Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Tuesday, July 26, 2005: Four
sectors of the economy are booming:
+ Housing. Stocks are below this year's high.
Yet the housing boom continues. Every one the housing stocks I mentioned in
my June 29 are now above what they were then, and going higher. Every single
+ Oil. Oil prices are staying high. There are more earnings
rises coming. S&P equity research analyst, Tina Vital, says, "My
favorite 5-STAR (strong buy) recommendations include ConocoPhillips (COP).
It's currently trading at $60, and my target price is $72. Dividend yield is
2.1%. The next one is ExxonMobil (XOM). It's currently trading at $59,
and the target price is $73. Dividend yield is 2%. ... On the other side of
the pond, we like and have a strong buy recommendation on Total (TOT).
It's trading around $126, and our target is $135. The dividend yield is 2.4%.
This international oil company is focused outside of North America but offers
strong upstream production growth and solid reserve replacement at below-average
cost, and its refineries are also able to process lower-quality crude oils on
a world-class scale." I (Harry Newton) don't know much about oil stocks.
I do know that oil will stay high in price. For BusinessWeek's full interview
with Ms. Vital, click
+ Biotech and small pharma. Consolidations. Takeovers. Drugs off patent.
Huge demand. It will never stop. See below for links.
+ Online searching and shopping. FreshDirect.com sells me Quaker Oatmeal
Squares for $3.99 a box. Our local supermarket sells them at $5.79. eBay sold
me new headphones and a new hard drive. Why would I ever shop in a bricks and
mortar store -- except my beloved Whole Foods (WFMI)?
to sell your house: A friend asked, "How should I sell my
house?" First key: Stage it. Second key. Manage the process. Third
key: Understand that real estate agents want a quick sale, not a high sale.
That means their interests are different to yours. You want a high sale.
You need to manage them, not believe them.
may be time to carry cash: Identify
theft is pervasive. Today, The New York Times reports on how thieves
sit outside retail stories with unprotected WiFi (wireless) networks and steal
all the credit cards being used and in the store's database. The thieves use
the same laptops you and I use at home. It's easy work.
will hit the U.S. again shortly. That seems
to be the consensus view. Israeli Juval Aviv has written two books: Staying
Safe : The Complete Guide to Protecting Yourself, Your Family, and Your Business
Complete Terrorism Survival Guide: How to Travel, Work and Live in Safety.
Some of his advice:
+ Since mass transportation is the next attack, take a bottle of water, a small
towel and a flashlight. What happened in London is exactly a point to look at.
Those people who were close to the bombs died, then others were injured or died
from inhaling the toxic fumes or getting trampled. The reason you take a bottle
of water and a towel is that if you wet the towel and put it over your face,
you can protect yourself against the fumes and get yourself out of there.
+ Don't be bashful.
If your gut feeling tells you when you walk onto a bus there is something unusual
or suspicious, get out and walk away. You may do it 10 times for no reason,
but there will be one time that saves your life. Let your sixth sense direct
you. Be wary of someone paying an usual amount of attention to a prominent landmark;
someone nervous or jumpy or trying to access off-limit areas; someone trying
to hide something.
+ Keep an eye
out for unattended items when using mass transit or in airports.
+ Try to break
your routine. If you travel during rush hour every day, try to get up a little
earlier and drive to work or take the train when it's still not full. Terrorists
are not going to waste a bomb on a half-empty train.
+ Don't rely solely
on the government to provide you with crisis or threat information -- do your
own research, too. (Our Department of Homeland Security has done a miserable
job of providing us any information, e.g. what the difference between the color
+ Have a plan
on where/when to meet family members in case of attack; map assorted evacuation
routes from home/work.
+ Keep extra copies
of your passport/birth certificate/social security card, other records. Keep
copies in storage or with relatives, friends. Carry copy of your passport when
+ Never order
room service in foreign hotels. Workers may poison the food or spit in food
meant for Americans.
+ Never check luggage at curbside check-in at airports; carry luggage on board
with you. Carry as few bags as possible.
+ Spend as little
time at the airport as possible. Avoid heavily glassed areas.
+ When traveling
abroad, don't advertise your corporate affiliation or title on luggage or other
items. Stay in an American chain hotel; security is usually tighter.
+ When in a foreign
country, don't advertise you're American by speaking loudly, holding up maps,
exchanging currency at airports, showing American flags, etc
+ Avoid crowded
areas. Avoid public transportation and major tunnels and bridges during heavy
+ Never stay in
a hotel with an underground parking garage and never park in such a garage --
terrorists love car bombs.
+ Store a decent
amount of cash someplace in case ATMs malfunction. Carry only essential money
cards and identification.
front pages. Many of us spend a lot of time reading
newspapers on line. What's neat is that you can now see a PDF of the front page
of today's Wall Street Journal, click
here and today's New York Times, click
here. These days it makes little sense to buy
the newsprint version.
Never, ever buy a Mercedes-Benz -- Part 2. My wife
disputed my recommendation about never buying a Mercedes. She likes her 2004
E500 wagon. It goes fast and holds the road nicely. Of course, it has had three
batteries, one recall and several returns for a botched recall, three new tires,
a busted air conditioner and sundry other broken and repaired things. Today
I go fight with Mercedes about the broken air conditioner And it's only 90 degrees.
The car has done just 20,000 miles.
The world's best lawyer joke:
The United Way realized that it had never received a donation from
the city's most successful lawyer.
So a United Way volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his lavish office.
The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, "Our research shows that even
though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don't give a penny
to charity. Wouldn't you like to give something back to your community through
the United Way?"
The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, "First, did your research also
show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge
medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?"
Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, "Uh... no, I didn't know that."
Secondly," says the lawyer, "my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind
and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children."
The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again.
"Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister's husband died
in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three
children one of whom is disabled and another has learning disabilities requiring
an array of private tutors?"
The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says, "I'm sorry, I had
And the lawyer says, "So... if I didn't give any money to them, what makes
you think I'd ever give any to you?"
+ 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 your 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 .
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