NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- On July 10, Apple (AAPL) closed at $420.73 and "Apple Just Signaled the Bottom You're Waiting For?" was published, a month Apple closed at $467, and my next Apple piece was titled "Apple at $500 -- No, Apple at $600. The timing was perfect because it was published at 6 a.m. on Aug. 13.
A few short hours after the piece hit the wire, Carl Icahn announced a large long position in Apple, sending shares soaring above $500 the following day. For those that listened and bought at $420, a gain of $80 a share was the prize.
As much as I (or you) would like to have Carl Icahn call and let us know ahead of time when he is going to announce a significant position, that's not likely to happen anytime soon. The good news is that we don't need a phone call from Icahn or any other billionaire to prosper and discover alpha (returns greater than the market average).
The key to gaining alpha is finding undervalued stocks relative to public perception. Take a look at two comments received in part:
"I like your optimism but Apple will have trouble getting over 470 and higher. While they may hit 500 the road will be down after product launch like last year. We will fall again as investors realize things have not change much but margins are growing smaller and mkt share has peaked...."