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Why I Sold Apple Today

After 20 years of owning shares of Apple Inc. at my company, Virtue LLC, I have decided to sell.

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I have been an Apple shareholder for nearly two thirds of my life. First as a member of Virtue LLC in the 90s and as CFO of the company for the past 10 years. I have made countless decisions to not sell Apple's stock over that time, but today I decided that a 20,000% gain in 20 years was plenty. I believe the risks to owning the stock outweigh the potential benefits in the near term. I will now provide some reasons that lead me to this decision.

The Board of Directors Keeps Selling Shares

Image courtesy of Etrade

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, has sold 90.000 shares of Apple Inc.'s stock this year, netting him over $10 million in cash. What's the big deal? He is paid primarily in stock and his bonus was slashed after Apple failed to grow revenues in 2016 for the first time in 13 years. What is concerning about this is how close to the company's earnings release tomorrow that these sales have occurred. This is not a vote of confidence from the head of the company.

Tim's sales still leave him with just under 1 million shares, which is still a large position. What really bothers me is that Luca Maestri, CFO of Apple Inc., only owns 422 shares of the company. Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, only owns 1464 shares. Even Phil Schiller halved his position last year. I woke up this morning owning more shares in Apple than people who have worked there for over 20 years! Why should I have more faith in the company than people who know their product roadmap and potential revenue drivers?

Do They Really Make the "Best Products" Anymore?

Over the past few years, Apple's quality has diminished across their product line. This is most notable in the MacBook Pro line, which solved problems that didn't exist in their 2016 update. The Touchbar replaced the row of function keys (as well as the escape key) with a multitouch display for software keys. The new MacBook Pro also removed the SD card reader and replaced all the ports with USB-C, a decision that has created a plethora of dongles to do anything from connecting the computer to ethernet to connecting iPhones or iPads. The computer costs over $4000 with maximum specifications, but includes hardware inferior to higher-end PC laptops that consumers could purchase for half of the price.

It isn't just the Mac. iPhone has more competition than ever before. iPhone is the largest segment of Apple's revenue, comprising 60% of total annual sales. Sales growth came to a halt in 2016. Another design misstep was the decision to remove the headphone jack in the phone to allow for higher waterproof certifications. No problem on the surface, but the company failed to realize that customers could no longer listen to music while charging their phones using the packed in lightning to headphone adapter. This kind of design oversight is troubling to long-time Apple users. At the iPhone Special Presentation last year, the company bragged about the courage it took to make such a bone-headed design choice. 

Apple Inc. seems to be coasting on the legacy of Steve Jobs. This was extremely apparent when they released a book to pat themselves on the back about their insanely great product design. Designed by Apple in California starts at $199 and contains impressive pictures of great Apple products from throughout their history. There is nothing wrong with this book, but it is hard not to look at the company as arrogant when they make two seemingly bad design choices in 2016 and follow them up with a book about how great they are. 

Some of Apple's products are still great and they offer an awesome user experience with continuity across their products, but there are better products available for less money in almost every case. This is a problem that can't be ignored any longer.

The Stock Market is Nearing a Meaningful High

This cover of Barron's that ran over the weekend is reminiscent of past tops of the US stock market. The Dow Jones Industrials Average Index is up nearly 13,000 points (around 200%) from the lows of 2009. We are in the 8th year of the bull market that began in March of 2009. This is not the time to call for another 50% of upside, in my opinion.

Apple is one of the largest stocks in the Dow as well as the largest component of the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite indices. No matter how great of a company they are, the stock will be victim to market swings. Much of my decision to sell Apple comes from my strong belief that the US stock market is due for some pain. 50% of a stock's direction is governed by the broader market direction and I believe the business cycle is turning for the worse in the United States.

Adding to my concerns is the current administration at the helm of the US government. You have to have a lot of faith to believe that the policies of our current president are going to inspire confidence in markets. Volatility spiked today on the back of the panic and fear caused by President Trump's executive order banning Muslims from certain countries from coming into our country. The President has irresponsibly tweeted about companies and industries and has signaled a desire to create tariffs on foreign trade partners. It is not out of the realm of possibility for President Trump to engage with China in a trade war. Tariffs and taxes on Chinese-made goods would be a huge negative for Apple Inc. and a lot of other US multinational companies.  Nearly 60% of the S&P 500's revenues come from overseas, and an increasingly protectionist trade policy will not be a positive for the markets in the near term. To put it simply, the potential long-term upside to owning stocks is not that compelling when compared to the downside if things continue to worsen in the near term.

The Law of Large Numbers

Apple is a massive company. It is the largest publicly traded company in the world with a market capitalization over $600 billion. The company had $216 billion in sales last year, which is outstanding, but it creates a problem for them going forward. Apple Inc. experienced a decline in sales in 2016 for the first time in 13 years. This is understandable given the meteoric rises of both the iPod and iPhone product lines, but it highlights a huge risk. Let's say Apple can create another amazing product and it generates $20 billion in new sales. That would only give them top line revenue growth of around 10%. It is safe to say that the stock's best days are behind it, unless they can somehow gain market share in product categories that are rapidly being commoditized by other competitors. 

What if I am Wrong?

I have been an Apple bull for my entire adult life. I identify as a product evangelist and I wrote this article on my MacBook Pro. I love Apple. I love its products. I love what it stands for. They are truly one of the most innovative tech companies in history and I have been on record as saying that I don't believe we have seen the last of Steve Jobs' inventions. 

Right after I sold Apple's stock today, I turned around and bought $120 strike call options expiring in 2019. This is a strategy called "stock replacement." Basically for each 100 shares I sold for around $12,100 today, I bought 1 call option for $1600. This allows me to participate in the upside above where I sold the stock while risking way less capital. I pocketed around $105/share while still participating in the upside. If the stock closes above $136 per share in January of 2019, I will be in the money. If not, at least I didn't risk the other 87% of my previous position. If Apple has not shown any signs of growth by 2019, I won't want to be a shareholder anyway. If they do unveil something amazing and magical, at least I will get to participate in the upside with the same exposure as I had before liquidating my shares.

This was a difficult decision for me to make, but I believe it is a good time to decrease risk. I believe that Apple will still be a fine company for years to come, and maybe I will be able to buy shares back at a lower price when (or if) the stock market takes a turn lower. This was the prudent decision for someone who's wealth was tied to one company. I preach diversification and yet my portfolio was 90% Apple. I am relieved to have finally exited this position with a gain of 20,000% in 20 years and I kept 10 shares at a basis of 60 cents/share for sentimental value. I will forever be grateful to all of the people who have worked at Apple and all of the customers who keep supporting the company by buying their products. I look forward to this next chapter of my life with a feeling of freedom and relief.


Full Disclosure:

At the time of this article, Asif A. Khan, his family members, and his company Virtue LLC had the following positions:

Long Apple via AAPL shares and options

Asif Khan is the CEO and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    January 30, 2017 3:30 PM

    Asif Khan posted a new article, Why I Sold Apple Today

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 3:37 PM

      Are you hunting new opportunities or just sitting on it for a bit in the hopes that the market starts making a bit more sense soon?

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      January 30, 2017 3:43 PM

      No one should be paying attention to the DJIA anyways. Who gives a shit if it hits 20,000 points? It doesn't reflect the market accurately.

      • reply
        January 30, 2017 3:48 PM

        The new Macbook pro is such a debacle

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      January 30, 2017 4:07 PM

      Are you still holding on to Nintendo?

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      January 30, 2017 4:24 PM

      An apple a day keeps the doctor at bay

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 5:55 PM

      Awesome article!

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      January 30, 2017 6:11 PM

      Love these articles btw Asif, one of the best things about nushack.

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      January 30, 2017 6:21 PM

      That share replacement strategy is a nice idea.

      I really liked the Barron's canary in the coal mine.

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      January 30, 2017 6:31 PM

      "...the company failed to realize that customers could no longer listen to music while charging their phones using the packed in lightning to headphone adapter."

      You really think Apple didn't know that people couldn't charge their iPhones?

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        January 30, 2017 6:39 PM

        "The computer costs over $4000 with maximum specifications, but includes hardware inferior to higher-end PC laptops that consumers could purchase for half of the price."

        This is a very tired argument. People have been saying the same thing about Macs for the past two and a half decades. I like the article because it points out the declining stake in the company by executives, but these two points are the weakest part of it.

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          January 30, 2017 6:40 PM

          Before you scarified on build quality, even though you got parts. That is no longer the case.

          You can still argue that Apple has better customer support, though.

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            January 30, 2017 6:56 PM

            I disagree completely about build quality. In the recent past I found myself repairing a large number of computers for people and just about the only Macs I saw were hopelessly out of date (1st/2nd gen Apple intel transition or older) but were still trucking especially with a RAM or SSD upgrade. The Windows laptops that were sold were a ridiculous hodgepodge of manufacturing errors or poor design decisions that make the complaints about the new MBP look silly. The worst was a cheap chromebook-esque notebook that was sold with so little built-in storage that you couldn't even install all of the needed windows updates. All of the Windows machines I saw were plastic shit from HP, ASUS, and co that couldn't handle day to day usage. Even the high end "gaming" laptops were terrible.

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              January 30, 2017 6:58 PM

              Yup. I still can't justify buying a non-Apple laptop because of the issues you mention

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              January 30, 2017 7:16 PM

              All that really tells me is that you serviced cheap laptops :( Some people indeed go for the cheapest they can get away with, but the options are there.

              HP, Microsoft, Dell, all offer aluminum chassis now and some outdo Macbooks in terms of features, including having ports people use.

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                January 31, 2017 3:02 AM

                Eh I use a $1200 HP Elitebook for work, and it's a nice machine but it still doesn't really compare to Apple in terms of the quality of the case design, trackpad, keyboard, speakers etc.

                The size of the price premium Apple are demanding for it has become really ridiculous, but if you ignore that their hardware is still a step ahead of the pack.

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              January 30, 2017 11:17 PM

              You're only describing the lowest end sub 100-400 dollar laptops. Take a look at the 600+ segment and then compare

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                January 31, 2017 5:42 AM

                Can you give examples? I've used several fairly expensive laptops and they're still not as good as MacBooks or honestly even close.

                I have a newer Thinkpad now and besides looking like something for the 1990s, it still has an awful trackpad!

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                  January 31, 2017 7:39 AM

                  Surface pro, hp spectre, dell xps 13/15, lenovo x1

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          January 30, 2017 6:41 PM

          yeah lamenting Mac stuff is very tried at this point, especially in the context of how to follow up the iPhone's incredible success and growth. It certainly isn't by giving outsized attention to a tiny minority share on a platform that has long ago peaked at orders of magnitude smaller than the iPhone.

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        January 30, 2017 8:25 PM

        I'm not sure why this would be a common use case? You get like 30+ hours of music playback. Battery isn't even a consideration while listening to music.

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          January 30, 2017 8:32 PM

          It definitely isn't ideal if you're using the out of box headphones. I ran into issues many times whenever I wasn't using Bluetooth. Especially in the car where you want GPS and charging and to plug into an auxiliary port.

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      January 30, 2017 6:42 PM

      dognose is happy.

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      January 30, 2017 6:44 PM

      I broke down and bought a MacBook Pro 15. I pretty much maxed it out except for the SSD. I saw I could get really good money for my old one and I figured I might as well.

      So, I can take the cosmetic changes. I miss the "bong" of startup and the lighted Apple emblem. I'm getting used to the obnoxiously loud keyboard and ridiculously large trackpad. But there are some changes I don't get. My old MacBook Pro was all curved surfaces. The new one has slots and grooves on the bottom that actually catch your hand and fingers. They feel sharp. Even the little slot where you open the computer is actually very sharp. I still have no use for the TouchBar. It seems pretty pointless and most of the time, it's either just the old function keys or replicating some dialog on the screen that I would have mouse clicked anyway.

      But the worst change by far is the new power cord. It's just horrible, for an Apple product. The cord is stiff, it doesn't come with the extender anymore, and of course, it doesn't have MagSafe. You don't really realize how nice MagSafe was until you don't have it anymore.

      This machine is certainly faster than my old one, but it's not really in the same segment anymore. The old one was pretty much as fast as machines get, excluding a high end video card. This? Well, lots of bells and whistles, but it's just not as much machine for the money.

      The obsession with thinness has run its course. They need to focus on other things.

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        January 30, 2017 6:53 PM

        Still pretty happy with my mid 2010 macbook pro. I recently replaced the HD with a SSD plus changed the ram to 8 gigs and now the laptop feels blazing fast.

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      January 30, 2017 7:00 PM

      Great article!

      In all honesty I hope what you did was a mistake, although thankfully not an unfixable one, as you write. Because that'd mean that Apple have started being innovative and solid again.
      But having said that - you probably made the right call. Cashing in whilst still ahead is probably the wise thing to do here. Either way, best of luck in your future investments.

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        January 30, 2017 7:06 PM

        That kinda didn't sound the way I wanted it to. Of course I hope you didn't make a mistake! And of course I hope that you can profit as much as possible.
        But it was just in relation to Apple then getting back on track. And you still being able to stay in the Apple race...
        Hope that fixes any misunderstandings in advance!

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          January 30, 2017 7:12 PM

          I hope I am wrong. I put on an options trade that will make money if Apple continues to rise, but the President continues his policy of being unpredictable and has just fired the Attorney General.

          https://twitter.com/ap/status/826255433149067265

          Mr. Market hates uncertainty.

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            January 30, 2017 7:14 PM

            it's awfully hard to follow up the most successful product of all time. If the stock is priced expecting such a follow up then getting out is surely correct. Of course iOS is going to net Apple like 100s of billions more even if all Cook does is steward the ship for another decade.

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        January 30, 2017 7:07 PM

        I think the reason they released the MBP in the shape it was in was because Intel lagged on their roadmap and they didn't want to wait until 2017 to release.

        I think 2017 will see a MBP that fixes the issues and has the 32GB RAM option. Now that they're hopefully done releasing new platforms for a while they can focus better on their technologies.

        The mobile phone industry may have hit feature saturation point so I'm not sure if there's any real game changers there. The war is over and iOS/Android won. They should refocus on their platforms to win back Android users.

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          January 30, 2017 8:54 PM

          None of the issues that people bring up are related to Intel's processor technology. No one is saying it isn't fast enough, or that the power draw is too much.

          What does an Intel refresh allow them to do that they couldn't this time around?

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            January 31, 2017 4:42 AM

            A common complaint I'm seeing is that there's not a 32GB RAM option. Supposedly this is tied to the fact that the chipset tech from Intel that can handle that much RAM uses too much power because of the different mode it has to operate in. The chipset that can both handle that much RAM as well as operate in the lower power mode isn't due until later this year sometime.

            The other word on the street is that they were testing better battery tech that would have helped the battery life further but it failed some of their tests so they had to scrap it and go back to what they were using before.

            So Apple could have either delayed the refresh yet another year or they could ship a 16GB version in 2016 and a 32GB version in 2017. They chose the former, though other issues caused battery life to tank (which they've supposedly now fixed)

            The other complaints I see are related to the touchbar or the ports. I haven't used the touchbar myself so I don't know what it's like but I think that in the long run people aren't going to miss trying to remember what function key does what. As for the ports? If they had put even one USB-A port on the thing the industry wouldn't go to USB-C. Dongles are a hassle but they're a temporary one.

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      January 30, 2017 7:12 PM

      If Apple execs are selling based on a financial report they're about to give, isn't that insider trading?

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        January 30, 2017 7:17 PM

        They have windows that they are able to sell and lockup periods that are designed to prevent "insider trading," but I compare Cook to Musk. Elon has sold shares twice since the company went public and he has bought shares at times. Not one Apple insider bought shares last year and look at the percent drops in the holdings of Eddy Cue, Luca Maestri and Phil Schilller. Hardly votes of confidence.

        • reply
          January 30, 2017 9:29 PM

          As the saying goes, insiders sell for lots of reasons, but they only buy for one.

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        January 30, 2017 9:22 PM

        The standard way to do it is to set up a purchase/sell plan that is a public document sealed until it is executed (usually 3 months). That way there can't be much appearance of impropriety because it can be shown that they only traded during public windows and well in advance.

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          January 30, 2017 9:23 PM

          It is weird that Cook was able to sell 6 days before the earnings release isn't it?

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            January 30, 2017 10:28 PM

            Yeah but that was from a 10b5-1 established 2 years ago. From that point-of-view it's not weird at all. No matter how I felt about Apple, if I was compensated primarily in RSUs, I'd have a selling plan. It's just not worth trading in a company where you are subject to trade windows, especially as an officer. Even if you love your company's prospects, you are stuck with such limited ability to sell that you'd be better off putting your money elsewhere. Especially if you expect to have continued employment which means the RSUs will keep stacking up. His unvested RSUs alone probably represent too much exposure to a single stock when that is also your employment.

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              January 30, 2017 10:30 PM

              As I said, his sales were the ones I am least concerned about. Seeing the CFO with less than 1000 shares?

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                January 30, 2017 10:34 PM

                Yeah that is surprising. I guess it's the sign of a particularly tight trading plan? I'm sure those guys also receive stock as compensation. Earnings should be very interesting.

      • reply
        January 31, 2017 9:17 AM

        I thought they typically have to setup sales well ahead of time. Usually months.

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      January 30, 2017 7:16 PM

      if iphone security wasn't amazingly superior to android, I'd already have dumped all apple products

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        January 30, 2017 7:18 PM

        Security in what way? In that they try not to send data out to the cloud, at least trackable data?

        • reply
          January 30, 2017 7:20 PM

          in the way that the OS and your personal information is better secured from bad actors than Android

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          January 30, 2017 7:21 PM

          viruses / malicious software, for example. apple controls the keys to the kingdom, and that can aid in security

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            January 30, 2017 7:37 PM

            They have shown a pretty big commitment to security. I have been reading in to smart home stuff and Homekit has a huge emphasis on security. That security increases the cost but I think I'm ok with that.

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          January 30, 2017 9:07 PM

          You have to really not be paying attention to not know the answer to this already.

    • reply
      January 30, 2017 8:35 PM

      good read, but this seems like an incredibly weird article to post on shacknews.com.

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        January 30, 2017 9:11 PM

        Apple make computers and portable gaming devices. I cover stocks of gaming and computer companies on Shacknews. Many Shackers follow my stock investments and are interested in this piece. This was meant to inform them.

        • reply
          January 30, 2017 9:47 PM

          You should consider refocusing the entire editorial and branding effort on covering electronic entertainment from a purely financial and innovative position. Include heavy coverage of the financial world of esports. You would open yourself up to a ton of new advertising opportunities, and have an actual direction in which to grow a community that matches the demographics already here now. You wouldn't need large readership to own the market trust, and the brand has been around so long that there is already more equity there than some would think.

          No one needs another site with gaming reviews and E3 release coverage. No one cares about DLC or what games went gold. The moves these huge publishers and manufacturers make are really interesting, and have some drama to them. The economics of indie gaming are fascinating, and poorly covered. The audience is there, and they aren't going to read the occasional stories on Forbes or CNN Money.

          You are already naturally good at this and inclined, you just need to bring it to an ignorant audience in a way they can enjoy and understand. It would also mean scoring a really solid hire or two. Chris Morris is actually available and is the sort of person I would love to see covering these things again.

          It seems like you are already leaning this direction based on the stories that get posted, so maybe this is already your strategy over time. If not, it's worth mulling over a little.

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            January 30, 2017 10:31 PM

            ^

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            January 30, 2017 10:32 PM

            ^^^^^^^^^

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            January 30, 2017 10:55 PM

            This would be amazing. I have zero interest in the front page content on Shacknews as it is currently, but I would love to see content like this.

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              January 30, 2017 11:38 PM

              yeah... i'm 40 years old. I know when the games i want to play come out. I don't really care about reading interviews or pre-reviews of anything. I don't care about interviews with developers. For reviews I'm just going to go to metacritic or read the shack thread. i don't care about DLC. I will almost never buy it.

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              January 31, 2017 5:45 AM

              You mean you don't like reading RE7 spoilers??

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            January 30, 2017 11:10 PM

            This is a good idea but would seem to lend itself better to a subscription. Going niche with your news topics doesn't mesh as well with an advertising model.

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            January 30, 2017 11:42 PM

            I've mentioned something similar to him before.

            http://www.shacknews.com/chatty?id=35571442#item_35571442

            The economics and auxiliary niches of gaming outside of the massive EA conglomerates can be downright fascinating.

            Streamers, e-sports and their financially backed teams / houses, sponsorship's, all the little specialized hardware companies.

            A lot of in depth editorials can be had. I would love to see the story behind Astroneer with a financial or business orientated perspective.

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              January 31, 2017 6:56 AM

              I don't disagree, but it is hard to get private persons and companies to divulge financial information, as it's rarely in their interest to do so. E.g. everyone would love an article on the financials of Steam, Valve, digital platforms and sales generally, etc., but it's never going to happen so long as that information can be kept confidential. That's not to say that stories about the companies, their products and innovations aren't possible, but that articles like the one on Apple are possible in large part because they are public and therefore required to disclose lots and lots of information which can then support a thorough analysis.

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            January 30, 2017 11:57 PM

            Sold!

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            January 31, 2017 2:05 AM

            Is there anything akin to The Information (https://www.theinformation.com/) for the gaming industry?

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            January 31, 2017 3:14 AM

            That's an inspired idea, differentiating The Shack from being just Yet Another Games Site while matching the older demographics of the chatty. Hell, some of us might even be able to do guest pieces with that sort of focus, whereas we can't so much with E3 coverage, news (which needs to be a full time position to be timely) and previews.

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            January 31, 2017 3:17 AM

            On its face this sounds great, but it's an unproven concept so there's quite a bit of risk. With the current mainstream gaming news target audience, I'd bet his traffic is fairly consistent. I'm curious about the Shack's analytics. Neat idea though.

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            January 31, 2017 5:43 AM

            Definitely echo the sentiment especially the bits about esports and its finances. There's a lot of scope in that space.

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            January 31, 2017 6:17 AM

            Yessss. I *love* industry inside baseball!

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            January 31, 2017 6:20 AM

            YES! I loved Chris' content but haven't followed his career since leaving the Shack for CNN.

            But is the Shack ready to... mature?

            TBH focusing on money money money monnnnnney doesn't interest me, but if it keeps the Shack afloat I am all for it.

            I was worried that briefcase sold his Apple shares because he needed cash to keep the lights on here. I've gotten SO much from this website and contributed very little. We're so spoiled.

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              January 31, 2017 6:27 AM

              I'm not into financial news either but I do agree that it'd be a very interesting niche to get into. There is so little about gaming aside from the typical stuff like haiku mentioned, which is the same stuff everyone reports on.

              Anything that breaks from the norm is interesting in and of itself. I'm all in favor of anything that makes the Shack standout!

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              January 31, 2017 6:29 AM

              Not just the financial side but the business side too. Kinda like Gamasutra but focused more on publishing etc. than development. Or something.

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            January 31, 2017 6:36 AM

            He already has staff that can write the insider stories angle too.

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            January 31, 2017 6:46 AM

            I've thought this since that first long-form journalism piece that tmwtb did shortly after purchasing the site. I forgot what it was about now, but it was a completely different format from normal articles, mobile-friendly, had pictures interspersed as you scrolled down etc. It really showed what a mature shack was capable of in terms of writing (and reading, and commenting), and I'd like to see more of it. A meta-industry angle to the site would make it stand out among similar sites; and there is really no risk in writing some articles like this, since you could still do the same content that the site does now if you wanted. I mean, I'm not interested in much of it, but I recognize that it drives traffic.

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            January 31, 2017 7:00 AM

            Just want to confirm that this is a fantastic idea. I'm more fascinated now at the acquisition and investment in eSports teams and trends (leagues) than actually competing in eSports.

            The whole Echo Fox esports team and its origin is HIGHLY fascinating to myself and even Gary Vaynerchuk has recognized esports as a big upcoming player in the entrepreneurial demographic.

            I'm pretty ignorant personally on a lot of things regarding investments and the like...I've been kicking myself for years now for not investing in Battle.Net and Nvidia when the price was close to $15 a share...

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            January 31, 2017 7:09 AM

            A million times this.

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            January 31, 2017 7:14 AM

            I'm pretty surprised this wasn't the plan to begin with. It seems like a natural dovetailing of his professional interests into his personal interests. Asif's financial posts are some of the most readable and sensible, and personally, I think the most well received. If he can pivot this sucker into a gaming financial thinktank, I think he's got something that only Gamasutra is even close to.

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            January 31, 2017 7:15 AM

            That would be awesome.

            Ps. Bring back shackes

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            January 31, 2017 7:25 AM

            I don't have any money, experience, or familiarity with these things. Can I still hang out in the chatty?

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            January 31, 2017 7:27 AM

            This is a great idea

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            January 31, 2017 7:31 AM

            Does that mean we can have muiy back from shackesports?

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            January 31, 2017 8:07 AM

            omg Asif + Morris. Stop, I can only get so erect.

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            January 31, 2017 8:16 AM

            Huh. That actually sounds really good.

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            January 31, 2017 8:35 AM

            I like that idea, but Asif did say that the most heavily trafficked recent articles have been the guides. I think, right now, they need to stick to what gets the site eyeballs so it can turn a profit.

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              January 31, 2017 9:03 AM

              It would be a good idea to run a few of these kinds of articles though to see whether there's potential there or not.

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            January 31, 2017 8:39 AM

            haiku is S M R T. well said sir

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            January 31, 2017 9:07 AM

            Why stop there. Shack Index baby.

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            January 31, 2017 9:10 AM

            There already is coverage of esports finance on other sites, much closer to the scene. Especially CS and LoL.

            I don't see that audience coming here and I don't see this audience being into it if they aren't already.

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              January 31, 2017 9:16 AM

              But I don't want to go to those sites. I just want to read about the money.

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            January 31, 2017 9:13 AM

            Basically Old Fart Shack.

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      January 30, 2017 8:54 PM

      fscomeau is gonna be a millionaire

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      January 30, 2017 9:14 PM

      I have an iPhone 6. No interest in upgrading. Cuz I'll just lose my headphones

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        January 31, 2017 6:30 AM

        Iphone7 comes with adapter...

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          January 31, 2017 8:26 AM

          Yup. And I don't need to bother with that on this phone. One less thing to lose. Aside from that, nothing the 7 does makes me feel like I've gotta have it.

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          January 31, 2017 8:27 AM

          I lost my adapter and had to buy a new one for $10...

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      January 30, 2017 9:15 PM

      love these articles thx. no big words is good for my understanding

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      January 30, 2017 10:37 PM

      i've been thinking about selling too. I've been hating apple lately for the same reasons. I only own 7 shares though and my rate of return is 10%~ lol

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      January 30, 2017 11:21 PM

      Interesting article! A great addition to shacknews.

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      January 30, 2017 11:42 PM

      Intredasting

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      January 31, 2017 2:51 AM

      A long apple is basically a pear, innit?

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      January 31, 2017 3:48 AM

      Protip: sell Apple, buy Nvidia

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      January 31, 2017 3:58 AM

      Great article and I love that you posted it on the Shack. Maybe the chatty is too clubby but if we're all really 30-45, we are into this kind of information.

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      January 31, 2017 4:18 AM

      NFG partay time!!

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      January 31, 2017 6:08 AM

      I want to read this, it looks really interesting, but 5 seconds after I open it on my phone it opens the Google Play Store to install Uber and when I go back to reading it, it keeps doing it.

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      January 31, 2017 7:24 AM

      great article.
      you potentially made me a nice amount of money on buying us steel if i ever get around to selling it.

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      January 31, 2017 7:32 AM

      Was this holding in your retirement account? Uncle Sam is going to take a massive bite out of a 20,000% gain!

      Personally, I'm sitting on a bunch of shares in my ROTH IRA @ $36 Cost basis. I'm sitting tight. I don't expect it to be a rocket anytime soon, but there are some pluses you neglected to address:

      1) iPhone 8 hype train. They are going to sell a gazillion.
      2) Repatriation
      3) I refuse to believe that they won't introduce new products. Your theory basically says they are out of ideas.

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        January 31, 2017 8:22 AM

        1) totally, but how much actual revenue growth?
        2) oh goodie more futile buybacks
        3) "What if I am Wrong?

        I have been an Apple bull for my entire adult life. I identify as a product evangelists and I wrote this article on my MacBook Pro. I love Apple. I love its products. I love what it stands for. They are truly one of the most innovative tech companies in history and I have been on record as saying that I don't believe we have seen the last of Steve Jobs' inventions.

        Right after I sold Apple's stock today, I turned around and bought $120 strike call options expiring in 2019. This is a strategy called "stock replacement." Basically for each 100 shares I sold for around $12,100 today, I bought 1 call option for $1600. This allows me to participate in the upside above where I sold the stock while risking way less capital. I pocketed around $105/share while still participating in the upside. If the stock closes above $136 per share in January of 2019, I will be in the money. If not, at least I didn't risk the other 87% of my previous position. If Apple has not shown any signs of growth by 2019, I won't want to be a shareholder anyway. If they do unveil something amazing and magical, at least I will get to participate in the upside with the same exposure as I had before liquidating my shares."

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          January 31, 2017 9:34 AM

          1) I think there will be revenue growth. Just go to the airport and look at all the people using old outdated iphones.
          2) Maybe - or more dividend increases.

          I don't begrudge you selling or taking a profit - far from it. But your long and well written posts just ignored many of the positives out there.

          I also think you way over-hyped the insider selling. You, as a sophisticated investor, know that those are trades that are set long in advance. Programmatic insider selling.

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            January 31, 2017 9:35 AM

            Not a single share purchased by the board in the last year... all the while the board is selling into the buyback program.

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        January 31, 2017 8:29 AM

        Wasnt there an apple car rumor? Wonder if thats gonna pan out

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        January 31, 2017 8:25 AM

        What is 'apologist' about either of those articles?

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      January 31, 2017 8:32 AM

      Smart, sent it to my dad as I know he has a fair amount of apple right now.

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      January 31, 2017 1:41 PM

      AAPL Earnings beat. Growing Iphone sales again! Stock up!