Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Wednesday, May 23: Once
it was called Global Warming and no one paid it any attention. Then it was called
Climate Change and still no one paid it any attention. Now it's being called
Extended Hay Fever Season and everyone is concerned. This is the year everyone
has it -- even nice people (like my assistant Muriel) who've never had hay fever.
My favorite magazine is the Economist. My second favorite is BestLife.
The present issue first and some recent issues.
May issue repeats what many people have said: Global warming is here. It is
adversely affecting some real estate, with damage happening before the end of
your 30-year mortgage. Hence, you should take global warning into account NOW.
You should read the BestLife's piece called
Hot Property. Here is a sidebar which the author, Nancy F.
Smith, called "The
where global warming spells opportunity
If Oregon and
Washington are the new California, and British Columbia may someday rival
Australia in producing fine wines, then global warming can't be all bad, right?
In the spirit of balanced reporting, here are a few places where global warming
could add value to your investment.
Get ready to snap up all those chalets on the cheap, as ski resorts struggle
to keep their slopes open. Longer, warmer summers will make the region a paradise
for those who are into hiking, biking, fishing, and kayaking.
For those who agree with Mark Twain's description of the City by the Bay--"The
coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"--global warming
is long overdue. Of course, the foggy weather may be less a product of atmospheric
temperatures than of the California Current, which flows from Alaska to the
Bay Area, where it surfaces and cools the city. Whether the current will stay
on course is uncertain, according to NASA's Rama Nemani. If it does, warming
temps plus the current could make San Francisco's climate just right: not
too cool, not too hot.
This is a long-term investment. "Alaska may become more habitable, but
the lifestyle will change," says Bruce McCarl, of Texas A&M. It will
take a few decades for things to stabilize as the permafrost melts. For now,
whole towns are losing their solid foundations and will have to be moved.
Roads built on permafrost are slipping into mush. "Lakes are disappearing,
and buildings are leaning," says University of Chicago's David Archer.
But you may have a great summer getaway in 20 years.
Given the IPCC report's projection that precipitation patterns are moving
poleward, this region offers investment opportunities for anyone who can buy
up water rights. "Water is likely to be the oil of the 21st
century," says Robert W. Corell, of the Heinz Center for Science,
Economics, and the Environment. And like oil, it may turn out to be more
valuable than the land that surrounds it.
is booming. Danaos Corporation and Eagle Bulk Shipping merit attention:
Danaos is one of the largest owners of containerships in the world. They deploy
all their vessels on multi-year, fixed-rate time charters
(typically 15 years). The company's modern fleet consists of 61 vessels (33
currently in operation and 28 being built, with service expected by year-end
2010). Danaos's main objective is to grow its business in order to increase
its distributable cash flow and dividend. Long-term charters and the predictability
of cash flow and dividends is nice. Both will grow as the new ships are delivered.
Eagle Bulk Shipping is a shipper of bulk cargoes, including iron ore, coal,
grain, cement and fertilizer. It owns 16 huge ships, including this mother:
travel with cell phones: Everybody wants to take their cellphone
(or their BlackBerry) to Europe, Asia and Australia. I'm going soon. My friend
Larry Rose has been and is going again. Here are our learned findings:
Many US cell phone
companies now carry phones and BlackBerries that will work overseas. People
here will call your local number and it will ring over there, with no need to
know where you are, or what your new funny number might be. You can also call
them. Some BlackBerries will work overseas. Verizon has just got a new BlackBerry
8830, which PC Magazine gave an Editors Choice. It's a superb
machine. Buy the Verizon overseas data plan and you can receive (and reply to)
your emails in most places for a flat monthly fee.
That's the good
news. The bad news is using an American cell phone or a BlackBerry to make phone
calls overseas is very expensive. For example, if you take a Verizon phone,
You'll pay either $1.29 a minute or $2.49 per minute for the calls you make
or receive. That's right, you'll pay for incoming and outgoing
calls on a per minute rate. Those monies are in addition to the flat
monthly rate you pay for calling in the U.S.
The low-cost solution
is to buy an unlocked GSM phone and buy prepaid SIM cards for each
country you visit. You'll pay pennies a call versus dollars a call. This
also means you'll have a different phone number in each country. But you can
easily call those numbers in.
I have not found a good place to buy unlocked GSM cell phones from. But
there are many. Google "unlocked GSM phone." You'll see.
Most GSM cell
phones are locked to one carrier, meaning they won't work with any other carrier's
SIM card.. You can unlock many cell phones. The
TravelInsider sells unlock codes and will also unlock phones for you.
But not all phones can be unlocked, especially the newer ones. You need to check.
is to take his new Verizon BlackBerry 8830 (which is locked), use it for email
and incoming calls, but to call everyone back on a cheap unlocked GSM, which
he also carries. By the way, you don't pay for incoming calls if you're using
an unlocked GSM phone with a local SIM card. If the person calling you from
his U.S. landline has a decent calling plan, he'll be paying fewer than 5 cents
a minute to call you. Compare that to $1.29 or $2.49 a minute and you'll see
what I mean about huge savings with an unlocked GSM phone and a country-specific
I love to receive press releases:
I thought you would like to know about the groundbreaking for Aliana, the
new 2,000-acre, master-planned luxury community. Below are more details and
attached is a photo.
The details weren't interesting, but the photo sure was.
Why the baby is underweight
A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for
the doctor to come in for the baby's first exam.
The doctor arrived,
and examined the baby, checked his weight, and being a little concerned, asked
if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed?
down to your waist," the doctor ordered.
He pinched her
nipples, pressed, kneaded, and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional
and detailed examination.
Motioning to her
to get dressed The doctor said, "No wonder this baby is underweight. You
don't have any milk."
she said, "I'm his Grandma, but I'm glad I came."
pays to check
The photographer was assigned to get photos of a great forest fire.
He asked his home office to hire a plane. When he got to the airport, a plane
was warming up. He jumped in. "Let's go." The pilot swung into the
wind and took off. "Fly over the north side of the side and make three
or four low level passes?"
"Why?" asked the pilot.
"Because I'm going to take pictures. I'm a photographer and photographers
After a pause, the pilot said, "You mean you're not the instructor?"
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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