Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Friday, May 18: Rowan
Cos, Global SantaFe, Dril-Quip and Schlumberger seem to be enjoying a mini-boom
as word gets out that the search is seriously on for oil in increasingly difficult
places. I've mentioned Rowan, Global SantaFe and Dril-Quip in recent days. Here's
Here's the Wall Street Journal's take on Schumberger:
is an oilfield service company supplying a range of technology services and
solutions to the international petroleum industry. It consists of two business
segments: Schlumberger Oilfield Services and WesternGeco. Schlumberger Oilfield
Services is an oilfield services company supplying a range of technology services
and solutions to the international oil and gas industry. WesternGeco, owned
by Schlumberger and Baker Hughes, is an advanced surface seismic company.
Schlumberger?s products and services include the evaluation and development
of oil reservoirs (controlled digging, pumping and testing services), well
construction and production consulting, and sale of software programs. The
Company also offers storage tank and seismic monitoring services. Schlumberger
Limited is headquartered in Paris, France.
anyone can time the market, you'd think Bill Gross could: From
yesterday's Wall Street Journal:
At a companywide
barbecue last week, William H. Gross celebrated 20 years as skipper of Pimco's
Total Return Bond Fund -- a job that has earned him a reputation as perhaps
the savviest bond manager around. And this week, Pimco could boast of having
signed none other than Alan Greenspan to help it with its economic forecasting.
Mr. Gross is having to accompany both occasions with a mea culpa.
Last year, Mr.
Gross, chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., became
convinced that the U.S. housing market was in dire shape, and that the Federal
Reserve would have to cut interest rates as a result. So he stocked up on
securities that would gain from a rate cut. And he avoided high-yielding corporate
bonds, on the assumption that a slowing economy would hurt riskier debt.
That call, Mr.
Gross acknowledges, was a "big mistake."
While he was
right about the housing market, he was wrong where it counts -- on interest
rates. The Fed hasn't cut rates, and high-yield bonds have been on a hot streak.
As a result,
the $104 billion Total Return Fund is trailing far behind the competition
for the past year. In the past 12 months, the fund is up 6.22%, compared with
an average 6.96% for similar funds. That may not seem like a lot, but in the
world of bonds, a few hundredths of a percent make a big difference. Today,
the Total Return is trailing roughly three-quarters of its peers.
one is on the foreign desk.
There are two ways to buy foreign stocks (e.g. many Australian miner) that aren't
traded in the U.S. You can open an Australian bank account and link it to an
Australian online broker. You do your trading online. Easy.
A second way is
to have your American broker buy the overseas stocks. Most can do that. But
it takes an extra day. You give them the order one day. They send it to their
traders in Australia and the following day the stocks appear in you U.S. account.
I tried placing an order last night at 6 PM with Citigroup, figuring my broker
could contact Citigroup's foreign desk and place the order in time for trading
today (Friday) In Australia. No such luck. The foreign desk didn't answer! Australia
is presently 14 hours ahead. There's no overlapping time between our trading
hours and theirs! Somehow, you'd think an organization the size of Citigroup...
favorite point and shoot camera just got better: This
is the updated version of the Canon SD800 IS, now called the SD850 IS and just
about to be out. It looks exactly like the SD800 IS.
If I were buying a new pocket camera, this is the one I'd get (when it's available,
shortly). It's called the SD-850 IS in the U.S. In Europe, the SD800 IS is the
IXUS 850 and the SD850 IS is the IXUS 950. Do not buy the U.S. camera called
the SD900 (Europe Digital IXUS 900 Ti).Though the SD900 has more pixels (10
million), it does not have image stabilization. And you really want image stabilization.
mm to 105 mm (3.7x)
to 140 mm (4x)
about book retailing: BarnesandNoble.com
is selling the latest (23rd) edition of my dictionary at $25.16 -- a discount
of 37.1% to the "retail" price of $39.95 I established. Amazon is
selling it through distributors (but not directly) at the full retail price.
I'm sure this will change. But for now, Harry's motto remains: CHECK. CHECK.
time for summer parties. Just what you've always needed. Stick your
IPOD in and take this thing to the beach. It will run on its own internal batteries
for 6 hours on LOUD.
Comes with two wheels and 15 watts (not huge, but OK) and will work with any
iPod, regardless of generation. Costs only $299.
Osama Right? Bernard
Lewis, a wise professor on the middle east, wrote a piece for the Wall Street
Journal earlier this week. It begins:
During the Cold
War, two things came to be known and generally recognized in the Middle East
concerning the two rival superpowers. If you did anything to annoy the Russians,
punishment would be swift and dire. If you said or did anything against the
Americans, not only would there be no punishment; there might even be some
possibility of reward, as the usual anxious procession of diplomats and politicians,
journalists and scholars and miscellaneous others came with their usual pleading
inquiries: "What have we done to offend you? What can we do to put it
A few examples may suffice. During the troubles in Lebanon in the 1970s and
'80s, there were many attacks on American installations and individuals --
notably the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, followed by a
prompt withdrawal, and a whole series of kidnapping of Americans, both official
and private, as well as of Europeans. There was only one attack on Soviet
citizens, when one diplomat was killed and several others kidnapped. The Soviet
response through their local agents was swift, and directed against the family
of the leader of the kidnappers. The kidnapped Russians were promptly released,
and after that there were no attacks on Soviet citizens or installations throughout
the period of the Lebanese troubles.
For the rest of
the Professor Lewis's engrossing, piece, click
A young Jewish man calls his mother and says, "Mom, I'm bringing
home a wonderful woman I want to marry. She's a Native American and her name
is Shooting Star."
says his mother.
"I have an
Indian name too," he says. "It's Running Deer" and I want you
to call me that from now on."
says his mother.
have an Indian name too, Mom."
do," says the mother. "You can call me Sitting Shiva."
The mechanic and the surgeon
A mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the
motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known heart surgeon in his
shop.The surgeon was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look
at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, can
I ask you a question?" The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked over to where
the mechanic was working on the motorcycle.
The mechanic straightened
up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I
open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back
in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I get such a small
salary and you get the really big bucks, when you and I are doing basically
the same work?"
The surgeon paused,
smiled and leaned over, and whispered to the mechanic. "Try doing it with
the engine running."
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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