Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EST, Wednesday, July
15, 2009. The big question is how come Goldman Sachs
was able to make so much money while the rest of us flounder. Barry Ritholtz,
author of the book Bailout Nation, points out in an interview
on MSNBC four factoids:
Goldman received $19 billion from AIG directly as a result of the AIG bailout
by the U.S. taxpayers, i.e. you and I.
Goldman spent $43 million on lobbying last year in Washington.
Washington and the regulatory world is populated with Goldman alumni -- from
the U.S. treasurer and the head of the New York Reserve on down.
Goldman alums conveniently buried all Goldman's biggest competitors, like Lehmann
also doesn't believe in broad asset allocation: Obviously none of
us do any longer, either. But it strikes me you buy what you feel comfortable
with and optimistic about. And you don't put all your eggs in one basket, since
there's risk involved with anything and everything that isn't a U.S. treasury.
And there are now serious people who believe that U.S. Treasurys (or is it Treasuries?)
have serious risk.
Reader Peter Rawlings
I discovered for myself the hard way that the Modern Portfolio Theory doesn't
work during the Crash of 1987. Everything in my well diversified portfolio
went down so I gave up on asset allocation after that. Reading Warren Buffet's
"Snowball" I also discovered that he doesn't diversify either. (
I was impressed to see your name mentioned in his book :).
Available as a hard cover, soft cover, audio book or Kindle book. The Kindle
edition is the cheapest at $9.99. The soft cover is the most expensive at
$39.99. Go figure. All these choices from Amazon.
search of search engines. Following up on yesterday column about
how to search your hard drive for that special nugget, reader Mike Barto writes:
Harry, I was
researching search engines again last week. I installed and tried many of
them, and liked Copernic the best. The only issue is that the free version
doesnt let you search network drives, which I have at home for pictures
and music. I was specifically looking for a search engine that could look
at metadata so I could search for pictures by date, location, etc. without
having to create a virtual file system or online database within Picasa or
some other photo organizer.
Also, I installed
dtSearch a few years ago at
our office. The reason I bought it was because I could build different indexes
for different areas of our organization that would look in the right places
for them. Marketing, Design, Test, etc. I could then create intranet sites
that they could link to from our project management websites. As a result,
everyone used the same indexes to search, which is much better than everyone
in the company downloading the Google desktop search and replicating the same
index on all of the hard disks in every pc. I had a great experience with
DTSearch. Great customer support, really nice sales staff, etc. This was huge,
because Im not an IT guy
just a manager looking to improve communication
within a large team. The feedback from users was very positive. However, at
this point Im looking for something powerful and well organized when
displaying results, yet inexpensive and less complex for home use. So far,
is the front runner.
The good news
is that you can install free demo versions of both, play with them and rip them
off if you don't like them. So far, based on what I've read, I'm leaning towards
Copernic Desktop Search Professional. Both dtSearch and Copernic highlight
in the file what you're looking for. Microsoft's crummy desktop search doesn't.
For Copernic, here.
buys gold bullion. If we're eyeing hyperinflation soon (as a result
of all the government money printing), then the only hedge is gold. At least
that's the prevailing theory. Hence I was interested in this piece from Bloomberg:
I have to rush to
an early-morning funeral of a relative, a wonderful old lady who lived life to
the fullest. God rest her soul. I'm not in a joke mood.
July 14 (Bloomberg)
-- Greenlight Capital Inc., the $5 billion hedge-fund firm run by David Einhorn,
told investors it switched all of its holdings in a gold exchange-traded fund
into bullion during the second quarter.
At a minimum
this will provide some savings as the costs of storing gold are less than
the fees for the SPDR Gold Trust, the New York-based firm said yesterday
in a letter to investors.
told clients in January he was buying gold for the first time amid the threat
of inflation from higher government spending. The firm, started in 1996, held
4.2 million shares of SPDR Gold Trust in the first quarter, making the gold-
backed ETF its biggest holding. Gold has climbed 5.8 percent this year.
Greenlight Capital LP fund gained 16.3 percent in the second quarter, bringing
its return this year to 21.5 percent boosted by investments in Ford Motor
Co. debt, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg
News. The fund lost 23 percent last year.
returned an average 9.4 percent this year through June after losing 19 percent
in 2008, according to Hedge Fund Research Inc. in Chicago.
a spokesman for Greenlight, declined to comment on the letter.
its investments in stocks it expects to rise were sparse in the
second quarter, and that it currently has almost no net long exposure
from our bottom-up inability to find many good opportunities, the firm
said. We are very cautious of the significant headwinds we still believe
the economy faces.
it had bought reinsurance stocks including Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd. during
the second quarter.
industry suffered a double whammy last year due to storm damage and investment
losses, the firm said. This appears to be leading to an improved
competitive environment and higher returns on capital.
its largest holdings at the end of the quarter were Arkema SA, a chemical
maker in Paris; Criteria CaixaCorp, a Barcelona-based holding company for
Spains largest savings bank; the debt of Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford;
gold; and Pfizer Inc., the worlds biggest drugmaker.
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
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