Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
AM EST Friday, October 13, 2006: I was able to pay
tennis for 2 1/2 hours yesterday. My six-month tennis elbow is getting better.
That's the good news. The bad news is I don't know why. I suspect it's the Epitrain...
which I love. I can't believe I can't figure WHY? Most frustrating.
Equally frustrating is figuring out this stockmarket. I'm guessing it's a little
higher earnings and much lower gas prices as a result of:
1. Few hurricanes.
2. Warm weather.
3. Energy industry (countries and companies) doing what's necessary to get their
friends re-elected on November 7.
Which all suggests,
to my brain, that energy prices will bounce back and the stockmarket will fall
back. Is this a prediction? HELLOOOOO! You can't make them. No one can. But
no one also went broke from taking a profit. It is not a bad idea to think about
taking some profits off the table. And do it as we get closer to November 7.
managers' performance: I promised. But getting numbers month by month,
quarter by quarter and fitting them into a spreadsheet isn't that easy. For
the nine months to end September my top performer is up 36% and my worst
is down about 7%. The top performer is an ultra-small cap fund. My worst
performers are in biotech.
delay is I'm trying to get general performance figures for the year -- in addition
to how they've done for me. My numbers vary by when I gave them money or took
it out. Some managers also report only gross figures. Some report only net.
American public speaks up. I hope our politicians read today's Thomas
the legendary Clinton campaign adviser who coined the slogan, Its
the economy, stupid, knows a gut issue when he sees one. So when Mr.
Carville contacted me the other day to tell me about the newest gut issue
his polling was turning up for candidates in the 2006 elections, I was all
independence, he said. Its now the No. 1 national security
issue. ... Its become kind of a joke with us, because no matter how
we ask the question, thats what comes up.
So, for instance,
the Democracy Corps, a Democratic strategy group spearheaded by Mr. Carville
and the former Clinton pollster Stan Greenberg, asked the following question
in an Aug. 27 survey of likely voters: Which of the following would
you say should be the two most important national security priorities for
the administration and Congress over the next few years?
Coming in No.
1, with 42 percent, was reducing dependence on foreign oil. Coming
in a distant second at 26 percent was combating terrorism. Coming
in third at 25 percent was the war in Iraq, and tied at 21 percent
were securing our ports, nuclear plants and chemical factories
and addressing dangerous countries like Iran and North Korea.
Strengthening Americas military drew 12 percent. Mr. Carville
also noted that because their polls are of likely voters, they
have a slight Republican bias i.e., they arent just polling a
bunch of liberal greens.
lay out different plans for how to deal with Iraq, any plan that also includes
energy independence tops any other plan that doesnt, said Mr.
Greenberg, who added that people are not expressing this view because they
are worried about price, but because they are starting to understand that
our oil dependence is fueling a host of really bad national security problems.
There is frustration that leaders have not taken it up, he added.
There is a sense that the public is ahead of the leaders, and there
is actually a sense of relief when anyone talks about [energy independence]
with any seriousness.
said he started noticing this during this years re-election campaign
by Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania. When his Republican challenger,
Lynn Swann, first jumped into the race, public polls showed the two candidates
in a dead heat. Governor Rendell eventually pulled far ahead in the polls,
though, and among the key issues that helped to separate him, said Mr. Greenberg,
was the governors stressing of alternative energy, and his PennSecurity
Fuels Initiative to lessen dependence on foreign oil and grow the states
clean energy market.
What this means
for Democratic Party candidates, argues Mr. Carville, is that its no
longer enough to have energy security as part of a 12-step plan
for American renewal. No, it needs to become a defining issue of what Democrats
are all about.
It should not
be part of an expanding litany, but rather a contracting narrative,
explained Mr. Carville. It cant just be that we are for a womans
right to choose, and education and energy independence. This is the thing
we need to get done above and beyond everything else. People should
associate energy security with Democrats the way they associate
tax cuts with Republicans, he argued. This is not something
to add to the stew this is the stock.
The best way
for a party that is often viewed as weak on national security to overcome
that deficit is to be for energy independence, he noted. Indeed, nothing would
be more potent for Democrats now than to capture energy security and all the
issues that surround it from improving our trade deficit by not importing
more oil to improving the climate to improving U.S. competitiveness by making
us leaders in alternative fuels.
So does this
mean the public would accept a gasoline or B.T.U. tax? No, said Mr. Greenberg.
The public wants government to impose much higher auto mileage standards on
Detroit and much more stringent energy codes on buildings and appliances.
People want a tough regulatory response, à la California.
Carville and Mr. Greenberg are professional campaign advisers. They get paid
to get people elected not to offer feel-good nostrums. So when they
tell you that their polling and focus groups around the country show that
reducing dependence on foreign oil is voters top national
security priority, you know that this issue has finally arrived. The party
that captures it most credibly will be rewarded.
This is my translation of an actual Cuban joke forwarded to me by a Mexican diplomat
On a recent visit to Cuba, Vladimir Putin found that most Cubans' shoes have holes
in them, and so he asked Fidel, "Oye chico, how is this possible after 40
years of 'progress'?"
Annoyed, Fidel answers, "And what about Russia? Have you done any better?"
Putin says, "Ombe, When you want I'll invite you to Russia and if you find
a single person with ripped-up shoes you have permission to kill him. No problems."
They got on Putin's plane and went to Russia. As soon as Fidel got off the plane,
the first thing he saw was someone whose shoes were all ripped up, and so he grabbed
his pistol and BOOM! killed him.
The following day, Russian newspapers carried this banner headline: "Old
Bearded Man Kills Cuban Ambassador in Moscow Airport."
dumb blonde joke
A girl was visiting her blonde friend, who had acquired two new dogs,
and asked her what their names were.
The blonde responded
by saying that one was named Rolex and one was named Timex.
Her friend said,
"Whoever heard of someone naming their dogs like that?"
answered the blonde. "They're watch dogs!"
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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