Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Friday, September 2, 2005: A
bunch of mutual fund apologists took offense at my window dressing remarks yesterday.
Several rightly pointed out I screwed up. August 31 is not the end of the quarter.
Dumb me. It is, however, the end of the month. And window dressing happens then,
-- especially after a period of big sector changes in the stockmarket. One reader
summed it all up. He said
Many readers pointed
out that there are "honest" mutual funds like the Vanguard ones which
actually do well.
a lot of managers who were buying energy yesterday (i.e. Tuesday) because
they were still underweight the benchmark and are trying to cover their a**es.
The worst thing that can happen is to not own a hot group - think of what
happened to value guys who wouldn't buy tech in '98 and '99 - many of them
lost their jobs.
OK. OK. I own two Vanguard funds -- bought recently as a result of my son's research
for his own pension plan. My Vanguard funds are doing well, i.e. I'm making a
profit. The funds I have are:
+ The Vanguard
International Value Fund. (Doing the best so far).
+ The Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund.
Today I intend
to look at four other Vanguard funds:
+ The U.S. Value Fund (VUVLX).
+ The U.S. Strategic Equity (VSEQX).
+ The Selected Value Fund (VASVX)
+ The Global Equity Fund. (VHGEX).
I got these names
from a fellow called Daniel P. Wiener who writes a pricey newsletter on Vanguard
Funds. He gave these names away in a "special" free "report"
featuring his favorite Vanguard funds. To get the names, I gave him my email
address (but not my credit card).
As to whether
I'll buy any new funds, I'm dubious. It's hard to see how sky-high gas prices
won't hurt the economy and corporate profits. From airlines to delivery companies,
from farmers to retailers, from manufacturers to even indoor tennis courts.
I can't imagine what it's going to cost to play tennis indoors this winter.
I've got to believe that the major reinsurance companies are going to be hit
you trust this guy with your money?
He's the fellow in charge of wealth management at a consulting company called
Capgemini. He's joined with Siebels and Finaplex to run a seminar for people
providing advise to MTMs. Here's the description, "The newly defined "mid-tier
millionaires (MTMs)" with investable assets between $5-30M are demanding
higher levels of service from their primary providers to help them "manage
their managers. Join Capgemini and Finaplex to learn how to simplify and improve
the service process for this complex customer segment, bringing the family office
downstream - affordably. We'll cover data aggregation, collaboration, workflow,
wealth management, platform design, and more..." The free web session is
on Wednesday, September 14, 2005, 1:00 PM PT / 3:00 PM CT / 4:00 PM ET and runs
for one hour. If you're curious, click
here. If that doesn't work, click
here. If you watch the web cast, make sure you use Internet Explorer.
Firefox doesn't work. I'll be watching until I get bored.
I don't know if I'm jealous or annoyed:
Now you know why MCI is so eager to sell to Verizon: MCI Inc. President and
Chief Executive Michael Capellas is entitled to a payout of $39.2 million
if, as expected, he leaves the company after its pending $8.4 billion merger
with Verizon Communications.
According to the
Wall Street Journal, senior executives at other major companies involved
in recent takeover deals also have received large payouts. Former AT&T Wireless
Services Inc. chief John Zeglis received about $32 million when that company
was acquired by Cingular Wireless, a joint venture between SBC Communications
Inc. and BellSouth Corp.
Chairman and Chief Executive David Dorman stands to collect at least $32 million
when his company is acquired by SBC. Gillette Co. Chairman and Chief Executive
James Kilts is in line to collect a $185 million package once the company gets
bought by Proctor & Gamble Co.
exit package is "up there, but it's not outrageous," said Robert M.
Fields, a New York attorney who specializes in executive compensation. He said
deals giving executives $20 million to $50 million have become typical for large
The deal will
create a lucrative payday for several other top executives at MCI if they don't
stay with Verizon. Chief Financial Officer Robert Blakely is slated to collect
nearly $10 million in severance, restricted stock and tax compensation. General
Counsel Anastasia Kelly is eligible for $8.5 million, and Wayne Huyard, president
of U.S. sales and service, is eligible for nearly $11 million.
morals of the Bayou hedge fund disaster:
+ What you read about a firm and its results may not be true. No one audits
hedge fund promotional literature (nor companies' private placement memoranda).
+ If you invest, you hand your money over and kiss it goodbye. You pray the
hedge fund managers are honest. Fortunately most are.
But not all. You need to follow the unfolding Bayou Management disaster. It's
fascinating what happens when desperation checks in and honesty checks out.
For the latest, click
An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He
went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing
aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100%. The elderly gentleman went back
in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, "Your hearing is perfect.
Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.."
The gentleman replied, "Oh, I haven't told my family yet. I just sit around
and listen to the conversations.
I've changed my will three times!"
A true first person story:
Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However,
while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman--already dressed
and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet--who insisted he didn't need
my help to leave the hospital. After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly
let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was
meeting him. "I don't know," he said. "She's still upstairs in
the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown."
A Texas preacher began with an angry red face, "Someone in this
congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the Ku Klux Klan. This is a
horrible lie and one, which a Christian community cannot tolerate. I am embarrassed
and do not intend to accept this. Now, I want the party who did this to stand
and ask for forgiveness from God and this Christian family."
No one moved.
The preacher continued, "Do you have the nerve to face me and admit this
is a falsehood? Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel
glory. Now stand and confess your transgression."
Again all was
quiet. Then, slowly, a drop-dead gorgeous blonde with a body that would stop
traffic rose from the third pew. Her head was bowed and her voice quivered as
she spoke, "Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding, I never
said you were a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I simply told a couple of my friends
that you were a wizard under the sheets."
The preacher fainted.
US Open tennis. I spent yesterday at the US
Open. The tennis was great. I saw Andre win. The weather was great. If you can't
go, the TV schedule is below.
+ US Tennis Open TV Schedule. Click
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click
+ All turned on by biotech. Click
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available:
Click here. The full audio is available. Click
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click
+ When to sell your stocks. Click
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. That money
will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense,
here and here.