Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
EST, Wednesday, November 12, 2008: My friend sent
a note to his kids. "The economy is in toilet. Your father is earning less.
We need to learn the difference between a want and a need. If you need it, buy
it. If you want it, don't."
gorgeous daughter replied, "What about my beauty treatments?"
he emailed, "Clearly, they're a need."
bad is the economy? Quipped
comedian Bill Maher, "The only thing keeping the economy from total collapse
is Sarah Palin's shopping sprees."
Best Buy this
morning dropped its estimated 2009 profit range sharply lower, citing 'uncertainty'
in consumer spending. Pick a retailer (except Wal-Mart). They're all
going to do worse. Stay away from beauty treatment providers. Todd's daughters
will keep them booming.
short was Google. It fell $11.18 yesterday. It's going lower, as companies advertise
less. Today's favorite short is Barnes & Noble (BKS). Books aren't necessary.
You can read everything you want -- and more -- on the Internet. BKS is going
lower. Ditto for Coach (COH).
How fast do things
move? Oil fell below $60 yesterday for the first time since March 2007. Oil
is now down 59% from its peak of $145 earlier this year. This is an amazing
Prices don't change
this fast in the real world. Except that they now do.
The $700 billion TARP (Trouble Asset Relief Program) won't be enough. It will
have to be increased to meet the "phenomenal" demand for government
bailouts, according to Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid.
Heck, what did
you expect? Goldman Sachs became a bank. It wants money. American Express is
about to become one. It wants money. GM, Ford and Chrysler want money. ... The
easiest way to "make" money in today's world is to beg Washington
for a handout. You need a hangdog expression and a high number for all the people
who'll lose their jobs if you don't get the money. I'm very familiar with the
process. For years I wondered why our phone companies never innovated. Simple.
They simply begged the local regulatory agencies for rate increases. Same process.
New Yorker cartoon:
Muni Bonds. Yesterday
I wrote: New York State and New York City will shortly increase their income
tax rates. It won't be popular but they have no choice. Many states and cities
which levy income tax will follow. The investment implications of this are ultra
clear: Buy muni bonds, which are triple tax-free -- free of federal,
state and city taxes.
longer-term muni bonds are yielding over 5%. Which is extraordinary. That is
equivalent to earning over 8% pre-tax. That rate will "rise"
as local state and city income taxes rise. You cannot get muni bond safety and
this high return anywhere else. Trust me.
theory among my New Yorker friends (yes, I have a few) is that you ought to
own sufficient muni bonds such that the interest from them will pay for your
pussywhipped a whole new meaning.
When everyone on earth was dead and waiting to enter Paradise, God
appeared and said, 'I want the men to make two lines. One line for the men who
were true heads of their household, and the other line for the men who were
dominated by their women. 'I want all the women to report to St. Peter."
Soon, the women
were gone and there were two lines of men.
The line of the
men who were dominated by their wives was 100 miles long. There was only one
man in the line of men who truly were heads of their household.
God said, 'You
men should be ashamed of yourselves, I created you to be the head of your household.
'You have been disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose!
'Of all of you,
only one obeyed. Learn from him.'
God turned to
the one man, 'How did you manage to be the only one in this line?'
The man replied,
'My wife told me to stand here.'
with this site: The idiots at my web hoster,
called web.com, are messing with this site. I'm about to switch web hosters.
If you can't get on the site, please email me .
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
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