It’s common to see the blind leading the blind when it comes to stocks, and a lot of stock “advice” should be taken with a grain of salt. But when Warren Buffett talks — whether literally or through his stock moves — it’ll at least do you some good to listen. If I have $300 to invest right now, I’m looking no further than Cupertino, California. There’s a reason Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) has over 40% of its portfolio of publicly traded stocks there.
No signs of slowing down
With over $2 trillion in market cap, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the most valuable company in the U.S. (it was the first U.S. company to cross $3 trillion). And it didn’t get there by luck. For decades, Apple has been one of the top players in the technology space, and there’s no reason to believe that’ll change any time soon. Great management, second-to-none brand loyalty, and innovation at the forefront — it’s hard to lose with that recipe.
Like many stocks, 2022 hasn’t been the kindest to Apple, with the stock down close to 6% year to date (as of August 12), even after rallying more than 30% since its June lows. Still, Apple has proven to produce long-term returns that not many companies have been able to replicate.
It’s bigger than the iPhone
Not to sound dramatic, but there are very few products that have ever changed the course of humanity quite like the iPhone. It’s undoubtedly Apple’s bread and butter, accounting for just under half of its net sales. In the third quarter of 2022, Apple brought in $83 billion in revenue (up 2% year over year), with over $40 billion coming from the iPhone alone — more than double what it made from all its service businesses combined.
Apple’s reliance on the cash cow that is the iPhone likely won’t change in the foreseeable future, but its growth potential won’t rely on it; it’ll rely on its move into financial services.
Watch out, banks
Apple first dabbled in the finance space when it announced Apple Pay in 2014 and then took it one step further when it launched Apple Card in 2019. However, its recent entry, Apple Pay Later — a move into the growing Buy Now, Pay Later space — is shouting to the industry that it’s ready to make its mark.
Apple Pay Later lets you split purchases into four equal payments over six weeks with no fees or interest, but the feature itself isn’t the most important part. What’s really important with Apple Pay Later is that Apple will underwrite and fund the loans — something it’s never done before.
Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) to approve applications and fund loans for the Apple Card, but now it’s trying to cut out the middleman and use the one advantage no bank in the country has: Its phones are in more than 100 million people’s pockets in the U.S. As the finance space changes with the emergence of fintech, who better to hit the ground running than one of the most technologically innovative companies the world has ever seen?
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Stefon Walters has positions in Apple. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Apple, Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and Goldman Sachs. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2023 $200 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2023 $200 puts on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), short January 2023 $265 calls on Berkshire Hathaway (B shares), and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.