Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EDT, Friday, September 25, 2009: Housing
hosed the stockmarket yesterday.
Clusterstock commented "What housing comeback?
After several months of an upward-sloping curve, the volume of existing home
sales dropped more than expected in August."
I don't think you can make a trend (or a big thing) out of one month's numbers.
wonderful dinner. Experts sit around a table at a nice restaurant
and discuss their views of the world. The dinner was organized last night by
the excellent Bottom
Line newsletter. Highlights of the dinner::
+ This is the
best time to build anything in New York City. Contractors are not busy. They're
actually grateful for the work. I'm guessing this applies to other cities also.
+ This is the
best time to move your retail store. Landlords are offering incredible deals
-- bigger spaces, better spaces, less money. Landlords hate to have empty space.
+ The art biz
is booming. This is a good time for serious investment in art. But you have
to know what's good. Only the "good" is a great investment. Art can
be a great investment. There are two ways to buy art -- primary (before and
during the show) and secondary (in the aftermarket). Think IPO and the stockmarket.
A painting costing $350,000 will sell for $800,000 in the secondary market.
Guess where you should buy -- after you've become an expert.
This chair recently
sold for $28 million:
The chair sold
at Christie's was Yves Saint Laurent's 'Dragons' armchair, circa 1917-1919.
Its estimated price was $2,587,711 to $3,881,567, but in the end it went for
25 million more. The chair is just one of the items that belonged to Saint
Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. All told, 733 pieces went on the auction
block and brought in an astounding $262 million in the auction's first night.
Among the other items sold was a work by Henri Matisse which went for a record-setting
$45,264,579. Other artists in Saint Laurent & Berge's collection included
Degas, Gauguin, Manet, Cezanne, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Duchamp,
Munch, Klimt and Mondrian just to name a few.
+ Asset allocation
still works -- despite how much the colleges lost in the last year from investing
in alternative strategies. For example, actively managed mutual funds "have
beaten the pants" off index funds this year.
+ Botox works
for migraine headaches. For more, click here
+ Fatness leads
to sickness. Think of it this way: You don't see any fat old people.
+ Videos are the
new promotion tool. Make them of your products. Post the videos on YouTube,
then embed the video on your own web site. You can rent a film crew for $300
a day in most cities.
+ Webinars, Facebook,
Twitter, etc. also work. Think new promotional tools. They're much cheaper than
newspaper or magazine advertising. (Another reason why those businesses are
+ Most people
under 65 require $300 a year catastrophic health insurance -- not the full-blown
$15,000 a year insurance they have today. People under 65 should visit their
doctor two to three times a year for "wellness" visits.
+ Reality TV is
booming because (1) It's cheaper to film, and (2) People are very curious about
other people's lifestyles.
trouble with wheels. A cement truck driver
tries to take out coffee money.
friend sent me a wonderful PowerPoint presentation of crashed vehicles in weird
situations. Watch it for fun. Click here.
of cars. From today's Wall Steer Journal:
You can read our
government's bullshit arguments for giving this company $529 million of your money,
A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten
a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland
that will sell for about $89,000.
The award this
week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government
loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric
Roadster. Tesla, like Fisker, is a California startup focusing on high-end
hybrids, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors
that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.
Fisker's Karma hybrid sports car, above, will initially cost about $89,000.
The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have
had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question
why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized
Koreas Dollar Store. Office 39, North Koreas billion-dollar
crime syndicate, pays for Kim Jong Ils missiles and cognac. Why did the
Bush White House choose not to shut it down? Writes Vanity Fair:
threatened not only the integrity of Americas currency but the very
fabric of international peace. They were part of a vast criminal enterprise
believed to be controlled by the North Korean state, set up and used to finance
its nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs. All of this, intelligence
analysts say, is coordinated by a secret agency inside the North Korean government
controlled directly by the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il, himself.
The agency is known as Office 39.
For the entire
fascinating piece (great weekend reading), click here.
the New Yorker online: Rather than giving away all its contents for
free, the New Yorker lets you read the entire magazine online -- ads and all,
in full color. The technology is neat. Watch it on your biggest computer monitor.
in the men's bathroom of Boston's Liberty Hotel.
Above each urinal
is a sign:
There's a business opportunity wherever you aim. And most of them are better
than gambling on today's stockmarkets.
recent New Yorker cartoons:
nostalgic.... what else?
Eat less. Kiss the family. Pat the dog. Have a great weekend.
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.