Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Monday, May 21: My
acute bronchitis lingers, despite completing full doses of Levaquin (two 500mg
tablets each day) and azithromycin. I freaked on Friday when a kindly reader
suggested I might have pneumonia and I ought to get a chest x-ray. I did. And
I don't have pneumonia. According to all my friends, this strain of bronchitis
hangs around for 3-4 weeks. There's bugger all you can do about it, including
rest and chicken soup. My advice: You see anyone cough. You run a million
miles. You don't want this. Trust me.
the markets rising, IPOs are picking up. According to IPO
Scoop.com, there are nine IPOs coming this week alone, including B&G
Foods, Clean Energy Fuels, EndoCeutics, Helicos and TransTech Services -- all
companies I haven't heard of -- which means nothing. According to IPO Scoop,
of the last 100 IPOs, 64 went up and 36 went down. You would have
made money by buying the 100.
Of course, by
the time I start buying in IPOs,, the IPO boomlet will be over. I haven't bought
any yet, so we all have time.
to escalate? My contractor placed an order for two skylights for
us back in November, 2006. By May, 2007 no skylights. I took over, discovered
the story -- our order was small, the manufacturer was ignoring us. I escalated
to the president... Things finally started to happen. I could write book on
"When to escalate?"
The short version is: Start at the president, or the highest level you can get
to. If you didn't meet the president yet and your product is late -- everything
these days is -- go there today. Pick up the phone now.
As to how to motivate
presidents? Money doesn't work. Screaming doesn't work. Threats of no future
business don't work. Only one thing works -- flattery.
I'm betting all
my readers are intelligent enough to understand the value (and usefulness) of
very useful services:
Quickbrowse.com. Think of this
as your Internet slave. You tell it what information you want. It goes out,
grabs the information and sends it to you. Quickbrowse can find anything you
want anywhere on the Internet -- from my column to the front page of the Wall
Street Journal, to electronic filings at the SEC. You can slot your info requests
into schedules -- daily for this column, weekly for the Economist, etc. Quickbrowse
costs $2.95 a month. It's worth every penny. You can get a 14-day free trial.
Sign up and make free telephone conference calls. You can host unlimited
length calls for 2 to 200 participants -- if you have that many friends.
I highlight the world telephone. These calls are not the awful quality
you usually get on VoIP. They're all real phone calls. You can do on
demand conferencing -- whenever you want to speak to 200 of your nearest and
dearest. You can do scheduled conferences. Email your friends with the call-in
The reason FreeConferencePro
is free is rooted in the way phone companies reward each other for carrying
calls through each other's networks. FreeConferencePro gets a piece of every
call, but paid by the phone companies. You don't want to know how this works.
If you really do, you buy
my dictionary and become the world's leading expert on reciprocal compensation,
or "recip comp" as the telecom industry calls it.
Swiss bankers get rich. You open a numbered
account. They don't send you a monthly statement. Or any statement. One day
you die. Guess who gets the money?
of Swiss bankers, I'm working on estate planning -- a subject that gives boredom
a whole new meaning. Please read this article from this weekend's Wall Street
Journal. It's important:
World Can Leave Heirs In the Dark
By Kaja Whitehouse
As people increasingly go "paperless" -- using the online features
of banks and brokerages to manage their accounts -- it's complicating the
process of helping your heirs sort out your finances once you're gone.
If you don't keep careful records, your family might not even know where to
start looking for accounts. In a worst-case scenario, some assets may never
But at the same
time, you don't want to recklessly list all your private financial-account
passwords somewhere for a bad guy to find. That would be an invitation to
There are several
smart steps to take to build a roadmap to your assets. The five key components:
information about your assets, names of advisers, details about safe-deposit
boxes, your estate-planning documents, and a few other important documents.
provide details about banking and brokerage accounts, insurance policies,
real-estate and retirement plans, and list account numbers.
to find your will, trust, power of attorney and other estate documents. If
you have a safe-deposit box, give the bank's name and address, and where you
keep the keys. If you have a life-insurance policy, provide the name and phone
number of the agent, and a copy of the policy or its number.
all the people your heirs will need to contact, including lawyers, accountants,
executors or guardians you've named to care for any minor children.
not to include: Your passwords to online accounts. Listing all your passwords
in one place -- no matter where it's stored -- is risky. And anyway, your
heirs won't need them. For instance, with some assets like bank accounts,
heirs can sometimes gain access by showing a copy of a death certificate and
proof of designated beneficiaries.
but often overlooked, item to include: computer passwords, if you keep back
copies of potentially important financial paperwork (like old tax returns)
on your PC.
planner or estate-planning attorney can provide additional guidance in putting
together a file meeting your particular needs. For instance, Fidelity Investments
offers its brokerage clients an online tool, My Estate Plan Organizer, that
guides you through the process of putting together a complete document.
carefully about how to store the list. Heirs need to be able to locate it
when needed (and you need to be able to update it with a minimum of hassle)
but it shouldn't be generally accessible. One option: a fire-resistant home
safe, where you should also be keeping, say, your passport or other items
you may need to access more quickly than things in a safe-deposit box. You
might also give a copy to your lawyer to keep with other estate-planning documents.
As a general
rule, don't keep a copy on your computer. But if it is kept there, make sure
your computer is as safe as possible from hackers, and is password-protected.
After all, you
can't take it with you -- but you wouldn't want someone else to take it from
noticed that a little boy at the back of the class was squirming around, scratching
his crotch, and not paying attention. She went back to find out what was going
on. He was quite embarrassed and whispered that he had just recently been circumcised
and he was quite itchy.
The teacher told him to go down to the principal's office. He was to telephone
his mother and ask her what he should do about it. He did and returned to his
Suddenly, there was a commotion at the back of the room. She went back to investigate
only to find him sitting at his desk with his weenie hanging out.
"I thought I told you to call your mom!" she said.
"I did," he said, "And she told me that if I could stick it out
till noon, she'd come by and pick me up from school."
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. Read more about Google AdSense, click
here and here.