NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I don't think I've ever believed in "destiny." The term introduces sentiment into various events in our lives, particularly those that seem unexplainable, but I have never been able to latch on.
My recent article on Facebook (FB), which argued that it's not out of the realm of possibility that, one day, it's stock price might reach $600, seemed to have offended quite a few readers and generated responses like, "It will never happen, the company is destined to fail."
I thought that was interesting, so I looked at my investment in Apple (AAPL) and wondered if was it "destiny" that led it to become the largest company in the world or something else?
After all, it wasn't that long ago that Apple was "destined" for bankruptcy, with some nudging from Microsoft (MSFT) -- except it decided to take a step outside of its box and dabble in portable music. The rest, as they say, was history.The word "destiny" is too simple, yet also very complex. What's more, I'm offended by the implication that regardless of my efforts, "my destiny" will always prevail. The overly simplistic implication of "luck" doesn't work for me. Nor does it work at businesses like Apple that spend millions annually in research and development. Over the past eight years, the company has increased its R&D budget by 655%, while companies like Cisco (CSCO), Intel (INTC) and rival Microsoft (MSFT) have only raised it 64%, 149% and 51%, respectively. The point is: There's no such thing as destiny. There's only what we want. In this case, Apple's R&D expenditures prove that it wanted to achieve greatness, and that doing so was not merely its fate. Writers and analysts are constantly going out of their way to try to one-up each other with hyperbole whenever Apple is mentioned. I understand that exaggeration is the oxygen of financial writing, but it has gotten a tad out of control. The company has become the anchor of the stock market and, for that matter, has also become the largest company in the world, exceeding the market cap of Microsoft, Intel and Cisco combined. Remarkably, if you throw Oracle (ORCL) into the mix, Apple is still larger than all four by $1 billion dollars. Think about what this means.
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