Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Wednesday, July 12, 2006: Managing
money managers. Most (not all) have done crap during the first half of this
year. My muni bonds have done better than 90% of my managers. I'll have
the results on the managers in the next day or so. Which to fire? Which to hold?
I asked my favorite investment guru, "On what criteria do you choose to
fire a non-performing money manager? How long do you give them?" His answer:
Difficult determination at best. Assuming you did your homework at the front
end about reputation, track record, etc., and there have been no surprises to
contradict your findings, the objective measures you established at the outset
should be the determining guidelines. For example, if the manager said to you
its objective was to beat the S&P by 200 basis points based upon its historical
performance and the most recent results are far below this number, it might
be grounds to consider changing. However, I would give them two years to perform
unless the first year is an absolute disaster.
still mulling this one.
positive pleasure: A reader visited me yesterday.
He's left a huge company and is now working for himself. He couldn't be happier.
You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. Of course, he's working
twice as hard, putting in ten times as many hours and hasn't seen any real profits.
But, he couldn't be happier. It was a genuine pleasure to be with him and wife,
who's also in business.
buy and hold doesn't work -- especially with tech stocks: Every
gadget today uses flash memory. SanDisk, a leader in flash memory, ought to
be booming. It did in December. Then its first quarter earnings collapsed and
then its stock price.
your identify. The latest con. Someone calls pretending to be a court
official. He says threateningly a warrant has been issued for your arrest because
you didn't show up for jury duty. If you protest that you never received a summons
for jury duty, the scammer asks for your Social Security number and date of
birth so he can verify the information and cancel the arrest warrant. Sometimes
they even ask for
credit card numbers. Give out any of this information and bingo, your identity
just got stolen. And your credit card is racking up charges.
about thunderstorms and the devastating affects of lightning: Reader
Steve Pedian writes on the need for phone line surge protection. I just spent
a considerable amount on a new LCD HD TV and didn't realize it, my TiVo, and
DSL modem could be damaged by a thunderstorm. Further, can a storm also fry
Let's start with
the reality: Lightning is the worst. It's so powerful it can destroy anything
in its path. It travels where it wants to go, on whatever medium it feels like
(including non-conductive things like trees). No surge arrestor -- even the
most expensive -- can protect you 100% from a direct lightning strike. A strike
can blow a gadget connected to another gadget. It blew my DSL modem and then
my Linksys wireless router connected to my DSL modem.
The only safe
way to protect your electronics is to unplug your phone lines and
your power cables during a severe thunderstorm. If it's a holiday home,
unplug everything before you leave. Barring that, put surge arrestors
on everything -- especially phone lines. For more, read yesterday's column.
Who can predict? No
one. I listened to Bush discuss his budget for fiscal 2006 (year to September
30). His economists had originally predicted a budget deficit of $423 billion.
Now they're predicting $296 billion. That's a huge difference.
Let me be clear: I'm not criticizing them. I'm simply highlighting how difficult
it is to predict anything. And given that unpredictability, a broad allocation
is only sensible investment policy.
solved. I now know why there's ever any food
in our fridge. I watched my son have a midnight snack last night. He gives new
meaning to inhaling food. And he remains bone thin.
Culprit in Vermont completing a half marathon race.
is nuts and business unfriendly. Latest insanity: the EU has fined
Microsoft $357 million because it said Microsoft hadn't disclosed complete and
accurate interface documentation that would allow non-Microsoft work group servers
to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers.
has passed a law that says Apple iPod songs should be playable on everyone else's
You have a business
idea. You put time and money into it. You gamble. You succeed. Then you Europe
forces you to share it with everyone else. What am I missing?
Fascinated by the Tour de France: My
wife is hooked on this wonderful bicycle race. It's on OLN -- Outdoor
Life Network. It seems to be on all the time. You can also watch daily videos
on the Internet. Click
nicest wedding present:
All eyes were on the radiant bride as her father escorted her down
the aisle. They reached the altar and the waiting groom; the bride kissed her
father and placed something in his hand.
The guests in
the front pews responded with ripples of laughter.
Even the priest
As her father
gave her away in marriage, the bride gave him back his credit card.
for the Rabbi's advice?
A man goes to see the Rabbi. "Rabbi, something terrible is happening
and I have to talk to you about it."
The Rabbi asked, "What's wrong?"
The man replied, "My wife is poisoning me."
The Rabbi, very surprised by this, asks, "How can that be?"
The man then pleads, "I'm telling you, I'm certain she's poisoning me,
what should I do?"
The Rabbi then offers, "Let me talk to her, I'll see what I can find out
and I'll let you know."
A week later the Rabbi calls the man and says, "Well, I spoke to your wife.
I spoke to her on the phone for three hours.
You want my advice?"
The Rabbi replied, "Take the poison."
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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look
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note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's
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