Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EDT, Thursday, September 10, 2009: I nibbled at some American
Express (AXP). And I like BHP Billiton (BHP). STEC is up so strongly, I'd take
some profits. BYDDF, a leading Chinese maker or electric cars and one of Buffett's
investments continues to rise.
But I'm bereft
of more investment ideas, since I've been playing and watching tennis. My best
news is that I'm down to 175 lbs, which is pretty good for a 6' 1", 67-year
old. I feel the best I've felt in years.
Federer is magic.
Pity about Melanie.
Alpha is a useful site: Which sites do you
visit each morning? Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, the New York
Times business and personal finance sections, . Add to those sites SeekingAlpha.
For one, it's much more investment focussed and second, it's much broader, with
many more articles. It relies on unpaid contributors, many of whom hold positions
in the stocks the contributors are touting. For the site, click here.
health-care is going to happen: That much I'm certain. As to what
the details will be and how it's going to be paid for remains way uncertain.
Obama laid out his overriding principles last night. His speech is worth reading.
Several points I found interesting:
Now, even if
we provide these affordable options, there may be those particularly
the young and healthy who still want to take the risk and go without
coverage. There may still be companies that refuse to do right by their workers.
The problem is, such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money.
If there are affordable options and people still don't sign up for health
insurance, it means we pay for those people's expensive emergency room visits.
If some businesses don't provide workers health care, it forces the rest of
us to pick up the tab when their workers get sick, and gives those businesses
an unfair advantage over their competitors. And unless everybody does their
part, many of the insurance reforms we seek especially requiring insurance
companies to cover pre-existing conditions just can't be achieved.
That's why under
my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance
just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. Likewise, businesses
will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to
help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for
those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95% of all small businesses,
because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these
requirements. But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can
afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or
their employees. Improving our health care system only works if everybody
does their part.
remain some significant details to be ironed out, I believe a broad consensus
exists for the aspects of the plan I just outlined: consumer protections for
those with insurance, an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses
to purchase affordable coverage, and a requirement that people who can afford
insurance get insurance.
For the entire
speech, click here.
words on credit cards: Don't buy things you
can't afford. If we all followed that simply philosophy, half our banks would
not be enjoying outrageous credit card fees and would be broke. Reader Charlie
I am sure you already automatically pay your credit cards via an automated
electronic funds transfer payment debited from your bank account by the credit
card company. Since you probably already do this and I presume that you were
only making a rhetorical point re: the $40 late fee on your LLBean Visa card.
We use this auto pay feature for all our credit cards, electric, sewer and
gas bills and are very happy with it, plus it saves a check, a $0.44 stamp
and, most important, the aggravation of remembering to send each payment.
Many times my wife and I agree that one of the best innovations vis-a-vis
credit card operations was the auto payment feature. Our bank account is debited
on the payment date for the full payment and we do nothing except watch the
bank statement and credit card statements to make sure they agree, so far
no foul ups on the credit card companies part, no late fee and no interest.
On another note, NO ONE should have or use a credit card if they cannot pay
the 'FULL amount each month on time and in full!!! It is absolutely ridiculous
for anyone to EVER pay the exorbitant and usurious interest rates and fees
that the credit card companies charge. If you cannot pay the full amount each
month, you don't need the item or service you are purchasing.
I use Internet browsers: I have three loaded
on my Windows laptop. All three let me keep many sites open simultaneously.
Google Chrome. These days it's my main browser. It's fast and reliable. It has
an easy history. It shows which sites I recently closed. When you open it, it
remembers the sites you were visiting and opens those.
Mozilla Firefox. Its enormous virtue are the hundreds of add-ons. I like three
-- ScreenGrab!, Showcase and MeasureIt.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer. It has no redeeming feature. I use it only occasionally
-- usually just to quickly visit one site. The others take longer to load, because
I've asked them to remember, visit and load 20-30 sites.
don't use Apple's Safari because it clutters my PC laptop with too much extraneous
Apple software. .
Pronto 2-in-1 stick vacuum. Put this $94 cordless
vacuum in your pantry or the corner of your kitchen. When you drop stuff, lift
the vacuum out of its charging cradle, run it across the floor and drop it back
in. It's well designed, and works well. Worth every penny.
Buy.com has it.
Don't say you never
learned anything useful from me.
U.S. Open Tennis Schedule: TV coverage of the
US Open is around the clock -- presently on ESPN2, ESPN2HD and the Tennis Channel,
and then later on CBS. The full schedule is at
USOpen.org. Here's today. Make sure
you watch it in high def -- which is often on a different channel. For
example, our low def Tennis Channel is 455. Our high def Tennis Channel is 465.
Last night on
Broadway: We took some visiting friends to see God of Carnage, a wonderful play
The play features
James Gandolfini (of Sopranos fame), Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels and Hope
Davis. For tickets,(it's now playing on Monday nights), click here.
But frankly, it's a lot cheaper to buy tickets at the box office, which opens
at 10 AM.
After the play
we took our friends to see the "new" Broadway, much of which is now
closed to cars and which features chairs and tables..
This is them and
my wife last night. Broadway is now a testimony to LCD huge-screen technology.
Stand them among the lights and the tourists (few of whom are speaking English)
and it makes you wonder whatever happened to our recession.
Note to Harry:
Garbage tins don't make for an attractive backdrop. Check. Check. Check.
logic of plumbing. Discovering
a leak in the bathroom, the lawyer called his plumber who fixed it in minutes.
The bill was substantial -- so substantial that the lawyer called to complain.
"You weren't here for more than ten minutes. I don't charge that much for
the plumber sympathetically, "I didn't either, when I was a lawyer."
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.