Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Friday, December 16, 2005: Made
my first investment in overseas real estate yesterday. I'm getting a forecast
13% a year on owning some Home Depot stores and leasing them back to the erstwhile
owner. Not one of the most exciting investments I've ever made but the yield
is predictable and Germany, like Japan, is finally perking up.
objective remains capital preservation. I'd rather be in triple tax-free muni
bonds than anything with high risk -- like much of the stockmarket, which looks
like it's getting squirrelly again.
I wish I had some brilliant ideas for you this morning. Yesterday stock research
drew blanks. Even Cramer, who has a research staff, is drawing blanks. His ideas
last night were Sara Lee (SLE), which has a new CEO and Cummins (CMI),
which is benefiting from sales to BRIC -- Brazil, Russia, India and China.
I enjoy watching Cramer because he so obviously loves the stockmarket. Some
of his picks have done very well -- including Google. But you have to selectively
accept his recommendations -- and I mean very selectively.
commercials on your TiVo replays: TV
broadcasters hate the idea because it's their living. But you can now play back
a show on your DVR (digital video recorder) and fast forward through 30 second
commercials. Here's how to do it on your TiVo:
The button on your TiVo
remote will bring you to the end of a program, or if you are at the end, it
will bring you to the beginning. If you are fast forwarding, the button
will skip you to the next tick mark. Now bring
up any recorded program or live TV. Then, enter the following sequence on your
Select 3 0 Select
You'll know the
combination worked when TiVo rings out three Thumbs Up sounds that chiming
"bling!" sound TiVo makes when you press the button on your remote
control. Your button will
now skip forward by 30 seconds, which means you may have to press the button
several times to get through a long commercial break. This hack is not permanent.
If at any time your TiVo needs to be rebootedafter becoming unplugged
or as a result of a power failure the hack will go away and you will
have to reapply it.
on-line finally reigns. By hook and by crook you can now get all
your regular monthly bills -- the ones you can't do anything about, like cable
TV, phone, gas -- put directly on a credit card. And with luck you can get that
credit card paid directly and automatically -- without your having to do anything
-- from your bank account. The keys:
1. Telling them your credit card expires five years later than it really does.
This saves huge aggravation. Most vendors simply bounce expired cards. They
cut your phone off but don't tell you why.
2. Scrounge around their web site and find the "pay automatically"
option. This worked with Manhattan Cable (TV).
3. Speak to an operator and beg. American Express's Blue Card, which gives you
5% back on some purchases -- my son's favorite credit card -- prides itself
on doing everything on the web, including paying itself directly out of your
bank account. But you have to intervene -- by clicking on one of their many
emails. Call an operator and beg for the "Pay your bill with direct debit"
brochure. Sign it. Return it and bingo, they do what they promised all along
-- never bounce your card or add ridiculous interest charges -- even though
you're sunning yourself on a beach in Aruba.
dry hand woes: I play tennis. The winter air is super-dry. My hand
cracks. Sometimes it bleeds. Here are my two recommended solutions (after years
of trying the alternatives):
The new Lamborghini
A man who has finally
made it in business treats himself to a new Lamborghini! After buying it, he feels
guilty so he goes to the Orthodox Rabbi and asks for a mezuzah for the Lamborghini.
a mezuzah for what?" the Rabbi asks.
"It's a Lamborghini,"
Lamborghini?" asks the Rabbi.
blasphemy!" the Rabbi shouts. "You want a mezuzah for a sports car?
Go to the conservatives!"
Well, the man
is disappointed, but goes to the Conservative Rabbi and asks for a mezuzah.
"You want a mezuzah for what?" the Rabbi asks.
"For my Lamborghini",
the man replies.
Lamborghini?" asks the Rabbi.
"A car, a
of sports car?" asks the Rabbi.
is blasphemy!" the Rabbi shouts. "You want a mezuzah for a Goyishe
car? Go to the Reform!"
Again, the man
feels guilty and disappointed,! but goes to the Reform Rabbi.
he asks, "I'd like a mezuzah for my Lamborghini."
a Lamborghini?" asks the Rabbi.
what it is?" says the man.
It's a fantastic Italian sports car... What's a mezuzah?"
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click
+ All turned on by biotech. Click
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available:
Click here. The full audio is available. Click
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click
+ When to sell stocks. Click
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.
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