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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton Previous Columns
9:00 AM EST, Thursday, July 23, 2009. A degree of normalcy is returning to capital markets. Companies are selling bonds and equity and raising money. Investment bankers and brokers are creating new products and pushing new and old product on their clients. Graduates of old firms with failed investments are being resurrected in new firms with new product. The big pitch is "we're doing it different this time. We've learned from our mistakes." Their old mistakes cost their clients (and me) millions of dollars. The old aphorism, "once bitten, twice shy" is pretty relevant.

The stockmarket is on a tear. "Happy days are here again" is the refrain.

The pressures on you and I to buy something are immense.

And the worst decision you can make is a hurried one. Which is the major reason I'm having trouble with Obama's health care scheme. I covered that yesterday.

Now, step back, Harry. You sold your business in September of 1997. You got all that money. Nice. What you didn't get was a playbook on how to invest it. So you went searching for "The Perfect Investment." Of course, there's no such thing. But you didn't know it at the time. You got blinded by greed. At least that's how you see it now. But not how you saw it then.

Then you saw those 15% and 20% and 30% annual returns. And you thought, "that's for me." What you didn't know is that big returns mean BIG risk. And big risk means you can lose all the money. And many investments actually did that. All the money. Not half of it. Not 30% of it. But all of it.

Madoff was a crook and took all the money. But there are honest, eminent investment people who also lost all the money, including usually their own.

Had I been intelligent (i.e. listened to Todd), I would have invested 100% of my business' sale proceeds in muni bonds and happily clipped coupons and played tennis for the rest of my life.

Searching for the perfect investment is addictive, like a drug. You keep on doing it. Somewhere out there is that magic bullet.

I found it yesterday. I floated up Third Avenue, high as a kite.

This morning I awake with questions. Not doubts, just questions.

Never say Yes without mulling.

There are 8,000 hedge funds, 8,000 mutual funds, zillions of bonds, bazillions of stocks and untold trillions of structured products from Wall Street. Not to mention all those bargain real estate properties. You got to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. Sometimes, we underestimate how much kissing is necessary.

Irish Fertility
The Father said, 'Top o' the mornin' to ye! Aren't ye Mrs. McGervey and didn't I marry ye and yer hoosband 2 years ago?'

She replied, 'Aye, that ye did, Father.'

The Father asked, 'And be there any wee little ones yet?'

She replied, 'No, not yet, Father..'

The Father said, 'Well now, I'm going to Rome next week and I'll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband.'

She replied, 'Oh, thank ye, Father.' They then parted ways.

Some years later they met again. The Father asked, 'Well now, Mrs. McGervey, how are ye these days?'

She replied, 'Oh, very well, Father!' The Father asked, 'And tell me, have ye any wee ones yet?'

She replied, 'Oh yes, Father! Three sets of twins and 4 singles, 10 in all!'

The Father said, 'That's wonderful! How is yer lovin' hoosband doing?'

She replied, 'E's gone to Rome to blow out yer candle.

A little old lady was running up and down the halls in a nursing home. She would flip up the hem of her nightgown and say 'Supersex...'

She ran up to an elderly man in a wheelchair flipping her gown at him, she said, 'Supersex.'

He sat silently for a moment or two and finally answered, 'I'll take the soup.'

An older couple were lying in bed one night. The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said: 'You used to hold my hand when we were courting.'

Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.

A few moments later she said: 'Then you used to kiss me.'

Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled down to sleep.

Thirty seconds later she said: 'Then you used to bite my Neck.'

Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed. 'Where are you going?' she asked.

He replied, 'To get my teeth!'

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.