As investors, you're told not get emotional about your stocks, but truth be told, we all have our favorites. In a pinch to raise capital in order to buy new stocks or just settle up with real-world expenditures, there are probably some stocks that you are just not interested in cutting loose.
I get it. I'm just like you. There are some stocks that I feel will be a part of my life for a long time. I've owned shares in one company for 32 years. Am I really going to let that one go? There are others that I have held for far less than that but they just feel right. Let's go over the three stocks that I am never going to sell off completely. Although there may be times that I'll sell some of my shares in the spirit of portfolio diversification, these are three stocks that I can't fathom not owning at least a piece of in the future.
It's been 32 years since my girlfriend gifted me a single share of the media giant. I eventually married the girlfriend -- and the stock, I guess. For most of the past three decades, I didn't add to that position, and even shared the wealth by transferring freshly minted shares after a stock split to my sisters. However, a few years ago, I began to appreciate what Disney was doing in snapping up franchise makers Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. I took a more sizable position in the first stock I ever owned.
Disney may not be at its best right now. Its media networks division has been struggling as cord-cutters kiss their fat cable bills goodbye. Even the once mighty ESPN is now seen by the market as a pressure point with revenue failing to keep up with the costs of escalating live sports programming contracts. However, there's no denying that Disney's portfolio of theatrical franchises is as strong as its ever been. Disney's theme parks division is the one segment that's been consistently growing through the lull.
This is a well-oiled machine that can quickly turn around a hot movie or television property into consumer products, theme park attractions, and related content on other networks. Whether Disney's home-grown streaming service falls short in the coming months or it puts out a movie that bombs, the pipeline here always seems to be gushing with new opportunities for the House of Mouse to milk through its ecosystem.
I don't need to think hard when you ask me about my most successful investment. I bought Netflix in late 2002 when it was a broken IPO. I regrettably sold 80% of my position shortly after that when the shares started to bounce back. I would go on to sell half of my remaining shares a few years later, also at a much lower price point than where Netflix is now.
The stock is now roughly a 700-bagger for me -- that is not a typo -- and the 90% of the shares that I sold too soon that I called an $802,179 mistake in late 2016 is now a nearly $1.8 million mistake. The stock appreciated to the point where I sold half of my stake again a few weeks ago. I don't regret that sale -- yet -- and the 5% of my original position remains my largest portfolio position by far.
Netflix has climbed the proverbial wall of worry. In an era when content is king, Netflix has proven that distribution and scalability can be superior. Netflix began 2018 with 117.6 million subscribers worldwide, and it's only growing its lead over other premium platforms with every passing quarter.
I wasn't always surrounded by Apple products. However, as I peck this story out on a MacBook, check my iPhone for notifications, stream videos on my iPad, and wonder why I don't wear my Apple Watch as often I should, it's clear that I've become a reluctant fanboy. I had my Android phase. It passed. I still have a Windows-fueled desktop, but it's gradually becoming Plan B for my computing needs.
I've written about Apple for more than two decades, but it wasn't until two years ago that I finally put a ring on it -- and bought the stock. It's fared well, nearly doubling in that time.
We live in a world of cheap laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Apple is the one company that can command a healthy premium. There is naturally a lot riding on Apple's iconic smartwatch. The halo effect can only shine so far. However, Apple is not going to be a one-trick pony -- or a one-trick stallion, to be fair -- forever. Innovation is in its DNA, and it will revolutionize another industry sooner rather than later.
Rick Munarriz owns shares of Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.