Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Tuesday, May 16, 2006: Insite
Vision is up. Hana Biosciences is down. The key in biotech is take profits early.
Ride with the bank's money. If there's a big pullback -- there always
will be -- buy a little more. The best news is people will pay whatever it takes
to keep themselves healthy, or even alive for just a few more months. That's
why so many new drugs are targeting cancer. If the drug ever gets approved ...
joy of real estate: Our Sacramento property
is just sold. The IRR is 42%. Says Jeff Lew, my wonderful syndicator,
"The success was attributable to a combination of factors. First, we purchased
the center wisely. Second, we aggressively leased up the property, which was
nearly 20% vacant at the time of acquisition. By leasing the space at higher
rates and in a shorter timeframe than underwitten, the property became more
valuable. Couples with a combined high interest among investors in quality real
estate assets, the asset commanded a significantly higher price in a shorter
time frame than expected."
even better about this delicious IRR is something called a 1031 Exchange.
That's an incredible loophole in the tax code which allows you to take your
proceeds (including profits) and buy another, bigger, more expensive building
tax-free. I have friends who've been using 1031 exchanges for years to build
themselves huge real estate portfolios -- all financed by Uncle Sam.
moving into the summer doldrums: Most years, the market goes sideways
between now and October. Most years some of my friends start leaving the market
around now. I suspect that some of the squirrelness of recent days has been
a combination of leaving and profit taking. The issue remains -- what to do
with the money in the meantime? Fortunately short-term interest rates are up.
Short-term muni bond triple tax-free floaters are now paying the equivalent
of 4.89% taxable -- which, as they say in Australia, is better than a
slap in the belly with a cold fish. Call Seth Wernick on 202-857-5459 for floaters.
promises are worth nothing. Get it in writing. That's Rule 1. Don't
make any assumptions is Rule 2. Get everything in writing.
Planes are awful: The Wall Street Journal
says it this morning and I experienced it yesterday. Planes are crowded and
late. Service is nonexistent. Cabin crews are surly (JetBlue And Southwest are
exceptions). Security lines are endless. Airfares are way up -- some nearly
doubling in the past year. Do not expect a pleasant trip this summer.
Take food, water, a big book, an iPod and endless patience.
How to succeed inside a corporation: Or
what I told 300 telecom and IT managers yesterday in Minneapolis. Areas of focus:
+ Legs of a business. Learn them. Think a chair. Without legs it falls
over. A business has "legs" -- customers, production, marketing, etc.
Your job is to figure your business' legs and focus on making the weakest leg
+ The Customers.
Why is it so difficult to buy from most companies? Why can't you ever reach
someone helpful? Call centers don't answer phones quickly. They never respond
to emails. Web sites are illogical, etc.
+ The Web.
It can making your customers' lives easier. It can make boost your company's
profitability. Visit these sites and see how a decent web site has materially
improved businesses: YorkPhoto (easy photo ordering), VistaPrint (fast, cheap
business printing) and FreshDirect (they remember what you last ordered).
+ Your Management.
Pander to them. Make yourself visible. The best three "presents" a
telecom manager can give his management:
Verizon BroadBand Access, a BlackBerry and a Panasonic multi-line home phone
telecom management. 90% of all large corporate phone bills are wrong. 80%
are wrong in the phone company's favor. Get a big refund. Show the check around.
The biggest mess in corporate telecom are cell phone bills. They all wrong.
+ Your own
career. Most bosses don't listen. Find yourself one who does. There are
huge opportunities in new areas of Broadband, VoIP (Voice over the Internet),
Home entertainment. TV over the Internet (check out IM.com.), Location based
services. Combine GPS with cell phones, Wiring up China and India.
+ The perfect
investment. First manage your money. Don't run up your credit cards. Don't
borrow to spend. Don't buy stock on margin. Don't live beyond your means. Second,
read this column.
Bausch & Lomb has recalled ReNu with MoistureLoc
cleaner for soft contact lenses: Apparently it could give you a potentially
blinding fungal infection. Not good. Tell your kids.
Bausch & Lomb's ReNu with MoistureLoc recalled.
reader send this one. It's for the ladies, she wrote:
woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after work cocktail with her girlfriends
when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy middle-aged man entered.
He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him.
man noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her. (As all
Before she could
offer her apologies for so rudely staring, he leaned over and whispered to her,
"I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter
how kinky, for $20, on one condition."
the woman asked what the condition was.
The man replied, You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words."
The woman considered
his proposition for a moment, and then slowly removed a $20 bill from her purse,
which she pressed into the man's hand along with her address. She looked deeply
into his eyes, and slowly and meaningfully said....
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
the Google ads. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty interesting.
If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting
you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's law school tuition.
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