Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Monday, July 16: I'm
back. My first cruise. Relaxing. That's the operative word. It's the most relaxing
vacation you will ever take. You have a simple choice -- cabin fever or relaxation.
It ain't cheap. Figure $12,000 for 8 days. And that doesn't include the airfare
or the shore excursions, which added another $2,000 to see bears (no bears,
wrong time of year), to see some glaciers (way in the distance) and to see whales
(saw a few, also way distance). We did see some cute sea otters. Fact is you'll
never get the travel pictures the professionals take. You'll never see what
they see. A friend sent me these. They make my pictures pall.
on your balcony and watch Alaska waft slowly by. Eat another great meal. Sleep
in a great bed. Everything impresses, especially the layout of my cabin. I wish
hotels would learn from cruise ships and design their rooms better.
1. WiFi for laptops is getting better. Our ship had it -- at 20 cents
a minute. Alaska Airport has it. Most airport clubs have it. Carrying a laptop
2. Outlook is no good for travel. It downloads everything. And it often
won't upload because the local wireless provider blocks it. But all will allow
web mail. Before you leave, find out how to get onto your Outlook mail using
a browser and the Internet. That way you can also delete big files before you
download them slowly at 20 cents a minute.
3. Take extra
laptop batteries. A remarkable number of planes (like Continental's cross-country
737s to and from Alaska) still don't have laptop outlets. AC outlets are disappearing
from airport terminals. If you're me, you need 6 hours of battery life, minimum.
4. When you
leave town unplug everything. That includes TV sets, which suck a lot of
juice while in "standby." Summer thunderstorms could hurt your gadgetry
with lightning strikes. You don't want to come home to thousands of dollars
of destroyed equipment. Trust me. Unplug.
5 . The Duxiana
Travel Pillow is worth the schlepp. Pillows are disappearing from planes.
The ones Continental advertises are skimpy, even in "first class."
Learn to sleep in spurts. With your own pillow you can.
6. Take binoculars. Alaska has rules. No closer than 100 yards to whales.
No closer than 500 yards (or whatever) to sea otters. And glaciers are dangerous.
Ice bergs actually floated past our ship. They weren't big. But then we weren't
on an icebreaker. So we stayed a long way away.
7. Take European power adapters for your laptop. Cruise ships have North
8. Check timing.
The bears come out in August. We went in July. That was real dumb!
Go shopping: Alaska cruises drop you off at tiny towns -- Skagway, Ketchikan,
Sitka, etc., -- whose main "industries" are tourism and fishing. They
sell diamonds and watches. One salesman spent 25 minutes pushing a $35,000 Ulysse
Nardin watch on me. The watch was far less interesting than the sales pitch.
Learning about watches is almost as interesting as learning about whales. What
got me: This salesman is trying to sell me a less accurate watch (a mechanical
one) than the $15 quartz Timex I was wearing. He should have known. But, heck,
I had gray hair and had just got off a pricey cruise ship. He discounted it
three times as I delayed. He never got anywhere near $25..
day I walked into the ship's spa looking for a haircut ($35). There in the spa
was an 8-year old girl having a manicure. The sight threw me. An 8-year
old girl spending $50 (or so) on a manicure which she could do herself using
the free manicure kit which the ship had thoughtfully provided in her
Here starring me in the face was the extraordinary investment potential of tourism.
The ship was 100% full.
Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe: Every time you buy
something online, the store adds you to their junk mail list. Now you're on
vacation, and on per minute intermittent Internet. It costs a fortune to receive
all those cents-off, shipping-off, great summer-sales, emails. Now is the time
to unsubscribe to everything. And -- to my amazement -- it's pretty easy.
Go to the bottom of each of those emails. There in the smallest type are instructions
on how to unsubscribe -- how to stop their endless promotions. I stopped a zillion
this weekend -- so many that I'm beginning to feel decidedly unloved.
on the cruise. I bought some OIH and IYE. Both are
ETFs in the oil biz. They're the easiest way to play the escalating price of
oil. Boone Pickens says oil will hit $80 a barrel by the time he hits 80 (about
10 months). I think he's right. I'm convinced we'll see oil at $100 within three
years. For the absolute best explanation of oil's future, go to Jim
Kingsdale's Energy Investment Strategies web site and read his latest
July, 2007 newsletter. Click
here. He has a bunch of investment recommendations.
oil output drops: From Rigzone.com,
which calls itself "Your gateway to the oil and gas industry":
'Alarmed' by Fall in Mexico's Oil Exports, Efe Monday, July 02, 2007
President Felipe Calderon said here Friday that he is "alarmed" by
the fall in the volume of Mexican oil exports, and for that reason finds it
necessary to reduce the government's financial dependence on oil revenues.
executives at a function to celebrate the 75th anniversary of BBVA Bancomer,
the president announced that between January and May 2007, crude exports dropped
11.5 percent compared with last year. "This
year and the next will be no exception," Calderon said.
Mexico is one
of the world's leading crude exporters and the No. 2 supplier to the United
tax-reform proposal that he sent to the Mexican Congress for debate several
days ago, Calderon said his government needs more resources that "come
from alternative sources to oil revenues."
we transformed this oil dependency before it's too late. It is vital that we
find more stable sources of finance, above all to pay the huge social debt for
those who have the least," he said. ...
about 30 percent of its tax revenues from taxes paid into the exchequer
by state petroleum monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex. For
some years, oil-industry analysts have been sounding the alarm about Pemex's
dwindling reserves and about the firm's lack of sufficient capital or technology
to exploit new deepwater finds in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Jan. 1, Mexico's
proven oil reserves were estimated at 15.51 billion barrels, or about 5.8 percent
less than at the beginning of 2006, and only enough to last about nine years
at current production levels.
of the week: Conrad Black now faces 35 years in the clink for fraud.
During his trial, his lawyers argued their client would not get a fair trial
because he is a wealthy man and the jury members nine women and three
men were presumably not.
on the oil crisis
A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in
our country. Well, there's a very simple answer.
to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low. The reason for that
is purely geographical. Our OIL is located in ALASKA, California, Coastal Florida,
Coastal Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas.
all are located in Washington, DC.!
Nah? I didn't
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
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