Hung Up

The Record (Troy, NY) - - BUSINESS -

My dumbest in­vest­ment was in the Fin­nish tele­com Nokia. I read in a well-re­spected in­vest­ment news­let­ter that the com­pany would soon be clos­ing a deal to sell equip­ment in Rus­sia. But the mar­ket crash of 2008 sent Nokia shares down deep. I kept hang­ing in there, but fi­nally got dis­gusted and took the loss. It was too much of a has­sle, wait­ing on a loser. I still wish them luck. — A.M., on­line

The Fool Re­sponds: Nokia was once a ti­tan in the smart­phone arena, boast­ing more than half the global mar­ket in 2007. By 2013, though, its share had dropped to 2 per­cent. The 2008-2009 mar­ket crash was not its sole prob­lem, though — its lunch was be­ing eaten by Ap­ple and Google’s An­droid sys­tem. While other com­pa­nies’ stocks re­cov­ered af­ter the mar­ket crash, Nokia’s stock kept drop­ping for some years. Nokia is still a sig­nif­i­cant smart­phone name, but it’s no longer mak­ing its own de­vices. It sold its smart­phone busi­ness to HMD Global (a com­pany run by for­mer Nokia ex­ec­u­tives) and is li­cens­ing its name, which ap­pears on the phones. Never in­vest in a stock just be­cause of ru­mors you’ve heard about it — and if it’s fall­ing, be sure to do enough dig­ging to find out whether its trou­bles seem tem­po­rary or last­ing. Nokia still has be­liev­ers to­day; they ex­pect growth from deals with China-based com­pa­nies and the roll­out of new 5G net­works.

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