Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EST, Thursday, June 4, 2009. You look
at them and think, "You're bright. You've had two years of expensive
graduate education. Prove you're brilliant."
don't do magic, nor cartwheels. They appear normal, while their grandmother,
a Holocaust survivor, cries and says "she has nothing left to live for."
So goes Harvard Business School graduation, Day One.
Dimon, keynote speaker and a 1980s HBS graduate, burbles on for an hour or
so. It's the most disorganized drivel I've heard in eons. I expected magic.
I got how much he cares for JP Morgan Chase & Co. or is it his family,
or is it the environment? I got the message loud and clear. What he really
cared for was himself, not the audience. Fortunately, I slept through most
yes, he believes learning
is a lifelong thing, when you fail, get over it and move on and, oh yes, don't
get angry. I thought that was particularly amusing since the man has a bad
temper -- the sort of temper that makes legends.
I marveled at
Mr. Dimon's arrogance that allowed him to waste 2,500 peoples' time with an
unprepared speech. Didn't he say something about working hard?
are a study in genetics. You eye the kid and look at his parents. The end
result is more handsome, and better dressed. Parents have little to talk about
amongst themselves except about the brilliance of their kids. I never heard
the words "above average." We were way beyond that.
Once we had
established we all had brilliant kids, we talked about what we really cared
about -- namely, hearing aids. The conclusion is they're useful, not reliable
and way overpriced. Next year, I'm manning a booth selling hearing aid batteries.
School has changed in the 40 years since I graduated. There are carpets. We
had linoleum. There are electronic, computerized, motorized PowerPoint projectors.
We had foils. Now all the slides appear right side up. Amazing progress.
massive resources shine less in the buildings than in the research done for
the cases. We did two cases -- Saudi Arabia and Dubai -- in one hour. To prepare
them took one professor several visits and many weeks. This is serious expense
money. As usual, there were no "right answers" to the cases. We
were mightily impressed with the billions Saudi's King Abdullah is spending
to wean the kingdom off oil. He's got the right ideas -- opening the economy
to outside investment, building new universities and four new cities -- each
with its own vision. The key is to modernize, but not Westernize. Women still
can't drive, are limited in their movements, must wear black from head to
toe. Most countries separate religion and the state. Not Saudi Arabia. They
are interwoven. Everyone loves the King. His approval ratings are over 90%.
And the family still holds all the reigns of power. And probably owns the
has been shuttered and shattered in the past nine months. Population has dropped
by 30%. Real estate prices have dropped 50% to 60%. The Dubai government is
scurrying around seeking money.
graduates are going into private equity. They tell me their firms have money
and there are good companies around to buy -- especially in Europe and Asia.
Everyone seems ebullient. Maybe it's really the recovering economy? It certainly
wasn't Jamie Dimon.
Tennis Open 2009 TV Schedule
June 4 - SEMIS
5:00 am - 8:00 AM: French Open Men’s Doubles Semifinals - TENNIS
CHANNEL (HD) - LIVE
8:00 am - 1:00 PM: French Open Women’s Semifinals - ESPN2 +
ESPN2 HD - LIVE
1:00 PM - 6:30 PM: French Open Women’s Semifinals - TENNIS CHANNEL
(HD) - tape
6:30 PM - 5:00 AM: French Open “Tonight” show - TENNIS
CHANNEL (HD) - tape
June 5: - SEMIS
5:00 am - 10:00 AM: French Open Women’s Semifinals - TENNIS
CHANNEL (HD) - tape
10:00 am - 1:00 PM: French Open Men’s Semifinals - NBC -
4:00 PM - 11:00 PM: French Open Men’s Semifinals - TENNIS CHANNEL
(HD) - tape
11:00 PM - 6:00 AM: French Open Men’s Semifinals - TENNIS CHANNEL
(HD) - tape
June 6: - FINAL
9:00 am - 12:00 PM: Women’s FINAL - NBC - LIVE
June 7: FINAL
9:00 am - 2:00 PM: Men’s FINAL - NBC -
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
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