Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Thursday, May 17: Reader
Steve Pedian writes, "Good, safe call on GSF. However I think a more attractive
co. is Rowan Co. (RDC). Like you, I believe the offshore-drilling business environment
is extremely attractive currently, and I expect this trend to continue for a
very long time. RDC has no net debt while selling at less than 9x this years
earnings. With a shortage of jack-up rigs internationally along with a balance
between demand and supply in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore drilling day rates
are extremely attractive for Rowan."
Rowan's recent chart:
Here's a description of Rowan from the Wall Street Journal's company
sales last year rose 41.4%, with net income up 38.5%.
Inc. (Rowan) is a provider of international and domestic contract drilling
services. The Company also owns and operates a manufacturing division that
produces equipment for the drilling, mining and timber industries. It provides
contract drilling services utilizing a fleet of 21 self-elevating mobile offshore
drilling platforms (jack-up rigs) and 26 land drilling rigs. Rowan's drilling
operations are conducted primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East,
the North Sea, offshore eastern Canada and in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Cash tsunami warning; Equity predicted to quadruple. That's
the heading on today's story by Victoria Young of the Australian
(AXA is one of the largest insurance companies in Australia.)
sparks a global investment opportunity, AXA believes.
AXA chief investment officer Mark Dutton has joined an expanding group of
experts warning of a cash tsunami about to hit the Australian share market.
Fund managers looking for a home for investment money should seize the opportunity
to look globally, Dutton advised. "The bottom line is that the money
has got to go somewhere," Dutton told InvestorDaily.
"Inevitably, if the funds can't find a good sensible investment in Australia,
much will go overseas. This is a good opportunity to diversify into global
markets and reduce the bias to domestic markets."
The excess demand for equities is estimated at $44 billion for the 2007 calendar
year, compared to $10 billion last year, according to a Credit Suisse report.
Strong demand from pension funds, private equity and the Government Future
Fund has driven unprecedented demand in 2007, the Expensive but in high demand
Inflows to the Australian share market will total an estimated $81 billion,
but there will be only $37 billion of new listings and capital raisings.
Credit Suisse estimates cash from net super inflows will be $12 billion, investment
demand from the Government's Future Fund to be $5 billion, inflows of $3 billion
as a result of the federal budget changes to super, $15 billion in merger,
acquisitions and buy-out activities and $46 billion in dividends and buy-backs.
"This is a good opportunity to think about the relative allocation between
Australian equities and global equities and consider whether it may be appropriate
to use some of the extra funds to put into super into global funds,"
Dutton added that Australian shares were no longer cheap in terms of price-to-earnings
ratios compared with US, European and Asian markets.
They may no longer
be "cheap." But Australians have until June 30 to get $1 million tax-free into
their super funds, which many manage themselves (in contrast to here). And the
money's pouring into Australian equities, as evidenced by:
out the son's apartment: Son Michael is off
to B school for two years. So we have rented his two-bedroom New York City apartment
for two years at $6,300 a month. That seems like a lot. I remember when I paid
$360 for a big one-bedroom. I did the math. Take the $6,300, deduct the maintenance
and the taxes (oih, the taxes) and we have a 3.20% return on the price
of $1,475,000, less than the cost of a mortgage (if we had one).
is not a brilliant return, but it is positive one. Going forward, can we assume
a 5-7% annual increase in value, bringing the investment to an 8-10% range?
Perhaps, yes. Perhaps, no. Most likely no. There are two big issues with this
"investment:" First, it's not liquid. Second, sales brokerage is likely
to be an outrageous 6% (assuming we use a broker). Conclusion: It probably makes
more sense to rent and use your money more productively elsewhere.
an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur. A dear friend visited me
yesterday. A talented fellow, who's now in a pickle. He has no money. He made
some serious mistakes. He sold his business for over-priced shares, which later
collapsed. He forgot to take money off the table. Cash is better than script.
He moved continents, losing all his contacts. He got divorced. He must now remain
near his young son whom he adores.
What now? He can't
start a new business. He has no money. Headhunters won't touch him. He's an
entrepreneur. He can play "consultant." But getting that business
off the ground today without contacts is not easy. He's mining the few contacts
he left in North America, like me. But I haven't had a real job or real company
in ten years. I'm next to useless. Most would say useless.
Are there any
lessons here? There's the obivous one: Take money off the table early on. Put
it in something reasonably safe, a Vanguard index fund and some muni bonds.
There's the less obvious: It's real difficult to be a serial entrepreneur, i.e.
starting one successful business after another. You may not have a great idea
for five years. I've been there. Meantime, there are expenses to meet, rent
to pay (if you forgot to buy).
What to do now?
He won't starve. Eventually he'll find something. Meantime, it's a seriously
scary time. Sometimes we won't count our blessings often enough.
harmless drudge: My children used to delight in telling their teachers
their dad (i.e. me) was a lexicographer. They'd watch their teachers look puzzled.
What perversion was their father involved in? Last night, I checked the dictionary
(not mine). What actually is a lexicographer? According to Merriam-Webster,
he's "an author or compiler of a dictionary." That's right. The best
part was a quote by Samuel Johnson, a man of great learning. He said that "a
lexicographer was a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original,
and detailing the signification of words." I like that. If had been
his editor (oih, that again), I would have changed "that" to "who."
Wolfowitz saga continues. How come someone allegedly intelligent
can get themselves into such a pickle? From today's Wall Street Journal
The art of the
possible, a classic example of Catch 22, call it what you will -- there is
something illustrative about power and bureaucracy in Paul Wolfowitz's willingness
to leave the World Bank but only on the condition that his resignation isn't
attributed to the reasons that are forcing him out.
Though a panel
of the poverty-fighting institution's board has declared him guilty of violating
ethics rules and his own contract by dictating the terms of his girlfriend's
raise and promotion, Mr. Wolfowitz is "adamant that he be cleared of
wrongdoing" before he resigns, people familiar with his thinking tell
the New York Times. ...
In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the
second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both
speak and the neighbors listen.
& Sarah part 1
Isaac gets home late after attending his friends leaving party in the
City. As soon as he walks in, there is his wife, Sarah, waiting for him.
Sarah looks at Isaac and says angrily, "Can you explain to me, Isaac, how
this large red lipstick mark got onto your shirt collar?"
"No, I can't," Isaac replies. "I dont know how it happened
- I distinctly remember taking off my shirt."
Isaac & Sarah part 2
The next morning, they are still arguing. Just before leaving for work, on his
way out of the door, Isaac shouts at Sarah, "Youre not even good
When Isaac returns home after work that day, he looks for Sarah. He goes upstairs
and notices that the bedroom door is closed. He goes in and there is Sarah in
bed with his best friend.
"What are you doing?" he shouts at her.
"Getting a second opinion," replies Sarah.
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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