Jeffrey Sica is the chief investment officer of Morristown, N.J.-based SICA Wealth Management, with nearly $1 billion in client assets under management. He has two stock picks that may satisfy those with wish lists that contain high-priced luxury items with big brand recognition.
Apple (AAPL)Holiday Gift Equivalent: The 32-gigabyte iPod touch is priced at $299, or parents could buy one share of Apple at $318. Each share of Apple costs less than the base model of the iPad, which retails for $499. Sica's Take: Even though shares of Apple are hovering near an all-time high, Sica believes that Apple's innovation will mean plenty of upside over the long term. "Apple is my favorite technology company simply because of the level of innovation that Steve Jobs has instilled in the Apple culture. The design and technology is without parallel. Apple is such an interesting stock to hold for the long term because of that innovation. It's a good company to own because it keeps changing and reinventing itself with every new product they bring into the market. "It has been a long-term holding of mine, and I haven't sold virtually any shares in a lot of years. Looking ahead, getting the iPhone on other networks like Verizon (VZ) will greatly increase their scope and it will be a very big step for Apple."
Nike (NKE) Holiday Gift Equivalent: One share of Nike can be purchased for $87.83, equal to the price of a pair of Jordan Flight School boys' basketball shoes ($85) or Nike Lunarglide girls' running shoes ($82). Sica's Take: "Nike is one of the best 25 global brands. It has raised its dividend for the past nine years. They even had a 15% dividend hike recently. It's a well-known and well-established brand that has been so integrated. "I remember the first time Nikes came on to the scene, and my family could never afford them. They had that level of mystique as an incredible brand. That's continuing, as they get the best athletic talent as their spokespeople and they still make it the cool thing to wear. What brand in the history of the U.S. has been able to be the cool brand for decades? Nike has stayed on top for a lot of years. Twenty years from now, it'll still be on top." When considering investments like Apple and Nike, Sica says his firm takes a "holistic approach" for its clients while dodging risks. "Our primary focus is on understanding the goals and needs of each individual clients and adopting an investment plan around that," Sica says. "One size does not fit all. We don't model. We'll specifically customize a plan to a clients needs. We also strive to achieve goals with the least possible risk." Sica notes that there isn't a level of enthusiasm of owning stocks as there once was, although that enthusiasm will return when investors realize they can still have good returns. "It's important for people to realize that if they have a long time horizon, they should own stocks they track and watch, rather than buy-and-hold," he says. "The mindset is different. Buy-and-hold doesn't work. You have to be a lot more disciplined."
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