Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EDT, Tuesday, October 20, 2009: Don't
be shy. Send me wine, women and song. My recommendations -- Apple, Google, Australia
(EWA) and Brazil (EWZ) continue to do well. If you'd have followed them, you
could now afford to send me wine, women and song.
is the stockmarket:
been going up for these reasons (not in any particular order):
Corporate earnings, in the main, are high. In certain areas like tech, demand
is high. In others, the low dollar is helping export sales. And in others,
firing all those people has saved huge.
Yields on all the alternatives -- like bonds, savings banks, certificates
of deposits, are at zero, or so low they're laughable. The stockmarket is
it. There's nowhere else to put your money.
Everyone is piling on. They don't want to miss the rewards their friends are
has all the ingredients of a bubble. Also, it's October, scene of previous big
busts. Please do not borrow money to buy stocks. Please do not put too much
money in this market.
right place at the right time. One of my brokers is pounding the
table for Rackspace Hosting (RAX):
The company is
in cloud computing -- the right place at the right time. Sales are moving steadily
But earnings suck.
Fluctuating between four and six cents through these five periods. Everyone
and their uncle recently upgraded the stock. I wonder if this is another STEC?
president is acting weird, since I wrote not nice about him and his company.
He should be engaging me, not ignoring me.
SEC's lessons on stockmarket trading. The SEC's
complaint against Galleon, etc. for insider trading reads like veritable primer
on how to trade on the stockmarket. Read it here.
Check. Check. Thoroughly check each and every
one of your monthly bills from each and every one of your suppliers -- from
your credit card companies, from your cable TV company, from your broker, and
from your banks. If ever there were a growth industry for creativity is mistakes,
charges, add-ons, fees, and the like, it's my mailbox.
first lesson is check, check, check. Then scream.
second lesson is never, ever sign up an automatic payment or automatic renewal
of anything (especially magazine subscriptions).
useful browser tips for Windows:
If you want to save a web page, use Internet Explorer and save the page as
a MHT document. That's the only way to save a web page as one page -- along
with all the links, etc.
If you want to clip part of a web page (like I did above with Rackspace's
revenues), then you have to use Firefox with the add-on called Screengrab.
doing a lousy job."
"You haven't been calling me to tell me how much you love me."
"You're now beginning to sound like Michelle. Did Michelle put you up to
this? You remind me of the old African joke: Woman gets kidnapped by gorilla.
After three weeks, she's rescued. In her hospital bed, she looks ashen. Her
husband asks, "Why do you look so sad?"
She answers "It's
been three weeks, he hasn't called, or emailed, or texted, or anything."
Michelle is gorgeous.
She looks like Courtney Cox, according to Todd, who's smitten:
the dermatologist. Did you make an appointment?
My friend is not doing well with his skin cancer which has moved to his brain.
This stuff is serious. I wrote about it yesterday.
conflict of interest: I get paid by Google (the ads on the side).
Hence I have an interest in bashing Microsoft. A reader wants everyone to know
there are mitigating circumstances. I barely get enough money from Google each
month to buy a cheap night on the town. Second, I have lost faith in Microsoft's
ability "to get it right." Windows 7 may be the last straw before
I switch 100% to my Mac. I am using Windows XP. It works fine. But Microsoft
wants me to go to Windows 7...
are some excerpts from a piece in InfoWorld, and recently republished by Computerworld.
It's a fun read:
+ As OS debauchery
goes, Windows 7 truly is the height of gluttony. It's bloated and top-heavy,
with an insatiable appetite for state-of-the-art hardware. Basically, it chews
up CPU and memory capacity like it's going out of style. But to what end?
What is it, exactly, that Windows 7 does so much better than its leaner, meaner,
is a greedy company. Its obsession with preserving profit by stamping out
software piracy has led to ever more onerous "Windows Genuine Advantage"
(that is, copy protection) mechanisms, culminating with the albatross of a
solution that plagues Vista and, to a lesser degree, Windows 7.
+ Windows 7
is the focal point for much Microsoft customer anger. From the disappointment
of not having a direct upgrade path for XP users to the frustration of having
to pay for what is essentially a glorified Vista Service Pack, corporate bean
counters are furious with Microsoft over the company's mishandling of the
Windows 7 transition. It's not enough to have ignored their concerns with
the buggy, consumer-oriented Vista. Microsoft felt the need to rub salt in
the wound by effectively punishing them for having the gall to try to save
This is customer
abuse of the worst kind, and you may find yourself tempted to hop on the Redmond-bashing
bandwagon. But just remember: Microsoft is not a forgiving company. Those
who refuse to embrace its long-term strategy often pay dearly as they scramble
to catch up to the rest of the Windows parade. Just ask those poor souls who
decided to skip Vista. Pay now, or pay through the nose later. That's the
+ Windows 7
inspires envy. Specifically, it arouses a kind of covetousness toward products,
like the Mac, that truly work out of the box. As I noted in my comments on
Windows 7's lust-making, Microsoft has promised a similar "it all works"
experience with Windows 7. But the reality still falls far short of the Apple
ideal, and thus envy is born.
It begins with
the discovery, by novice users, that the process of installing and maintaining
software hasn't evolved much in the past decade. It's still a confusing, hit-or-miss
proposition, with issues like registry corruption/bloat and DLL hell still
plaguing Windows 7. These users then see how easy it is to install applications
under a platform like Mac OS X, and they can't help but feel a bit envious
of their Apple-hugging contemporaries.
Windows 7 is
a disorganized mess. Like its predecessors, it inherits a hodgepodge of configuration
and management technologies that rarely work well together and that leave
bits and pieces of their respective detritus scattered throughout the OS.
+ By far the
worst offender is the Windows registry. This antiquated construct has been
the source of more troubleshooting headaches than any other aspect of the
Windows platform. Orphaned keys, conflicting/out-of-date values, hive file
fragmentation -- these are just some of the issues that drive IT help desk
staffers crazy. The situation is so bad that even Microsoft is abandoning
the registry approach (though not in Windows 7).
You can read the
entire article here.
of the Week
An undefined problem
has an infinite number of solutions. - Robert A. Humphrey
Shallow men believe
in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is wise to
remember that you are one of those who can be fooled some of the time. - Lawrence
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.