Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Wednesday, April 27, 2005: The
stockmarket remains the place not to be. There are occasional bright spots
(such as Google). But finding them is too hard. Think pushing a heavy boulder
up a hill. Every so often, the boulder falls back and crushes you (e.g. Taser,
Verizon, Research in Motion, AIG, Berkshire Hathaway). Today's headline earnings
news is dismal -- Sony's net loss widens, Amazon's net falls 30%, Siemens profits
are down 35%. Better to play tennis, paint the house, spend time with the kids,
or God forbid, pay attention to your own business. Figure a way of being super-nice
to your customers.
There are four keys to making the perfect investment. (At
First, developing a deal flow. You can't be in them, if you can't find
them. And since you want to be in the best ones, you have to figure out how to
find them. All my friends in the real estate have worked with (also called trained)
Second, you have to train your nose to say "NO" quickly and "YES"
slowly. You say NO fast to save time. There's nothing more painful than listening
to a bad entrepreneur rattle on endlessly about his latest bad idea. You have
to say YES slowly to allow yourself time to do the due diligence
don't ever take your friends' recommendations without checking them out.
If you've been reading this column, by now you know more about choosing an investment
than all your friends. The best source of money-losing deals are friends.
doing your allocations is key. You don't want ever to give more than you
can afford to lose to one project. Avoiding large losses has to be your key
goal today. This is contrary to what every major Wall Street firm and every
manager of your money says, namely Buy-and-hold. You cannot buy
and hold in today's markets. Cash remains king. Clip this chart. It shows
how hard it is to dig yourself out of a hole.
of Loss Incurred
To Break Even
Why Buy and Hold doesn't always work:
Check out the Taser boulder. Hairy, eh?
Now you know why the original investors in Google are selling many of their shares...
best idea ever. My optometrist calls it "self-prescribing."
I'm a high myop. That means I'm short-sighted. I can't see distance. When I
go to my eye doctor, he gives me glasses that let me see distant mountains clearly.
This is useless, since I spend most of my time looking computer screens 2-3
feet away. I self-prescribed. I now have three sets of glasses -- one
for reading, one for computer screens and one for driving (seeing mountains).
Most of the day, I wear my computer glasses.
I continue to like real estate: Read
my piece yesterday on my friend who made a quick million. And now the government
reports that sales of new homes rose sharply by 12.2 percent in March and hit
a record annual pace of 1.43 million. Today, I'm putting some money into a syndication
and loaning some money on another development in Coachella Valley. My loan is
backed a first trust deed and personal guarantees from the wealthy developers.
works. The New York Times today reported on a old rape case that
just got solved with DNA. Said Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district
attorney, "It ought to send a chill through a lot of defendants to know
that after 32 years you can still test for DNA."
I'm no a doctor, but...if you're using Viagra, Cialis
or Levitra, stop instantly if you have high blood pressure. The
Journal of Neuro-Optalmology reports that 14 men taking these drugs have
developed an eye problem that can cause blindness. The problem is NAION. Of
the 14, seven had high blood pressure and three had pre-existing eye problems.
If you have NAION in one eye, stop using these drugs instantly, if not sooner.
NAION stands for nonartheritic ischemic optic neuropathy. It's nasty.
From today's Washington
to be patients with symptoms of stress and fatigue were five times
as likely to walk out of doctors' offices with a prescription when they mentioned
seeing an ad for the heavily promoted antidepressant Paxil, according
an unusual study being published today.
The study employed
an elaborate ruse -- sending actors with fake symptoms into 152 doctors' offices
to see whether they would get prescriptions. Most who did not report symptoms
of depression were not given medications, but when they asked for Paxil,
55 percent were given prescriptions, and 50 percent received diagnoses
For the full article,
is a billion dollar a year business. I don't get it. Why anyone would
want to spend money to download music to play when your cell phone rings? Especially
when your cell phone already comes with zillions of ring tones? What do I know?
The ring tone business is a $1 billion a year business world-wide. And it's
growing. It now includes "moantones," which Wired Magazine
this month defines as
sighs and moans of porn stars, available for download as cell phone ring tones.
As porn princess (and moantoner) Jenna Jameson said in a press release: "The
technology is way beyond most of us, but the bottom line is, you'll be able
to hear me ... moan when your phone rings.
French Art Thief
cops' lips to your ears
Did you hear about the guy in Paris who almost got away with stealing several
paintings from the Louvre? He meticulously planned the crime. He got in and
out past security. He was caught only two blocks away when his SUV ran out of
When asked how he could mastermind such a crime, then make such an obvious error,
"Monsieur, I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh."
the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them
+ "If you
run, you'll only go to jail tired."
+ "So you
don't know how fast you were going. I guess that means I can write anything
I want on the ticket?"
You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give
you another ticket."
You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides,
eat cotton candy, and step in monkey poop."
we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
+ "No sir
we don't have quotas. We used to have quotas but now we're allowed to write
as many tickets as we want."
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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look
mighty interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. That money
will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense,
here and here.