Apple: A Question of Leadership

| About: Apple Inc. (AAPL)

Based on the last news reports, without Steve Jobs, the multi-billion-dollar enterprise that is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) would simply cease to exist. Every new report of his health is followed in the market, and Apple’s stock price takes corresponding hikes and plunges.

But Apple isn’t the only corporation with similar founder/leader issues.

Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A), and DELL, for example, both have stocks tied to the brandname of their founders - Warren Buffett and Michael Dell.

And when investors worry about the health of these figureheads, they send the stock price plummeting. But does this mean that the fundamentals of these companies are also in danger?

Far from it.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) hasn’t collapsed since Bill Gates stepped down. Martha Stewart’s Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE:MSO) hasn’t gone under because of her legal troubles. And Sam Walton’s Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) is up 324% since his death in 1992.

Too many investors still believe that if something happens to their stock’s leader, the company will fail. But, in fact, operations will continue, dividends will be paid, profits will be made and the stock will correct itself.

A smart investor will use these irrational plunges to buy these companies when emotion, not logic, spins out of control.