Is now the time to buy Apple stock? Is it too late or should you buy some in anticipation of it going up more for Christmas? I bet thousands of stock investors are asking themselves that question right now and have been for months.

The time to buy AAPL in 2010 was about a month before the iPad came out on April 3rd. You can see in the chart below how the stock was going sideways until the beginning of March and from that point it went up fast. Some choppy waters during 4 months of uncertainty after that and then straight up again.

If you bought Apple stock before the iPad was released you were betting that it would be a hit. That is how people can make a lot of money in stocks very quickly: by being correct about things in the future. But if you bought AAPL before the iPad release and it was a bomb, you would have lost a lot of money so that is the risk.

Right now people are trying to figure out just how big the iPad is going to be. All the signs show that it will continue to be huge as Dell and other competitors are going to be coming out with their own tablets. Apple has also said that the 2nd generation of the iPad that will be released in 2011 will have a smaller screen.

The question is though, should you buy Apple stock here at it's all time high of 283? Or should you wait and hope to catch it at around 250? Will this Christmas be the Christmas of the iPad and see off the chart sales? If you wait to buy, it may never go down and continue straight up and you will never get in.

These are the questions stock market investors have to ask themselves all the time. Greed plays a big part in people's investing decisions and greed has probably played some part in Apple stock going as high as it has gone so fast. People just don't want to miss out and that means they keep bidding the stock higher!

An analyst at Kaufman Bros. has just come out with his new price target for AAPL of $374 which is almost $100 higher than where it closed today. This high number adds fuel to the fire and makes people want to get in now so they don't miss out. But at $283 there is a lot of room to fall and so the risk is there. If iPads don't sell as well as hoped this Christmas season, the stock may fall rather than go up.

So, it is your decision how much you have to have Apple stock. It is your decision whether you can risk missing out by waiting for it to go lower. And it is your decision whether you could stomach the loss you might have if something goes wrong and the stock stalls. Like all stocks in the market, every individual investor has to make up their own mind how much they are willing to risk and what to risk it on.