Have you noticed the sharp decline in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares? Several theories are floating about as to what's behind the sell-off, but the most popular may be the company's presumed reticence in paying shareholders a special dividend. Traders appear to be cycling out of Apple in order to capture huge one-time payments elsewhere. Consider:

All of which would be good if greed didn't get in the way.

Too many are bidding up or selling off quality businesses merely for their stance on special dividends. Apple won't pay one? Sell! Las Vegas Sands is paying cash? Woo-hoo!

Please don't be that type of investor. Special dividends mean little in the larger scheme of a Foolish investment thesis, both practically and financially. Click on the video below to find out more.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale, Oracle, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Costco Wholesale. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.