Motorola Stock: Long-Term Gains and Trend Trading Success Over 17 Years

How revisiting old investments reveals the power of diversification and strategic trading in building wealth.

Motorola Stock: Long-Term Gains and Trend Trading Success Over 17 Years
Photo by Thai Nguyen / Unsplash

One of the benefits of having a blog for over 17 years is the ability to review old posts about stocks, trades, and investing. I love revisiting old posts from the archive and doing a “where are they now” type of post. Today I’m looking at you, Motorola (MSI).

I first wrote about Motorola in 2007 when I started this blog.

Motorola - (MOT)
Investing in Motorola from way back didn’t turn out so good in the flip phone wars, or did it?

I lamented how it was struggling to find a new product to replace the Razr phone, which I loved! Motorola was bumping around the $17 to $18 price level and in a solid downtrend.

I revisited that old post with an update in 2019 and noted that its misfortune and sliding share price had turned around and was trading around the $146 to $147 price level.

I ended that article with this bit of advice:

If you're just now coming to this blog and reading these updates, you'll hopefully see the folly in trading and active investing. Passive investing is where you make the 'sick money' but only after you stick around for a while.

I wholeheartedly believe this because it’s true, the sick money is made in holding for the long term, but there’s a catch. More on that later.

In late 2023, I checked in on Motorola again only to find it making an all-time high (ATH). Since I recently became more “active” I went long with a small position.

Motorola (MSI) Near an All Time High
I’m a big fan of strong-performing technology-type companies and MSI fits the bill

Since November 2023, Motorola (MSI) has been doing extremely well. As of this post, it’s up 19% for the year.

So, does it still pay to be a passive investor? Is active trading a folly? The answer is yes and no.

Granted, what I’m going to write below will have thousands of detractors, but this works for me and is my point of view (POV).

Long-term investing wins in the end if and only if you have a diversified portfolio. If I had just held Motorola from 2007 until today, I would’ve made money but also had losing years.

I would’ve had losing years while some other sectors or companies had winning years. Putting all your eggs in one basket doesn’t work if that basket is small.

The majority of my money is in passive diversified mutual funds or ETFs. They’re the ones I ride out till retirement and will generate the income I will live on.

To turbocharge those returns, I use a style of momentum trading called trend trading.

Does Trend Following Work?
As long as you’re disciplined at moving your stops, you can just “set it and forget” until the trend flips and you’re taken out.

Trend trading is considered “active” because I buy and sell, but if I choose the stock correctly, it could be a position I hold for more than a year.

I consider holding a stock for over a year more on the passive side than active.

Yes, in my opinion, day or swing trading is a folly. Your profits get eaten up by taxes and fees, and it just feels exhausting. I like to spot an opportunity that the market likes, jump on its coattails, ride it higher, and sell when it falls out of favor with the market.

So where’s Motorola (MSI) today? It’s still favored by the market and trending higher. Its 50 DMA is well above the 200 DMA, price action looks solid, it delivered good earnings a month ago, and it even generates dividends. How cool is that?


Moral of the story: to build wealth, take your trend trading wins and invest them passively in a diversified portfolio.

Disclosure: Long

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