As this month began, I wrote an article on Disney (NYSE:DIS) and the global marketing initiative involving its theme parks. I mentioned that I was excited about the company's prospects for 2005 and that the stock was getting back to my cost basis.

Well, not long ago -- January 18, to be precise -- Disney's stock closed at $28.74 per share. What a number! Know why? Because it's $0.05 more than my current cost basis of $28.69. A whole nickel! Can you beat that? Sure, I've seen my cost basis reached at other times (it's always eventually dropped back below, however), but this time feels different -- I think the price has a good shot of eventually staying above it for a good portion of this year, and hopefully beyond.

Now, I realize what a lot of you are saying out there: Big deal! I know a nickel isn't much, that it represents practically no growth whatsoever, and that this could indicate a tendency on my part to get worked up over the most trivial of matters.

Allow me to explain further.

I began my Disney position back in July 1998, shortly after the stock had split after a pretty good run, reaching over $100 per share. (Yes, Disney was once over $100 per share. How hard is that to believe?). It had been my first stock purchase ever. My initial buy was around $37. I felt pretty good -- strong brand, Dow stock, pays a dividend, was showing relative strength. (I didn't think of it in those terms; back then, I just thought, "It's going up, so it sure looks fine to me!"). Everything was in order.

Well, I blew it. I purchased pretty close to the top of that cyclical run, and it was all downhill from there. In fact, Disney is still quite a distance from that thirty-seven-buck level. If I could do it all over again, I'm not sure my first stock buy would have been the Mouse.

Yet I didn't really make a mistake, from a strategic point of view. The key here is that I didn't remain inactive -- I continued to average down. Granted, that strategy can backfire, but Disney is a solid brand that should capture many consumer discretionary dollars over its corporate lifetime, thus fueling shareholder value. I'm not a fan of its dividend history, but then I'm not a fan of being devoid of investing discipline, either. Sure, I've made some trades in my investing life, but when it comes to my core, long-term, retirement portfolio, I want to remain as ironclad as possible. I've sweated out Disney's depreciation since I invested, but the brand is going to be valuable well after I retire, and I know I can make money on it.

Checking my portfolio spreadsheet, I see that I've made 16 separate purchases of Disney between the summer of 1998 and early 2004. (In keeping with the Fool's trading guidelines, I haven't bought any shares since I started writing about the company.) My buying prices range from the thirties to the teens. My one huge error is that I didn't allocate more money when Disney was in the teens. I seem to recall emotion holding me back: "If I buy more, will I be chasing good money with bad?" That's not the way to think when you have many years to go until retirement and you believe your company will rebound to become the useful long-haul investment vehicle that you thought it was.

So I urge you to remember that investing is a journey. It may seem that your shares in Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Gillette (NYSE:G), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), or Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) go nowhere sometimes -- or even take a decidedly dastardly downturn. But remember that as long as you're still behind the story and can still justify averaging your cost basis down, you should be fine when you punch the timecard for the last time and go off to enjoy the mid-afternoon specials in a cozy diner on the grounds of a pastoral community in the heart of Florida. or wherever.

More articles on Walt Disney, and related Foolishness:

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. Discuss the Magic Kingdom on the Fool's Disney message board.