to continue rising, so I kept my piece. Apple shot up to over $200 per share the following year, only to get hosed in the December 2018 sell-off, and by January 2019 it hovered in the $157 range. In December of 2019, the stock went above its previous high and rested as neighbors of $270.  

From the tail of July 2020 to this day, Apple has jumped from $380 per share to a whopping $500, bringing my six-year return to over 400 percent. What’s more, the company just announced a stock split which stands to quadruple the number of shares I own. And if that’s not enough, I have been paid a dividend (reinvested of course) for the past half-decade.

Not all holding long stories are like this, and indeed many turn out differently, but it gives one an idea of how the process works. At any time during that long period, I might have decided to take profits, worrying of a later decline or collapse. My failure to be brash resulted in a fat return, albeit over time. This is a theme I will be discussing in a future book on investing. Investments rarely pay off quickly, and oftentimes the jewels take months or years to reveal their shine.

So fire up the brokerage account, be at peace with your choices, and forget about them. It seems to have good outcomes.

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What If Success Destroys You?

Being born in the West – or migrating here and getting steeped in its culture—means meeting certain expectations: you must dive into the rat race, striving for the highest level of education and salary possible. Choosing to be a non-conformist is unacceptable.

But what happens when a person makes that choice? It’s one of the greatest conflicts of liberalism, a matter usually explained away as the fault of mental illness, extremism, or laziness, each reason carefully avoiding any legitimacy. After all, liberalism only works if our lives collectively obsess with growth.

Of course the world is more complicated than the Liberal State likes to pretend, and the cracks are beginning to show. Take this article from our lovely sisters at Hufflepuff. It tells the story of a “model minority” who slaved for years to get into a good school, only to drop out after a few weeks.

Is she a white supremacist? A person struggling with autism? Perhaps an angry misogynist? Some other thing that liberalism can avoid responsibility for?

Apparently not. The young lady was burnt out and destroyed by the stresses and pressure of Liberal Culture. Consider the following quote:

“I knew deep down that I was only following the path designated to me through expectations. I was following the promise of fortune and success as defined by my parents.”

True enough. The fixation she had ingrained on status and material success led to insomnia, stress, and her search for a simpler, albeit not as spotlight-hungry existence. Imagine that.

I would argue liberal superiority is slowly dying. Over the next several decades, we shall bear witness to how successful its maniacal devotion to economic growth, aimless diversity, and atomization has become.