Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Wednesday, September 19, 2007: Yesterday
was one of those days you can't predict but show you have to be invested. The
Dow was up 2.5%. Most year's gains come from days like yesterday. Miss
out a few big up days and you lose most of your year's gains. Timing is a fool's
the Fed, yesterday's 50 basis point reduction was HUGE. They're clearly worried.
And they said it:,
in financial markets since the Committees last regular meeting have
increased the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook.
from the 50 basis point drop: Higher oil, higher gold, lower dollar, higher
exports, higher-priced imports.
and investments look increasingly good.
If you're running
a business, hoard cash for the rainy day that's coming.
There is increasing talk of an upcoming recession. Time magazine
points out that real estate accounted for 46% of job gains from
2001 through mid-2006. I don't see a replacement industry. Stratfor,
the excellent analysis firm writes this morning:
Diary: Recession Ho?
The U.S. Federal
Reserve reduced the federal funds rate from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent on
cut is not something the Federal Reserve does often or lightly, as it indicates
a sharp change for the worse in the institution's assessment of the United
States' economic health. And though making economic forecasts is often
little more scientific than staring at pig entrails, the evidence is mounting
that a global slowdown -- and perhaps even a recession -- could be in the
works. The housing market continues to cool, while consumer confidence appears
to be waffling. Add in the agony of the start of an election season in which
half of the country's political elite has a vested interest in convincing
voters that the gravy train is over (and it is his fault!) and a recession
cannot be ruled out.
to do when your landline phone goes kaput: Yesterday
my main phone number went dead. People would call and hear ring, ring. But no
answer and no me (which is worse). In order:
Reboot your phone system. Turn it off. Count to ten. Turn it on. Just like you
do with a computer. Sometimes it works. It didn't work for me yesterday.
Call Verizon Repair. You speak to a machine. The only way to speak to a person
is to scream "AGENT." Eventually the machine gets the message
you want to speak to a real live human. Screaming the word "operator"
Report the problem. Tell the Verizon human (they do exist) you want all
your incoming calls forwarded to another number -- that number might be a second
landline if you have one, or your cell phone. You'll get your calls. The emergency
Eventually your landline will be fixed. No check they gave you back the right
number. Call 1-800-444-4444. That number will tell you the number you're calling
from. It works from anywhere for any phone. Neat.
Once it's all solved and working, you need to pick your the erstwhile busted
phone line and dial 73#. That will kill the call forwarding.
Along the way a repairman might visit, make sure you reward him handsomely and
get his cell phone -- so he can help you next time you need him. There will
be a next time. Trust me on this one.
reasons to avoid flying: This
year in air travel merits a place in the record books, says the New York
Times. During the first eight months of 2007, a quarter of all domestic
flights arrived late. Late flights also created a deluge of missed connections,
and flight cancellations were higher than ever. In the three months ending
Aug. 31, 52,840 domestic flights were canceled, according to FlightStats.com.
That number compared with about 16,000 in the same period last year.
the only flight that took off on time this summer was the space shuttle,
said Joe Brancatelli, whose subscription business-travel Web site is Joesentme.com.
fever season started August 24: Everyone in
New York is coughing, sneezing and spluttering. Their eyes are red and swollen.
Ditto for their noses. It's the hay fever season. Some pills work, .e.g Claritin.
Personally I hate medication I don't "need." Here are my pet "cures":
Regularly wash my face with hot water and soap, and then plain cold water.
2. Do a couple of jumping jacks. Exercise usually stops hay fever, at least
3. Get horizontal for a few minutes. A couch works wonders.
4. Crank my airconditioner up. Make the room colder.
5. Stay away from obvious irritants -- dust, pollen, etc.
6. Pray for the first frost.
New York Times on-line is suddenly free: They
have some gobblidigook reason about going to an advertising model. Who cares.
For now, you can read everything for free. You don't even have to get the print
edition. Check it out -- www.NYTimes.com.
Good news: occasionally they get it right.
on a pinhead. Intel's new chips will be faster, use less energy,
have better graphics and memory-control and will use as many as eight processing
cores. Intel is making its chips smaller. The 32-nanometer chips, due out in
2009, will use transistors so small that more than 4 million of them could
fit on the head of a pin. Yes, you just learned another piece of irrelevant
information. Ain't this column wonderful?
Iraq is so hard: This past weekend one of our
ex-doorman, Marbin Maradiaga, died in a car accident. Marbin had worked for
our building in 2004 until he was asked to go to Iraq with the Army Reserves.
Our building's manager talked to Marbin when he came back from Iraq. Marbin
told of a raid they made one night. "There was a young Iraq male about
nineteen that always pretended to be their friend and joked with them all the
time. So one night we thought we would pull a joke on him and raided his house.
We found the largest stash of weapons and explosives that we had found anywhere
the whole year Marbin was in Iraq."
Belgian Tries to Sell His Country. Fed up with a flap between Belgium's
powerful Flemish and Walloon political blocs, a Belgian teacher decided to post
an advertisement offering to sell the entire country on eBay. The Associated
Press reported that Gerrit Six posted the ad Saturday, dutifully pointing out
that the country was coming secondhand and mentioning to potential buyers the
more than $300 billion in national debt they would have to take on. But Mr.
Six touted Belgium's art nouveau architecture in the ad, as well as its status
as the headquarters of NATO and the EU and its world class beers. He also offered
free delivery. Mr. Six said the ad was a protest against the political gridlock
the country has faced since June 10 elections. Following that vote, efforts
to cobble together a coalition have been frustrated as demands for more autonomy
from Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flemish population have been opposed the nation's
French-speaking Walloons. The controversy has prompted some to worry that the
kingdom may be heading toward a breakup. While eBay Belgium at first welcomed
the listing, they took it down Tuesday, after receiving a bid for 10 million
euros for the country.
in the U.S. of A
Morris was working as a handyman for a synagogue and asked for a raise. He was
turned down. So, Morris resigned.
He then went over
to the Catholic Church to seek gainful employment. There, the Priest asked him,
"Where was Jesus born?"
"Pittsburgh." The Priest then told Morris that he could not have the
He went over to
the Baptist church, and the minister said Morris could have the job if he could
answer one question, "Where was Jesus born?"
He was tossed
he ran into the Rabbi. "Morris," the Rabbi said. "I'm so glad
I ran into you. I took your request for a raise to our Board and they voted
unanimously to approve your raise. Please come back."
"I will come
back," Morris said, "but only if you answer a question for me. Where
was Jesus born?"
said the Rabbi.
"I KNEW it was in Pennsylvania!!!"
Syrian Air Force:
The captain of a Syrian Air Force transport flying over the Mediterranean
sends out a MAYDAY message:
Syrian Air Force # 174 announcing we have lost one engine and want to land at
any airport in the Middle East OTHER than Israel!"
A while later
he announces, "This is Syrian Air Force # 174 again. We have now lost two
engines and need to land at any airport in the Middle East OTHER than Israel!"
A short while
later the captain announces, "This is Syrian Air Force #174. We are desperate.
We have now lost THREE engines an urgently ask permission to land at any airport
in the Middle East OTHER than Israel!"
Still no answer.
Finally the captain
calls out, "Help! This is Syrian Air Force #174. We have only one engine
left and it is rapidly failing. Unless we can land we are going to crash. We
need permission to land at ANY airport in the Middle East INCLUDING Israel!"
a voice is heard in the Syrian cockpit:
Air Force # 174. This is Tel Aviv approach control. We would like to help."
praised," says the Syrian pilot. "Please give me instructions."
"Do you speak
repeat after me: Yisgadal Viyiskadash Shimay Rabbah......"
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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