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Fascinating Apple Debate Monday on CNBC With Doug Kass

They're all right. It's a casino. A trader's stock. Don't try to trade it. And Kass expressed what amounts to a long-term bear case. I agree with several components of his pessimism.

However, as I explained Monday on TheStreet, this harsh, volatile and sustained sell-off absolutely has something to do with capital gains-related profit taking. That's where Kass and I part ways.

It's not only about taxes, but that's what started this; everything else that came after only intensified the selling. If you're sitting on AAPL profits -- retail, institutional, small position, large position, whatever -- you had to think about taking them, no matter what stage of life you're at.

If you initially decided against it, these last few sell-offs probably helped shake out the strongest of hands. Only the most emotional, stubborn, brave and, dare I say, crazy AAPL bulls have not sold one share.

Sure, buy some more on the dips if you're truly a believer. Just don't do it with "your" money.

So, you had a $50,000 stake in AAPL turn into $100,000. Here's hoping you took one of the stock's recent rallies to pull out half or, preferably, 3/4 of your capital. Now, you can bank some of those profits, put them to work elsewhere and reassess AAPL and buy shares in the low half of the $500s.

Just don't get all bull-headed. I love Apple, but that doesn't mean I love AAPL. And I know that if sanity and rationality governed the world, none of this would be happening right now.

In a perfect world, AAPL meanders, slightly outpacing the market, before Apple blows out the holiday quarter and the stock follows with a rally that rips the few shorts in the stock's heads off.

Apple and Amazon.com (AMZN) share some characteristics: bulls love to talk trash, but few people have the guts to go short for more than a quick trade.

That shows there is at least some sanity and rationality left on Earth.

And if you spread out your risk vis-a-vis your AAPL profits, you're also thinking with a sane and rational mind. Put a little in the bank. Invest a little somewhere else. Buy yourself or your lover something nice. And then, maybe, dabble in a few more AAPL shares after the fiscal cliff dust settles and the company gets set to report holiday earnings in late January.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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