Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Wednesday, June 7, 2006: Another
bad day yesterday. From today's USA Today:
predict that Bernanke is bright enough to learn to keep his mouth shut and his
words modulated. Markets will settle down shortly.
Bernanke take blistering flak
Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is finding out the hard way that openness is
not the same thing as clarity.
office in February promising to make central bank policy more transparent.
Four months later, a number of economists and traders say the Fed chairman
and other central bank officials have stumbled by making too many contradictory
statements, muddying the outlook and spooking markets.
got louder Monday after Bernanke told a banking group inflation was at an
"unwelcome" level, raising the specter of further Fed interest rate
increases. That appeared counter to April congressional testimony in which
Bernanke suggested the central bank could pause from its two-year campaign
of interest rate increases, even if inflation was a risk.
The Dow Jones
industrial average fell nearly 200 points Monday and another 47 points Tuesday.
a break, please. Can we have just one week, or at least one day, without some
Fed official obsessing publicly about containing inflation?" says Ed
Yardeni, chief investment strategist at Oak Associates. "They are giving
us more information than we need."
The Big Bet: George Soros got rich by taking
a big bet when he felt super-good. I felt super good about Qwest. But I
only bought 15,000 shares. So I'm only up $8,300. But I should have bought
150,000 and been up $83,000. I figure it will be bought around $9.
I find a "sure thing" about once every three months. (InSite Vision
was the previous one.) That's the problem with writing a daily column or a daily
TV show (think Cramer). You don't have a great idea every day -- no matter how
hard you try.
And some days it's more fun to watch tennis. Nadal is playing this moment.
Bernanke's early legacy. Or first accomplishment?
Raise interest rates. Kill home building's profitability. Will the home builders
fall further? Or are they now so low they're worth buying? Take a punt. Personally,
I think they'll fall further. But I'm not taking "The Big Bet." There
are people out there who believe these things will bounce and are buying.
The first five months have not been easy:
*He wants to stay
anonymous. He doesn't want to be overwhelmed with job applications.
Year to Date to end May, 2006
Advisers, money manager
Capital, money manager
Capital, money manager
Capital, hedge fund
Comments on the above charts:
1. Returns are all over the place. That's part of the price (and the joy) of having
a diversified portfolio.
2. Managers with more money did poorer than those with less money. Private Capital
has $15 billion. Modern has $31 million.
3. Managers that grew too fast (like Mallette) did worse than those who grew more
4. Younger managers did better than older ones.
5. Long-only managers did worse than those who are long/short.
So what should
Harry do now and why? To me, the question is: "I went into each for
a reason. Has anything changed that I don't like?" And the answer:
Private Capital got obsessed with media stocks. That was not bright. I'm easing
out them. Mallette took a couple of dumb big gambles. But I'm convinced he's
now on track. I like the idea of a manager who's been burned. They mature quickly.
Some managers are too in line with the S&P 500. If I want that I should
maybe buy an S&P index fund? Except I'd lose a little. Managing managers
is as hard as running your own portfolio. Dah!
is much faster. If you get a computer peripheral -- an external disk
-- it will run perceptibly faster with a firewire interface than a USB interface.
Fisher is shameless: This is his latest piece
of dog-do-do promotion. I found it on Bloomberg.com, who should have had more
self-restraint and said NO to Mr. Fisher's advertising monies. For God's sakes,
do NOT respond to Ken Fisher. You do not want to be hounded by his well-motivated
slick salespeople. You do not want to give your money to Ken Fisher. End of
always a solution: From my friend Eugene Towba, who has this totally
tasteless solution to the illegal immigration problem::
Dig a moat
the length of the Mexican border, take the dirt and raise the levees in New
Orleans. Then put the Florida alligators into the border moat! Use illegal
Mexicans to do the work.
French Open Tennis is continuing. Set your TiVo or PVR.
For more, click
here or here.
AM to 3:00 AM
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
AM to 3:00 AM
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
AM to 4:30 AM
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
AM to 4:30 AM
friend's answering machine:
am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call. I am
making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If
I do not return your call, you are one of the changes."
From George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill: "I am enclosing two tickets to
the first night of my new play, bring a friend... if you have one."
Winston Churchill, in reply: "Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend
second... if there is one."
And the world's best insults (try
them on your friends)
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." -
little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill
"I have never
killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence
for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses
a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain
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
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
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