Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
9:00 AM EST, Wednesday, October 15, 2008: We
had the big bounce (Monday). Then reality returned (yesterday) and the market
fell. Happy days are not here again. But a normality of sorts has returned.
Your cash is now safe in your local bank and in your local money market fund
(but check that it's insured).
I think most stocks are still overpriced. Cash remains King.
are better for the stockmarket? Republicans or Democrats? The former information
graphics editor of Money Magazine had this piece in Tuesday's OP-ED section
of the New York Times. Please don't dismiss it because it appeared in that left-wing,
pinko, commie newspaper that my Republican friends love to hate:
Donkeys and Elephants by Tommy McCall
Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40
years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism
as a whole? Well, heres an experiment: imagine that during these years
you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations.
How would you have fared?
As of Friday,
a $10,000 investment in the S.& P. stock market index* would have grown
to $11,733 if invested under Republican presidents only, although that
would be $51,211 if we exclude Herbert Hoovers presidency during
the Great Depression. Invested under Democratic presidents only, $10,000 would
have grown to $300,671 at a compound rate of 8.9 percent over nearly
Here's his chart:
One of these men
led an October revolution that seized the commanding heights of the economy
on behalf of the proletariat.
The other founded
the Soviet Union.
laptops coming out: Every laptop maker (including
Apple) is introducing new, faster laptops. Do you need one? Points:
You can make your present laptop go faster by adding more RAM memory and a faster
7200 rpm hard disk.
The new laptops are much cheaper, faster and more reliable than laptops a year
or two ago.
Buying a new laptop is confusing, largely as a result of Intel's confusing way
of naming its new microprocessor chips. Its chips are the engines that drive
all new laptops (including Apple's). Worse, some laptop makers don't include
Intel's newest and fastest chips in their newest line. For example, Lenovo has
a laptop with Intel's fast T9600 chip, but Toshiba doesn't. I have no idea why.
I've asked Toshiba.
those of us who are totally confused about processor speed, here's a neat (and
very difficult-to-find) chart that explains all.
cold turkey: My dead-tree (i.e. paper) edition
of the Wall Street Journal is on vacation for a month. If I can survive the
lack of paper, I'll kill it for good. The dead-tree edition costs $299 a year.
The online edition which has the same (and actually more) information costs
$69. The $299 does not include the cost of disposing of the paper -- driving
it to the county dump, etc.
world's most comfortable men's shoe: My wife
says it's also the ugliest. But, boy is it comfortable.
I actually own several pairs. But don't tell my wife.
logic. I wish I didn't think these were funny.
+ I joined a health
club last year, spent about 400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you
have to go there.
+ The advantage
of exercising every day is so when you die, they'll say, 'He looks really healthy.'
+ If you are going
to try cross-country skiing this winter, start with a small country.
+ I know I got
a lot of exercise the last few years, just getting over the hill.
+ We all get heavier
as we get older; there's a lot more information in our heads.
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 on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look 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 Michael's business school
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here and here.