Technology Investor

Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton Previous Columns
9:00 AM EDT, Thursday, August 27, 2009: I get emails: "Harry, you're nuts. The economy is not bouncing back. Here are 400 web sites that prove conclusively the economy is in the toilet. Moreover, our beloved government will only pay off the trillions it owes by driving the dollar into the toilet."

Sample email:

"Harry, you're buying into the happy talk coming out of Washington and people beholden to the sell side. The stock market is being propped up daily by some combination of Fed/Treasury/Big Banks. I'm a long-time independent trader, and the manipulation is obvious on any streaming chart. Or ask Rick Santelli on the Chicago BOT.) Real estate, residential and commercial, is going to get worse. Unemployment will continue to climb well into next year. And the survival of the US as a going enterprise is in serious jeopardy from our TRILLIONS of national debt and vulnerability of the dollar. You need to set aside your WSJ and start checking some "reality" blogs. For starters:

Richard Russell, the guru of Dow Theory Newsletters writes:

...There's a price to be paid for Bernanke's all-out battle to thwart the bear market. And now it's being told. Yesterday the White House itself admitted that the budget deficit over the next 10 years would be $2 trillion above their original outrageous estimate of $7 trillion dollars.

As I said all along, it would have been better to have allowed the bear market to run its course to conclusion. That would have been extremely painful, but the US would have recovered. However, deficits in the trillions could ultimately "break" this nation. I can't imagine how Bernanke-Obama plan to handle the coming mind-blowing deficits, plus the interest on those deficits.

The pressure will be on the reserve status of the dollar, the level of the dollar compared to other international currencies, interest rates, and the standard of living of all of us living in the new "banana republic," the United States of "bankrupt" America.

When you take all this in, you can begin to see how this bear market could end with stocks selling below known values and people despising the stock market and capitalism.

In view of the above, what is the stock market telling us now? The dollar is still holding above support, Treasuries continue to hold their own, and gold is acting sluggishly. What are we missing? Nothing, if this is simply a stock market correction within a bear market. The stock market will do whatever it has to -- to confuse and trap the greatest number of people. Note -- Sentiment has changed radically from what it was six months ago. The prevailing sentiment today seems to be optimism, hope, and the feeling that the Fed has "everything under control," as Bernanke keeps telling us.

Here's Harry's story. Stock prices have risen strongly since March, confounding all the "realists" who have stayed on the sidelines and watched their non-thinking, optimistic friends get rich.

Now there is two types of "tallk."

1. The bears will be forced to pile into the market because all their investors are getting pissed about the profits they missed. This will drive stock prices even higher.

2. The market will turn down dramatically because one day people will wake up and say, "These new, higher stock prices can't support the reality of a dreky economy." When this will happen nobody knows. For now, optimism is winning. We've had seven consecutive days of rises in the Dow.

Picking which side will "win" this one is what makes horse races, and is also irrelevant. You don't pick markets. Ynou pick stocks. And you pick them based on their individual prospects. And you follow our 15% Stock Loss Rule.

I like STEC because I like its technology and prospects, though now it's getting "pricey" -- but it hasn't fallen 15% so I'm still hanging in. Ditto for EWA, EWZ and BYDDF.

've been vacation so I would have had more picks.

Meantime, it's instructive to peruse the past 13 years in stockmarket. Here are three ways:

First, the leaders:

Second, the broad market:

Third, technology:

What do you learn form these charts? First, trends continue. Second, go with the flow. Third, get out when your 15% stop loss kicks in. Fourth, stay awake at the wheel. Fifth, don't fantasize. Sixth, go back to the first point and read all the points over again.

I don't normally recomend new technology before I test it. But this new solid state hard drive has been receiving extraordinary reviews all over the Internet. If you rely on your laptop as much as I do to run your life, you really cannot not have one.

Reviewers are calling this Corsair 256 gig, though in reality it's the Samsung drive Samsung is selling OEM to laptop manufacturers. I bought mine yesterday from NewEgg. It cost nearly $700 -- about 10 times what I can buy a normal 2.5 inch hard drive for. But, after reading all the reviews, I couldn't resist. Here's a sample one:

The fastest SSD (solid state drive) in the world
HLN from Windermere, FL
I just got this yesterday after a long weekend wait and let me tell you this thing rocks. And it rocks fast :). I am going to give you a review on a perspective of real world usages and not on benchmark with all the numbers, not yet anyways. I bought this for my MacBook Pro unibody and it is the best upgrade I have ever done. The speed is just simply mind boggling. I was shocked on how fast everything is. I am not talking about user wishful thinking, bias opinion of the speed gain, I am talking about screaming fast, jaw dropping speed. To give you some ideas on how fast this thing boots up, with the original stock drive, I got out a stop watch and timed it (not very scientific here but it'll do) and it took 1 minutes and 46 secs to cold boot the MacBook Pro into the desktop. With this new SSD, it took 22 seconds. Applications loading is extremely fast as well. I mean, as soon as you hit the icon, the app is already fully loaded. I have a 8000 songs iTunes library plus about 40+ movies and 10 TV shows and iTunes loaded with lighting speed. It used to take at least a full minute to fully load iTunes, now it takes, literally 1 to 2 seconds (yes you read correct 1 to 2 secs to fully load iTunes). I also have Photo collections with several thousands pics and it took, are you ready? It took 2.2 seconds to load the entire library. How cool is that? Safari and FireFox are both stunning in loading speed with about 8 tabs of web pages. My machine was running fairly cool with the old drive but when watching movies, the machine gets warm or sometimes hot to touch. With this SSD, I watched a full length 2 hour movie and the bottom of the MB Pro is steel cold. The fan never kicked on the entire movie. In fact I have not heard the fan since yesterday. To be fair, the MB Pro is so efficient that I never had any problem with heat or hear the fan noise but with the SSD drive, it is just dead quite. Very strange to use a completely noiseless and steel cold to the touch notebook. About the drive. I did extensive research and found that this is one of the very best right now, watch out Intel (I think Intel still is the King). Before you get turned off my the name Corsair, it is really a Samsung drive with Samsung RAM chips and controller. Samsung has its own version of 256GB SSD but they only sell to OEM and not regular folks like you and me. A tip: Installation of the drive into MB Pro is very simple. Remove one screw that holds the drive and remove the 4 screws on the old drive (need special screw driver for these 4 screws). There is a video from OWC computing that shows exactly how to do it. Painless upgrade: I first put the SSD drive into an external USB enclosure. Downloaded SuperDuper, a free program to clone my old existing drive to the new SSD. Installed the SSD into MB Pro and boot it up. The first time booting up with SSD took a lot longer than what I stated earlier. I believe the OS needs to do some configuration for it first. After another reboot, the speed was astonishing. I know that this is not cheap and I hear you. But if you want to joy of the greatest upgrade ever in the history of upgrading, this drive is the drive to get. Also, DO NOT go cheap on SSD drives. You get what you paid for. All SSDs are not created equal. Go do some research before buying but if you want to listen to someone who already did the research, read anything and everything on SSDs for years, then run, don't walk and buy this awesome drive.

Your telephone system stinks: A customer calls you. He gets your voice mail. He then hits zero and is told zero is not defined. In other words he can't reach your operator to speak to another salesman. Annoyed, he calls your competitor. Please check your phone system.

Don't pay retail. On anything you buy, ask for "Your best price." Don't accept less than a 30% discount. There's an old joke: Why did God invent Christians? Answer: because someone has to pay retail.

Denver Airport is a gigantic mess. Lines are ultra-long. Getting around this huge airport is slow. Two solutions: go by wheelchair and/or first class. Both get you shorter lines.

Rocky Mountain construction. You live and learn. I'm visiting a construction sites in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I notice these "mats" outside glass doors. They're plywood with a million three-inch long screws sticking out.

Here's a close-up of the nasty screws.

Contractor's explanation: "The bears are after food. They push in glass doors and often break them. This is a $15,000 door. We protect it. The bears don't like stepping on my mats."

OK. I think that's creative. I ask, what do the owners do after you and your mats have left?

Answer: "That's their problem."

The worst pun
Two bees met in a field. One said to the other, 'How are things going?' 'Really bad,' said the second bee. 'The weather has been cold, wet and damp, and there aren't any flowers, so I can't make honey.

'No problem,' said the first bee, 'Just fly down five blocks and turn left. Keep going until you see all the cars. There's a Bar Mitzvah going on and there are all kinds of fresh flowers and fresh fruit.'

'Thanks for the tip,' said the second bee, and flew away. A few hours later the two bees ran into each other again.

The first bee asked, 'How'd it go?'

'Great!' said the second bee. 'It was everything you said it would be. There was plenty of fruit and, oh, such huge floral arrangements on every table.

'Uh, what's that thing on your head?' asked the first bee.

'That's my yarmulke,' said the second bee. 'I didn't want them to think I was a wasp.,

The second worst puns.
+ The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

+ I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .

+ No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

+ A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

+ A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

+ A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

+ I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

+ When the cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address is . You can't click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.