Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Friday, December 7, 2007: Nothing
confounds more trying to impute "logic" into the stockmarket. Logically,
it shouldn't be going up. But it is. So, my call to cash on November 13 has
proven 100% WRONG:
Those of you who
took my call to cash as a call to jump into the market big-time (the contrarian
view) made out like bandits. Congratulations.
For me, I'm semi-pleased.
I didn't go 100% to cash. I kept investments in hedge funds, some ETFs, and
most importantly my Vanguard index funds. My big mistake was bailing out on
a bunch of ETFs, which have come roaring back -- namely DRW, EWG, EWJ, EZU,
IJJ, IJK,ILF, IWD, IWF, IWN and IWO.
As to where we
go from here.... your guess is as good as mine. I'm still convinced the world
is fraught with serious risks of an economic slowdown. But no one has ever (or
yet) equated the stockmarket with logic, or the economy. Check out this chart
from Yahoo! Finance. Look at the stats (they're for yesterday) -- the
new highs, the advances versus the declines. Pretty solid stuff.
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faster, better laptop: If I were starting from
scratch, I'd buy a Mac. I would not buy a Windows machine. There are two basic
reasons. First, Macs don't get viruses. Checking for them, cleaning them, out,
protecting against them are all major pains in the tushy. You didn't pay to
have a big part of your computer's gee-whiz speed bogged down in virus B.S.
Second, Macs are simply and in virtually all respects, better computers. Here's
a simple example. Unplug either machine from the Internet. Start up your browser.
Go to a site, e.g. this one. Then plug the cable back in. The Mac will come
alive and reach the site. The PC will take time to get with the network, and
sit dead until you hit Enter several times.
only reason to get a PC is because you need to run software which only works
in Windows. There is plenty of this in the corporate world -- which is why corporations
tolerate the ongoing nonsense and heavy overhead associated with Windows. If
special software is not your concern, stick with a Mac. There's more than enough
useful software. And most of it is a lot easier to use than Windows software.
friend, Dan Good has just put Apple's new operating system called Leopard on
three machines (his own and his grandkids). I asked him for the top five things
he liked about Leopard:
(backup) is #1. It is automatic to an external drive and enables you to quickly
search your computer for any file. You can even see what your computer looked
like on any past date. Cool. #2 is Spaces which gives you four separate screens.
#3 is how your documents and downloads are arrayed in a fan presentation rather
than on your desktop so you never have a cluttered desktop again. #4 is iChat
Video conferencing where you can have a four way conference call free with
other Mac users, particularly the family. #5 is a tie between an amazing iPhoto
presentation and a HD Quicktime movie. Many more features including, of course,
the intuitive ease of operation and just plain fun.
Irans Take on America: I'm not a liberal
pinko commie. I'm a concerned citizen who is searching for ways to move us to
more logical ways of running our lives. (More about my searches later). Meantime,
this piece by Thomas Friedman, who is not liberal pinko and who has supported
the war in Iraq, writes in The New York Times:
are two intelligence analyses that are relevant to the balance of power between
the U.S. and Iran one is the latest U.S. assessment of Iran, which
certainly gave a much more complex view of what is happening there. The other
is the Iranian National Intelligence Estimate of America, which my
guess would read something like this:
To: President Ahmadinejad
From: The Iranian
Ministry of Intelligence
recall, in the wake of 9/11, we were extremely concerned that the U.S. would
develop a covert program to end its addiction to oil, which would be the
greatest threat to Iranian national security. In fact, after Bushs
2006 State of the Union, in which he decried Americas oil addiction,
we had high confidence that a comprehensive U.S. clean energy
policy would emerge. We were wrong.
that the U.S. was engaged in a covert Manhattan Project to achieve
energy independence have been assuaged. Americas Manhattan
Project turns out to be largely confined to the production of corn ethanol
in Iowa, which, our analysts have confirmed from cellphone intercepts between
lobbyists and Congressmen, is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar payoff
to big Iowa farmers and agro-businesses.
to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Congress decided to increase the miles per gallon
required of U.S. car fleets by the year 2020 which took us by surprise
but we nevertheless strongly believe this will not lead
to any definitive breaking of Americas oil addiction, since none of
the leading presidential candidates has offered an energy policy that would
include a tax on oil or carbon that could trigger a truly transformational
shift in America away from fossil fuels.
it is very likely that Irans current level of high oil
revenues will last for decades and insulate our regime from any decisive
pressures from abroad or from our own people.
We have to
note that obtaining open-source intelligence in America has become more
difficult, because traditional news shows have become more comedic and more
comedic news shows more authoritative.
CNNs nightly business report is hosted by a man named Dobbs.
Real journalists come on his show and present transparently propagandistic
stories about immigration and trade and then he fulminates about them, much
the way our ayatollahs used to do about Satanic Americans on
late-night Iranian TV. So viewers have no real idea whats happening
in the U.S. economy.
at 11 p.m., something called The Daily Show, which appears on
Comedy Central, has fake journalists presenting what turns out to be the
Yes, our last
I.N.I.E. in 1990 concluded that after the collapse of communism, America
was on track to become the worlds sole superpower and most compelling
role model for Muslim youth including our own. We were wrong. We
now have high confidence that America is on a path of self-destruction,
for three reasons:
has made America afraid and therefore stupid. The war on terrorism
is now so deeply imbedded in Americas psyche that we think it is highly
likely that America will continue to export more fear than hope and
will continue to defend things like torture and Guantánamo Bay prison
and to favor politicians like Mr. Giuliani, who alienates the rest of the
a time when Americas bridges, roads, airports and Internet bandwidth
have fallen behind other industrial powers, including China, we believe
that the U.S. opposition to higher taxes and the fact that the primary
campaigns have focused largely on gay marriage, flag-burning and whether
the Christian Bible is the literal truth means it is highly
unlikely that America will arrest its decline.
the U.S. presidential candidates are distancing themselves from the core
values that made America such a great power and so different from us
in particular Americas long commitment to free trade, open immigration
and a reverence for scientific enquiry wherever it leads. Our intel analysts
are baffled that the leading Democrat, Mrs. Clinton, no longer believes
in globalization and the leading Republican, Mr. Huckabee, never believed
seem determined to appeal either to the most nativist extremes in their
respective parties or to tell voters that something Americans call
the tooth fairy will make their energy, budget, educational
and Social Security deficits painlessly disappear.
we conclude with high confidence that there is little likelihood
that post-9/11 America will, as they say, get its groove back
nukes when you have this kind of America?
God is Great.
Long Live the Iranian Revolution.
best Chanukah present:
Another Chanukah dinner at the home of a learned and distinguished
rabbi. The candles glow softly, the table is crowded with family, congregants,
Suddenly, a flash
of light, and the angel of the Lord appears.
says the angel. "For your life of unselfish service and exemplary behavior,
you are to be rewarded. You have the choice of infinite wealth, boundless wisdom
or utter beauty. Pick one."
the rabbi says, "Wisdom."
says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning.
All heads wheel
to the rabbi, who sits, stunned, an expression of dawning comprehension breaking
across his shocked features.
There is a long
silence. Finally his teenage grandson speaks. "Say something wise,"
the young man insists.
The old rabbi
looks around the table and says, "I should have taken the money."
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
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