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The Great Slicing: Tesla and Apple split their stocks into smaller slices today

The Great Slicing: Tesla and Apple split their stocks into smaller slices today
The Great Slicing: Tesla and Apple split their stocks into smaller slices today

Don’t panic At first glance, it might seem like your Apple holding just lost 75% of its value. Not the kind of thing we like to wake up to on a Monday. Rub the sleep out of your eyes, chug a Nespresso, and perk up: you still hold the same amount of Fruit — it just got chopped into tinier slices (so did your Tesla Model 3).

  • Apple did a 4-for-1 stock split today. If you own 1 Apple share trading at $500, you’ll suddenly find yourself with 4 $125 shares. Same value, more shares.
  • Tesla did a 5-for-1 stock split today. If you own 1 Tesla share trading at $2.2K, you’ll get 5 $440 shares. The value of your ownership in Elon’s electric baby doesn’t change.

What’s wrong with a fat pizza slice?… Apple and Tesla think it’s too caloric for investors to swallow. Companies with soaring stocks sometimes slice them into smaller pieces to make shares cheaper for retail investors (like us) to buy. Apple’s stock price would be waaayy higher today if it hadn’t done five stock splits since 1987 — Apple splits so hard, it’s more like Banana.

  • Apple stock has more than 5X’d since its last split in 2014, from $90 in June 2014 to $300 in January 2020 to ~$500 today.
  • Tesla stock has soared nearly 900% in just a year, from $225 on August 30th, 2019 to $2.2K on August 30th, 2020. Today’s split is Tesla’s 1st ever.
  • TLDR: In July, Apple became the most valuable company on Earth while Tesla became the most valuable carmaker, all thanks to their soaring stocks.
THE TAKEAWAY

Stock splits aren’t that impactful anymore… now that fractional shares are becoming widely available at brokerages. Fractional shares take affordability much further than splits. If a stock costs $1K, you can buy 1/2, 1/10th, or even 1/300th of it — you choose the dollar amount or share amount. But splits aren’t entirely useless: they suggest that a company is confident about its stock’s continued growth. In July, Tesla posted its 1st full-year of profit and Apple had its strongest 2nd quarter ever.

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