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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton

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9:00 AM EDT, Thursday, September 24, 2009: The best part of yesterday was not the 80 point fall in the Dow. It was the many games I won off the lively 35-year old who hits like a canon and gets to every ball and then some. When a 67-year old plays a 35-year old, there's only one textbook. It's Brad Gilbert's Winning Ugly.

This is what happened yesterday -- the day after Cramer hammered the table for Wynn Resorts (and I mentioned it and mentioning I was hoping for a little pullback).

To his credit, even Cramer recommends waiting several days after he's mentioned the stock -- though, in this case, you could have done well if you had jumped in first thing the morning after his TV table-thumping. Personally I think it will go higher.

The contagion of "service" charges. Everybody and their uncle is copying our beloved banks and slapping "service" charges onto invoices, monthly statements, you name it. I understand the motivation -- billing your way out of your personal recession. But it's annoying bullshit. Question them and they instantly remove the charges.

"Oops, sorry about that."

It's an infernal waste of timing minutely checking every bill, monthly statement, and every quote thing you get sent.

Yesterday I removed $1414 in "other charges" off a rental lease by simply saying "the charges weren't on last year's bill." I also got rid of a "security deposit waiver" fee. This one was a beaut. Normally I give them $1,000 security deposit. If I don't trash the house, they give it back to me -- as they've done in the past umpteen years. This time they have a new idea. They don't want the $1,0000, they'll insure me for $45. This way, if I do trash the place, I don't pay, the insurance company does.

I'm collecting creative (and spurious) charges. I will award a free subscription to this column for all the doozies you have recently found. Email me your favorites.

Latest dumb PC trick. Your friend uses Microsoft Word on his Apple Mac. He emails you his brilliance. It comes in a .dat file. Microsoft Word on your PC won't open it. Before you go ballistic at Microsoft -- totally justified -- change the file's name to .doc. Bingo, it opens in Word.

Microsoft gets about 75% of its share price from basically two products -- the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office. Both are under serious competitive pressure, which is why its share price is $26, while Apple, which gets about 80% of its value from iPhone, is currently $185. And Google is around $500.

Google Chrome is now the best (and my favorite) Internet browser. You can learn more about Chrome 3.0, the latest. And download it for free. Click here.

The rich have feelings, too. That's the title of a wonderful piece in the latest Vanity Fair, which begins:

Up until the tarantulas arrived late last year waving their billions in “bailout” money before our faces, there were ten of us, including the two Harvard algorithm swamis, who could use the Gulfstream V, the Falcon, and the three Learjets pretty much anytime we needed them.

The vast majority of the flights — let’s get this straight before anyone starts clucking and fuming — were strictly business, but we also used the planes to “maintain an even strain,” as our C.E.O., Robert J. (Corky) McCorkle, liked to put it.

Tom Wolfe boards the Gulfstream V of his character Robert J. “Corky” McCorkle. Illustration by Paul Cox.

At the risk of sounding condescending, we should point out that ordinary people haven’t the faintest conception of the strain we had to endure daily. How many ordinary people have ever done anything remotely like betting $7.4 billion — bango! — just so! — that the price of energy will rise sharply 14 months from a certain date? How many of them ever had the animal spirits to go for it on the say-so of a young never-been-wrong-yet meteorology swami from M.I.T. who was convinced that, after a five-year lull in the cycle, a series of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes would pulverize the Gulf of Mexico, obliterating all offshore drilling operations, possibly shutting them down for years? How many ordinary people have woken up in the middle of the night, eyes popped open — swock! — like a pair of umbrellas, stark raving terrified by the possibility that they have just blown $7.4 billion on … a weather forecast? How many of them have ever sat for three days, 72 hours straight, in front of a gigantic plasma TV watching the Weather Channel as if it were the Super Bowl as Hurricane Enrique dithers, dawdles, malingers, messes around off the coast of Fort Lauderdale? How many ordinary people have been reduced finally, by sheer fear, to yelling at the screen, “Come on, Enrique, you pathetic wuss! Move your fat eye, you lazy worthless bitch! Be a man! Move inland! Cut straight across the Everglades, tear ‘em up by the roots and just let the greenies wail! Set your eye on the freaking Gulf! Take your goddamn steroids! Show some rage, you pussy! Barrel into those goddamn oil rigs! Destroy ‘em! Obliterate ‘em!”? How many ordinary people have finally sunk to their knees, hands clasped in prayer before a plasma-TV screen, imploring it, begging it, beseeching it … to save them?

God knows we deserved every chance we could get to even out the strain.

One of the sweetest sounds in the world was Corky making the rounds up here on the executive floor, saying in his laid-back voice, “I feel like boffing some bimbos in the Caribbean. Anybody like to come along?”

To read the rest of Tom Wolfe's wonderful piece, click here.

Alaska bear remover.
A man wakes up one morning in Alaska to find a bear on his roof. So he looks in the yellow pages and sure enough, there's an ad for 'Bear Removers.' He calls the number, and the bear remover says he'll be over in 30 minutes.

The bear remover arrives, and gets out of his van. He's got a ladder, a baseball bat, a shotgun and a mean old pit bull.

'What are you going to do,' the homeowner asks.

'I'm going to put this ladder up against the roof, then I'm going to go up there and knock the bear off the roof with this baseball bat. When the bear falls off, the pit bull is trained to grab his testicles and not let go.

The bear will then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage in the back of the van.'

He hands the shotgun to the homeowner.

'What's the shotgun for?' asks the homeowner..

'If the bear knocks me off the roof, shoot the dog.'

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.