Kaminsky's Call: Would You Have Sold Apple in 1996?

My friend and colleague, Becky Quick, recently interviewed some of the greatest minds on Wall Street and asked them to reveal the worst trade they ever made. It's a fascinating premise whose segments are running on Squawk Box and Power Lunch. It got me thinking of my own decision-making low as a money manager. It is so historically horrible that it is almost comical. Almost.


You know that little company called Apple ? We owned the stock and sold it. In 1996.

Then called Apple Computer, the position was actually one of our largest investments when I was co-managing the Private Banking Group at Cowen.

The issue of the day for the company was of all things, management. Rumors of CEO Michael Spindler's ouster circulated as did speculation that Sony was going to take over the company.

I was then quoted in the New York Times, questioning whether the company was going to survive at all.

We felt fortunate to sell and break even.

Two million shares, people. Of Apple. The stock was trading at under $7 a share.

If you'd like to calculate the value of how much the investment would be worth today, send in the figure to strategysession@cnbc.com. Go ahead, you can rub it in.

As for that Sony takeover rumor, let's compare market caps. Sony Corporation is worth approximately $33 billion. Apple is nearing $300 billion.

Becky's first installment had Warren Buffetswinging and missing and even the greatest sluggers do strike out from time to time.

But did my whiff really have to be the stock of the decade with its pipeline of products that defined a generation of consumers?

One can only laugh. Almost.

Programming note: "The Strategy Session," hosted by David Faber and Gary Kaminsky, airs weekdays at Noon ET on CNBC.

Gary Kaminsky does not hold any equity positions.

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