NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When assessing my portfolio recently, I looked at Apple (AAPL), my largest holding and wondered where would I be today had I taken the money used for my wedding 10 years ago and instead invested all of it by buying its stock?
For as much as I love tech giant Apple and appreciate the fact that it is the most valuable company in the world, I want to first make it clear that it is not more valuable to me than my wife -- I'm not stupid. Besides, she reads everything that I write.
For that matter, this admission would be "un-Jobs-like": The company's late founder would seek to remind anyone with such misguided convictions that not only are their priorities misplaced, but they're perhaps less than human.
I know you're wondering "Richard, where are you going with this?" Allow me to explain...The results of a recent CBS poll published by Vanity Fair revealed that one out of six Americans would rather lose a significant other than their money. I'm not going to sit here and pass judgment on anyone for their views as I understand every situation is different. However, I'm not sure exactly what to make of the data or how I should receive it. The mere fact that I am not the least bit surprised by this statistic concerns me. After all, there have been many recent events to suggest the percentage of people who would rather save their investments than their spouse might actually be overly conservative. Nevertheless, it did cause me to reflect on my reasons for having become an investor, reasons that draw many adjectives that (admittedly) I'm not entirely proud of -- "greed" being one of them. Here's what I've discovered. In some respects, I've taken on the characteristics of some of the leaders of companies in which I've invested -- companies that have included software and database giants Microsoft (MSFT) and Oracle (ORCL). I can't imagine a CEO more clever than Bill Gates (although others would certainly debate me on that point). But his shrewdness has a dark side; it almost sent Apple into bankruptcy while killing off once dominant rivals such as Novell, Lotus, Netscape, WordPerfect and the list goes on and on. Is that me? Do I wish to dominate? Or have I merely come to appreciate Microsoft for the dominance that it personifies?
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