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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton Previous Columns
9:00 AM EST, Tuesday, August 11, 2009. The news is of recovery. The stockmarket is not so accepting. It's slumping into traditional summer doldrums. It wouldn't hurt to take some gains off the table for now. And begin to think of shorting some. That's my call.

The bulls continue to fight the bulls. "It's a bull market, and the recession is history." Writes James Stack of InvestTech Research, this is "the most unloved bull market in history."

Richard Russell writes, "How do we know for certain that what we're living through is not a normal correction of a major bear market decline? Remember, every movement in the market, large or small, is entitled to a correction."

There you have it. I remain wary. I'd hedge with some shorts. Ideas to follow. My money managers remain wary; they've achieved far lower gains than the market itself. They've stayed on the sidelines.

Please backup. Please. A friend called in desperation. His Outlook is locked. His virus checker scans for hours. It won't stop. Something is wrong. Seriously wrong. To me, it spells like his hard disk is ready to give up its ghost. Has he backed everything up? No. does he know that if he loses the hard disk, the guys that will salvage his hard disk will charge him $2,000 -- far more than the cost of a new computer.

Fake bank "Customer Service" emails.: Every "bank" and his uncle is send me emails telling my account is messed up. All I have to do is to go their web site -- which they kindly supply -- and everything will be wonderful. In fact, It's not true. It's a scam. It's a ripoff. Stronger words to follow.

For now, ignore emails from "banks" you don't do business with -- which, for me, include Bank of America and Ally Bank. Both have sent me customer service emails telling me to go to "their sites." These impostors are fishing for my social security number, bank account number, etc.

The war in Afghanistan is unwinnable. I wrote yesterday. We ought to be out now. Reader Frank Derfler, ex-20 years in the Air Force, emailed:

AND -- They (the Afghanis) beat:
1. Alexander the Great
2. The British Army
3. The Soviet Army

How to find great airfare deals. Courtesy Travel + Leisure magazine, August, 2009:

+ alerts travelers when they can get money back should a ticket price drop after purchasing.

+ is the first to include the cost of checking bags in its estimates.

+ Travelocity, Expedia and Orbitz have recently eliminated their booking fees.

+ alerts you to short-term promotions that can only be booked directly through the airlines.

+ When carriers take on new routes, expect a fare war. There is also the new Jet America, which launched with promotional fares from Newark, Detroit, Minneapolis and Orlando.

+ Some airlines are twittering exclusive deals via the web -- JetBlue @JetBlue, VirginAmerica @VirginAmerica, and United @UnitedAirlines.

+ Buy your tickets on Tuesdays around 3 PM.

+ Wait until the discount carriers start selling. JetBlue and Southwest only release tickets six and four months out respectively, so the major players most likely won't reduce fares until then.

+ Using frequent flier miles remains the cheapest way to bump up a class. Carriers release premium seats about 24 hours in advance.

Please don't buy a Cisco phone system. I've warned staying away from Cisco phone systems before hand. One reader, who's in the telecom business, graciously forwarded this email from a client:


We’ve experienced problems with Cisco in the following areas. 1st, Reliability – in the 2 ? years that Cisco has been installed we have had several major outages mostly due to software bugs and the only fix was to upgrade to the next version. It’s very obvious that Cisco releases product without fully testing. If this were to happen with any other telecom equipment that I purchased I would be fired. However, in the Cisco world, outages seem acceptable.

2nd Lack of qualified and experience vendors - We are now on our third Cisco vendor, mainly due to dissatisfaction, and while they are the best we’ve used I’m still not impressed.

3rd) Lack of features - Simple features such as group page could not be accomplished without a third party appliance. The reliability and functionality of the third party appliance has been completely unacceptable. Now Cisco has offered to replace the appliance with software called “burbee” and this will supposedly correct our problems. We also experienced problems with integration to the NEC switch and AVST voice mail system. Whenever we have problems trouble shooting it is a finger pointing contest and the problem usually is on the Cisco side.

4th) COST – the overall cost has been tremendous and the only people that will deny this claim would be Cisco and anybody in IT Management who purchased this junk.

If you need more info just let me know.

Name deleted to protect the innocent! (Telecom Manager at a major healthcare facility who manages several locations with Avaya, Nortel and NEC. He was told by C level managers to “get rid of that TDM stuff” they have had for several years.)

Life's meaning -- part 2:. It's packing old stuff -- laptops, routers, cables, speakerphones -- to send to your son's new startup baseness, which presently can't afford a pot to piss in.

You start in the shipping department, progress up the ladder to be president. Then you progress down the ladder and end up your career in the shipping department.

Yesterday's task for Daddy was to find the 12 volt, 5 amp power supply that belonged to Mag monitor I'd sent out earlier. I unearthed my stash of power supplies, emailed Michael the photo and said, "Choose." That wasn't very scientific. But I did have fun arranging the decades-old power supplies for their one moment of fame.

If you're looking for an old power supply, email me. I bet it's in this pile somewhere.

"The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." -- Margaret Thatcher

American productivity
"Computer hackers managed to shut down Twitter and my favorite, Facebook, for several hours. In a related story, yesterday American productivity jumped by 159%." -- Conan O'Brien

"I can't believe he said this -- on his radio show, Rush Limbaugh recently said, 'Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, ruled by dictate.' Yeah. So folks, it took a while, but Obama has finally won over Rush Limbaugh." -- Conan O'Brien

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 tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.