Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
AM EST, Tuesday, December 16, 2008: These
seem to make a modicum of sense for that little part of your portfolio not
DGP. The PowerShares double Gold.
+ DXO. The PowerShares
double Oil. At some stage oil will turn.
Short D.H. Horton
(DHI), the homebuilder. It was down 10% yesterday (following my recommendation).
It will fall more.
Be wary investing
too much time or money in playing this stockmarket. It's seriously difficult.
Better to spend your time on your own business and job.
Street is a product machine.
creates investments and then sells them, pocketing a handsome commission.
It has no long-term interest in the product it sells or the person it sells
that product to (i.e. you or me). That's all you have to know when dealing
with your broker, banker or financial adviser. There are exceptions. They're
usually found in small firms. What brings this thought up (again) is today's
Dec. 16 (Bloomberg)
-- Tremont Group Holdings Inc., a hedge- fund firm owned by OppenheimerFunds
Inc., had $3.3 billion, or more than half its total assets, invested with
Bernard Madoff, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Rye Investment Management unit had $3.1 billion, virtually all the money
the group managed, allocated to Madoff, said the person, who declined to
be identified because the information is private. Tremont had another $200
million, or about 7 percent of its total assets, invested through its fund
of funds group, Tremont Capital Management.
manages a total of $5.8 billion, would have made roughly $62 million this
year peddling funds that are solely run by Madoff, who was arrested Dec.
11 after he allegedly confessed to running a giant Ponzi scheme
that may have bilked investors out of $50 billion. Hedge funds that invested
with the 70-year-old Queens, New York-native charged fees to their clients
for the task of vetting the fund.
Tremont exercised appropriate due diligence in connection with the Madoff
investments, the firm said today in a statement. Tremont parent OppenheimerFunds
is a unit of Springfield, Massachusetts-based Massachusetts Mutual Life
where your taxpayer money goes? Try half
a billion each year to "disabled" railroad workers. The New York
Times ran a huge expose on the Railroad Retirement Board -- a major taxpayer
ripoff. The story included:
complained that disability benefits were given for medical conditions regardless
of whether they actually impaired ones ability to work. The conditions
themselves were often vague. A worker, for example, could be considered
disabled with moderately severe antisocial ideas. What
constituted an antisocial idea was open to interpretation.
For the full
story on the Railroad
a little good news. My
friend buys and manages commercial buildings. He puts out requests to banks
for loans. He's getting responses from banks. They want to lend. They won't
lend 85% of the building's cost, like in the old days. But they'll lend 65%
to 70%. And the rates are reasonable 6% to 7.25%.
is on the rise: Every "bank" and "credit union"
on the planet is sending me "ALERT" messages telling me something
is wrong with my account with them. I should please log on and fix the problem.
The "problem" doesn't exist. Most likely I don't have an account
with them. Some crook is trying to "pfish" my bank account information
and password out of me -- so they can empty it when I'm not looking.
Don't even think aboiut clicking on the link
which they included in their email..
I ran GM. I'd recognize my problem -- namely everyone thinks I
make awful cars. Solution: Offer a "10-Year No Repair" Program.
Whatever goes wrong, GM, fixes it. This is not a unique idea. BMW offers something
similar. My friend leases a BMW. He tells me he's never paid for a repair.
He even paid a few bucks extra. His tires are fully covered. Meantime, why
can't GM make cars like this one -- my favorite BMW:
The 328i xDrive Sports Wagon. Goes like a rocket. Handles like a charm.
Built like a tank. All wheel drive. 25 MPG on the highway.
promotional emails make sense: Only four
companies email me daily with specials. I like receiving them. They're easy
to delete if I'm busy. But sometimes I feel I've worked hard and need a reward.
Looking at the specials is usually better than actually buying them. But I
aren't you sending your customers and prospects more promotional emails? When
they do come to buy, they'll remember us.
your grandkids to Santa. They'll enjoy the
experience, as will Santa.
A judge was punishing three men because they had committed a crime. Their
sentence was a few years in the desert. He said that they could each take
one thing with them.
The first guy
decides to take an umbrella, so that he can have shade whenever he wants.
The second guy
decides to take a water bottle so that he won't get thirsty.
third guy decides to take a car door.
The judge asked,
"Why in the world would you want to take a car door?"
The man replies,
"If it gets hot, I can roll down the window."
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,
here and here.