Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
AM EST Wednesday, October 11, 2006: Opening accounts
on Wall Street is always a pain. Oodles of paperwork. Endless filling the same
information in, again and again. Yesterday I opened an account at a brokerage
firm. A new experience. I gave them some standard information over the phone
-- address, phone, email, social security number, etc. And lo and behold, the
papers came with all the information filled in. All I had to do was sign on
the dotted lines.
asked my rep, "How come?" He said the firm had asked its salespeople
what was the number one client bitch? Answer: it was filling in paperwork. Hence
their new system.
When I started
writing this column, I thought I'd list zillions of improvements I'd like to
see in my online brokerage accounts. I made a huge list -- from being able to
chart the value of my portfolio, day by day. Even Vanguard doesn't do that...
But I gave up the exercise when I recognized that Wall Street believes in the
Mushroom Strategy -- a technique for keeping clients in the dark (where mushrooms
are grown best), thus allowing them to feed you (the clients) whatever nonsense
classic Cockroach Stock: Sovereign
Bancorp (SOV) bought my bank, Independence Community. Since then they've had
huge management turmoil, culminating in firing their CEO. Meantime, they've
destroyed Independence. Everyone of talent has left; customers (including me)
are leaving in droves. We're frustrated with the idiots left behind and Sovereign's
new policies and procedures which give stupidity a whole new meaning. Sovereign's
stock is destined for a hefty decline.
investment ideas: I had some great investment
ideas yesterday. But research killed the ideas. Hence the paucity of interesting
stuff in today's column. Apologies.
spam emails a day: That's how many I get. Most are automatically
filtered by Outlook. BUT...
1. It filters out emails I want. Hence I can't automatically delete the junk
e-mail folder. I have to eyeball it.
2. It filters out some emails despite the fact that I dubbed them "safe
3. It doesn't filter out the penny stock pushes that come in emails with images.
I have to kill those manually.
There is a better way: Change my email address regularly. Include some numbers
in it. That would make it harder for the spam computers to find me. My friends
would go nuts changing their contact lists. I suspect this is a problem with
no real solution. Yuch..
new devastation: A new study, according to today's Wall Street
Journal, shows 600,000 Iraqis have died since the U.S. led invasion
in March 2003. In contrast, Human Rights Watch has estimated Saddam Hussein's
regime killed 250,000 to 290,000 people over 20 years.
I initially supported
the war to bring democracy to the mid-east. It hasn't worked. We now have full-scale
civil war. Surely our stop loss order should kick in around now. It's time to
The Perfect Password:
A woman was helping her husband set up his computer, and at the appropriate
point in the process, she told him that he would now
need to enter a password. Something he could remember easily and will use each
time he has to log on
The husband was
in a rather amorous mood and figured he would try for the shock effect to bring
this to his wife's attention.
So when the computer
asked him to enter his password, he made it plainly obvious to his wife that
he was keying in....
His wife fell
off her chair laughing when the computer replied:
***PASSWORD REJECTED. NOT LONG ENOUGH***
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.