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AT&T And 'Dead Money'

In a recent article, I highlighted the difference between looking at singular price points and thinking about a typical investment program. I specifically focused on the NASDAQ, which is trading at roughly the same price level today as it was 15 years ago. Yet this alone does not indicate that it was a poor investment. Actually, the contrary is true: had you routinely invested over the years, as the vast majority of people do, this particular vehicle would have worked out just fine. Of course, it follows that this process is apt to work for the majority of investment opportunities.

Which brings us to AT&T (NYSE:T). AT&T's stock price is quite similar to the NASDAQ's in that a period of "stagnation" can be highlighted. That is, you could look at a stock chart and authoritatively declare that this particular security has been "dead money." I'll show you what I mean. At the end of 2006, shares of AT&T closed at $35.50. At the end of 2014, shares of AT&Tclosed at $33.59. In singularity, this appears to be awful news. We invest to make money, not see a slightly negative trend over time. Yet, I would contend that this type of thinking is misguided in two respects. Read more