3 reasons to buy Apple stock in 2023 — and never sell

Apple is as reliable as they come.

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This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Even while being down over 18% year to date (as of Nov. 15), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the world's most valuable public company, with a market cap of over $2.3 trillion. For perspective, that's more than Alphabet and Amazon combined. Apple didn't reach this size by luck, either -- it's well-deserved.

Between its world-class products and brand loyalty that's second to none, Apple is a force to be reckoned with. Here are three reasons you should buy Apple stock in 2023 and never sell.

1. Apple is becoming a player in the financial industry

Apple's first time dipping its toes in the financial services space was in 2014, when it announced Apple Pay. Apple Pay gave people the convenience of paying with a phone, but not many looked at it as Apple making a serious entrance into the industry. Fast forward to 2019, with the announcement of the Apple Card, and it became a bit more apparent that Apple was getting serious.

With the Apple Card, Apple partnered with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) to approve applications and fund the loans. This is why, when they announced Apple Pay Later, it was a clear message that other financial companies should plan accordingly. Apple Pay Later is the company's move into the buy now, pay later industry. But, more importantly, it's the first time Apple is underwriting and funding loans by itself 

With Apple able to provide financial services without any middleman, it's in a prime position to use its vast tech power to take the ever-growing financial technology (fintech) space by storm. The global fintech market was just over $115 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach over $936 billion by 2030. I'd bet Apple wants a decent-sized slice of that pie.

2. Streaming is moving in a positive direction

Apple's streaming service, Apple TV+, undoubtedly lags behind other platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, but there should be brighter days ahead as the company puts more resources behind the platform. In June, Apple and Major League Soccer (MLS) -- the world's fastest-growing soccer league -- announced they had struck a deal to show all MLS matches worldwide for 10 years beginning in 2023.

The MLS deal, worth at least $2.5 billion, is the first time a major American sports league has moved all of its games to a streaming platform. It's also the first time in major professional sports history that the games won't have any restrictions or local blackouts. It's a step that shows Apple is becoming more serious about making investments to become more competitive in the streaming space.

Will Apple TV+ ever grow to become a top three streaming service? It's not likely in the foreseeable future. But you can bet it will continue to grow and slowly but surely begin to gain some market share.

3. It's an undisputed cash cow

In a year defined by high inflation and economic anxiety, Apple managed to bring in $394.3 billion in revenue in its 2022 fiscal year (up 8% year over year) and a record $90.1 billion in the fourth quarter alone (up 8% year over year). For perspective, Visa, the 10th largest U.S. company by market cap, brought in $29.3 billion in its fiscal year.

There's no denying that Apple is a cash cow, and there's no reason to believe it'll slow down in the future. Apple has more cash on hand than a lot of companies in the S&P 500 are worth. Although holding on to too much cash and not investing in other areas can slow a company's growth, I don't see this being a problem for Apple.

With a bank account that size and a commitment to innovation, Apple still has room for noticeable growth -- which is what matters as an investor. It's one thing to have a great history; it's another thing to be primed for future success. The latter is why I'm a strong believer in Apple. 

This article was originally published on Fool.com. All figures quoted in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Stefon Walters has positions in Apple. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Netflix, Visa, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long January 2024 $145 calls on Walt Disney, long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple, short January 2024 $155 calls on Walt Disney, and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.    

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