When an iconic business leader dies or suddenly steps down, investors are rattled and the stock price plummets. If history is any guide, one of the best things to do is buy stock. Get on and hold on, as you will likely be rewarded (in some cases, very handsomely). The big idea person may be gone, but their legacy (company) remains and the future is more certain than you might think.
When a business leader dies, buy stock
Hunter Harrison, the CEO of CSX, passed away recently and the stock was hammered. Rumors of poor health followed him from CPR when he joined CSX in January 2017. While his passing wasn’t entirely unexpected, investors were still worried about the future of CSX. The stock fell to breakout levels from a month ago.
It was a shocking move, but since then, CSX has rallied nearly 20% to reach all-time highs. It appears investors panicked and quickly recovered.
Apple has done quite well without Jobs
Remember when Apple founder Steve Jobs passed after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer? Investors hastily sold the stock, and day after he died, it plunged 20% in value. The smart investors stepped in to buy stock.
Companies often have a succession plan in place, and Steve Jobs was so different. Companies last far longer than careers, and Jobs knew that the best chance for Apple’s survival and domination was to put the best people in place.
Bill Gates once said, “Surround yourself with people who challenge you, push you and teach you to be your best.” Indeed! With Tim Cook at the helm, Apple has risen to nearly one trillion dollars in value. Since Jobs passed in October 2011, Apple stock has rallied 200% higher.
A lesson from Disney
My dad was a stock broker during the throes of a strong bull market in the mid-1960s. When Walt Disney passed away, suddenly in 1966, the stock plunged. Dad said brokers in the office were scrambling to buy stock for themselves and their clients, scooping up anything that was available. He said it was a feeding frenzy. There was no time to mourn. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in Disney. For those who held onto their shares, well, they have ZERO regrets.
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