Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment, Technology Investor. Harry Newton
November 19, 2009: My favorite hedge fund manager
quit on me yesterday. He eyed my recent Eastern Europe vacation, figured he
hadn't had a vacation in five years and said "That's it."
told me managing money is a 24/7 job. He was "worn out." This past
year in the stockmarket had been the toughest stockmarket he'd seen in over
25 years of managing money.
wasn't the first. Another friend quit Wall Street in the early 1990s. He told
me if he hadn't quit, he'd be dead. And to prove him right, many of his compatriots
have already died -- in their 50s and early 60s.
(or something) at some stage tells us peace of mind is better than pieces of
Pam Long emailed me:
Street' live without Wall Street?. The answer may be yes.
My friend, 'B', annually rolls over a series of $500,000 CDs, living quite
well off the interest only. How could someone ever accumulate such wealth?
My friend and her husband lived comfortably within their means and carefully
saved for retirement. They put three children through college, travel and
now enjoy retirement.
Surprisingly, no Wall Street related investments, no IRAs. All savings were
accumulated through savings accounts and, in later years, CDs. Slow, steady,
And, this accumulation was achieved on a single income.
The trick as I see it is growth through goals, not greed.
I sold my business
in 1997. If I had put the entire money in municipal bonds and forgotten about
the yields, their value, interest rates, economic news and stopping reading
the Wall Street Journal, I'd be substantiality richer today.
Yesterday, I listened
to a brilliant debate between a bull and a bear.
The bull's arguments:
+ Everyone who's
stayed out is now getting back in and forcing their hedge funds to do likewise,
i.e. stop shorting, go long.
+ There really
aren't sufficient sellers around to drive stock prices down. Hedge funds have
+ Managers on
BubbleVision are more upbeat than ever before.
The bear's arguments:
+ The economy
stinks. There are still pebbles to drop, like commercial real estate and the
banks which own the bad loans on the bad real estate.
+ There could
easily be a 20% to 25% one-day drop. It's happened before.
Most of my friends
are heavily in cash and complaining about lousy interest rates.
For me, I'm mulling.
Maybe I should "invest" in that $9,000 mink-lined jacket? (See yesterday.)
about solid state drives: The absolute fastest
way to speed up your computer -- laptop or desktop -- is to replace your spinning
platter hard disk with a solid state one. The premier (and virtually only) supplier
is Corsair. The company sells two types of drives -- the cheaper P series and
the more expensive X "extreme series."
Specs on the black
extreme series show it to be faster. Great. But it doesn't work. The silver
one is made by Samsung and works perfectly. I've learned all this at vast personal
expense and total aggravation. You don't want the full story. Trust me. Get
the silver one. That's the one my son, Michael and I are now using.
Since these things are ultra-expensive, get the smallest one you need for your
daily work. I'm using a 128 gig drive, which should be about $360.
can't trust your bank statements any longer. Each
one needs fine-checking. They're charging for everything they can think of.
My favorite is charging for an incoming wire. My wife's favorite is charging
for moving some money into her overdraft account -- and that's on top of the
29% interest rate.
+ The most
Connects a laptop, a BlackBerry charger and whatever to one outlet. $3.99 from
+ Skype video
is easy and cheap. Your kids now have laptops with cameras and microphones.
My present laptop -- the Lenovo ThinkPad X200 -- has a camera, microphone and
speakers. I jump on the Internet in Europe. Within 15 seconds, I see and hear
Michael, Anne and Winnie.
This is Winnie.
She's smiling. I would be too, with the attention she gets. Skype
for computer-to-computer is free.
nonsense about onions yesterday. In the dizziness
of yesterday's jet lag, I fell prey to a friend's email. The stuff about spreading
onions to stop the flu is nonsense.
Nothing you read is for real -- until you've checked it. And that includes this
out for pleas for money. My Facebook account
got hacked. The hacker asked one of my Facebook friends to send me money since
I was stranded in London after being robbed. He was about to send the money,
but fortunately checked directly with me.
is as it seems any longer.
changed my Facebook password.
do I think this New Yorker cartoon is funny?
The sun is shining.
It's a new day. I'm playing tennis today. And I'm wearing clean clothes. My
Berlin hotel charged more to wash clothes than I'd paid for the clothes. Next
time I travel, I'm taking old clothes and throwing them out after a week or
two or three. (I think that's funny. But Susan doesn't.)
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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