Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Thursday, February 21, 2008: Why
Nuveen, Blackrock, Eaton Vance, Evergreen, Allianz Global, John Hancock Advisors,
MFS, Van Kampen, Pimco, Gabelli and Calamos are collectively committing suicide
is beyond my tiny brain. Yesterday I heard a lot of "Mr. Newton, we
are thinking about a solution" to your $4.5 million of presently valueless
auction rate securities. Yesterday, I watched more auctions fail. But I didn't
hear any "Do not worry. We will redeem your securities."
These firms are
giving irresponsibility a whole new meaning.
No one denies
these things were sold as cash. No one denies there's billions of dollars
in these things slotted for April 15 taxes, deal closing, housing purchases,
etc. No one denies the only people who are likely to get rich out of all this
are the lawyers assembling their class action suits.
I used to run
a real business. If my customers had complained as loudly as I did to Nuveen
yesterday, I would have been embarrassed, hurt, upset and figured a way to solve
the customer's problem. The customer is king, and all that. When I solved the
customer's problem, I would have achieved a customer for life. Not Nuveen. They
are doing everything possible to lose as many clients as possible and attract
as many law suits as fast as possible.
don't like money market funds: Yesterday I
wrote about my fear of money market funds. It's amazing how many people think
money market funds are FDIC-insured. They're not. It's amazing how many people
don't know that most money market funds have their interest rates juiced up
with junk bonds. End of story.
Save. Save. This column is late (and short) this morning because
my erstwhile super-reliable Windows XP locked up. And in my enthusiasm for all
the brilliance I was writing, I had forgotten to hit F2, the button that saves
my work. I lost the entire column. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Save your work every two
If you didn't
read yesterday column on auction rate securities and money market funds, you
need to. Click
A furniture dealer from Knoxville, Tennessee, decided that he wanted to expand
the line of furniture in his store, so he went to Paris to see what he could
find. After arriving in Paris (this being his first trip to the French capital),
he met with some manufacturers and finally selected a line he thought would
sell well back home in Tennessee.
To celebrate the
new acquisition, he decided to visit a small bistro and have a glass of wine.
Before long, a very beautiful young Parisian woman came to his table, asked
him something in French (which he did not understand), and motioned toward the
He invited her
to sit down. He tried to speak to her in English, but she did not speak his
language so, after a couple of minutes of trying to communicate with her, he
took a napkin and drew a picture of a wine glass and showed it her. She nodded,
and he ordered a glass of wine for her.
together at the table for a while, he took another napkin, and drew a picture
of a plate with food on it, and she nodded. They ordered dinner, after which
he took another napkin and drew a picture of a couple dancing. She nodded, and
they got up to dance. They danced until the cafe closed and the band was packing
Back at their
table, the young lady took a napkin and drew a picture of a four-poster bed.
To this day, he
has no idea how she figured out he was in the furniture business.
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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