his Fortune column to take the same old shots at so-called AAPL bears. Both he and Zaky appear obsessed with TheStreet's Doug Kass and, to a slightly lesser extent, me. Consider something Zaky said, at his blog:
Like Doug Kass, Rocco Pendola would probably argue that Apple won't earn $70 in EPS because iPhone 5 sales are going to slow as a result of a slowdown in the global macroeconomic environment, or as a result of MappleGate or as a result of some very obscure notion of a collapse in Apple's brand hitting iPhone sales. We will get nothing real or concrete from either Rocco or Doug Kass.At least he qualified his mischaracterization of my position with "probably." Anybody who actually reads my stuff knows I have been ultra-bullish on iPhone 5, from practically every perspective, save MappleGate. In fact, I ridiculed the drop in AAPL related to so-called weak iPhone 5 sales. But, it's not about me and Zaky, Elmer-DeWitt and Kass or any combination thereof. As with many of these types of debates, you can -- thankfully -- cull some general investment-related wisdom. Zaky, Elmer-DeWitt and others of the same or similar ilk lament the presence of anything that even resembles "negative" or "bearish" Apple talk on TheStreet or CNBC. To them, anything other than a wholly "bullish" view must be negative or bearish. They live in a world of black-and-white Bushian dichotomy. They have strange obsessions and, in Zaky's case, a vested interest, in wearing their hyper-bullishness on their sleeves, reminding everybody about how "right" they have been and maligning anybody who has ever been "wrong" on AAPL, taken a contrarian view or attempted to move the discussion past what we already know -- Apple is an incredible company that puts up mind-blowing numbers today and likely will for the foreseeable future.
I don't blame Zaky. He runs in a world where it's all about his record on the stock. And, as I have said in more than one place over the last couple years, he's among the best at predicting where the stock will move and what unit sales/revenue/EPS will come in at. Frankly, there's little that bothers me about Zaky's bullishness or even the errant shots he directs my way. I've been the target of all sorts of stuff over the years. However, at some point -- and I think we are long past the point -- what amounts to calls from Zaky, Elmer-DeWitt and others to stop the alleged bearishness is akin to a fanatical political regime stifling not only dissent, but all public discourse that veers from state-provided talking points. Should TheStreet, CNBC and others only parade people with bullish views of AAPL across their respective screens? If you ask Zaky, he would "probably" say yes because there's not a bearish argument on AAPL he's not set to shoot down. He has his mind made up. As far as he and his crew are concerned, because AAPL has behaved the way it has over the last month many times before, the pattern will repeat. Maybe, maybe not, but accepting that as gospel is a dangerous proposition. We cover forward-looking spaces. As such, I like to debate the future. I'm not concerned with being right and wrong. I have had and will continue to have my share of both fates. I choose to focus on the subjects that (A) people seem to care about and (B) do not have clearcut answers. The iPhone 5 will annihilate all previous smartphone sales records that have come before it. Okay. Great. I agree. Where can we go with that beyond buying rounds for one another? Expecting yourself and others to always be "right" shows a green view of trading and investing.
Right and wrong in this racket are fleeting propositions. Over the last two years, you could have made a load of cash shorting AAPL, provided you picked your spots well. At the same time, you could have lost a ton getting long at the wrong times. The last couple of weeks prove that point. An insecure, testosterone-fueled machismo drives obsession with pounding the table over being "right" or "wrong." Information changes fast and frequently. When Tim Cook blows it with Apple Maps, I sound like a bear. When I go on CNBC and defend the notion of a premium-priced seven-inch tablet from Apple, I sound like a bull. I don't run an AAPL-only hedge fund. I don't require the approval of Apple bulls. I refuse to preach to choirs. All of the above bores me. I consider multiple sides of wildly complicated situations. Sometimes I hit, sometimes I miss. And I sure as heck don't claim to know everything. But, I do know this. You ultimately lose, as an investor and otherwise, by demanding from others and seeking out for consumption only the thoughts and viewpoints you want to hear. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. Follow @RoccoPendola This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.