Technology Investor

Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment, Technology Investor. Harry Newton

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9:00 AM EDT, Wednesday, October 28, 2009: As I keep nagging, this is not a good time to be too heavy in the market. Friday is the end of the month, and the end of the financial year for many funds. Hence, there will be "window-dressing" in the next few days. Some stocks will rise. Hence good time to sell.

Richard Russell from Dow Theory is always ultra-cautious, but has his devout followers. His latest piece says:

There are five items that bother me about this market.

1. Too many distribution days. A distribution day is a day when a market is down on rising volume.

2. The bullish percentage of NYSE stocks in bullish trends is declining (see tomorrow's site).

3. The percentage of NYSE stocks trading above their 50-day moving average is declining.

4. The Transportation Average continues to decline (even on days when the Dow is up).

5. The Dow is pressing against important resistance at 10,000. The S&P 500 is pressing against important resistance at 1100. The Nasdaq is pressing against important resistance at 2200. The big even numbers often represent stiff resistance.

A bond fund? My friend sends me a prospectus for a bond fund and asks my opinion, which is:

1. You don't like funds. He and I don't like funds generally.

2. You don't know what's in them.

3. You don't know who's running them.

4. They're too expensive, i.e. fees, fees, and more fees.

5. Funds are always formed for an idea whose time has past.

Want another 20 reasons?

Where to for Research in Motion (RIMM)? From Silicon Alley Insider this chart:

And this comment:

Apple's iPhone 3GS is driving its market share higher and higher, according to a new study from ChangeWave Research. The firm surveyed 4,255 consumers in September, and found 39% of them now have a smartphone, which is up from 37% from July and almost double from a year ago.

As more people buy smartphones, the iPhone 3GS is taking share, while Research In Motion is stalling. And yes, it looks ugly for Palm, but at least it has leveled off. Too bad it looks like Google's Android is about to eat it alive.

Meantime RIMM's stock looks like a continuing great short:

Subject: FDIC has officially named your bank a failed bank.

You have received this message because you are a holder of a FDIC-insured bank account.
Recently FDIC has officially named the bank you have opened your account with as a failed bank, thus, taking control of its assets.

You need to visit the official FDIC website and perform the following steps to check your Deposit Insurance Coverage:

This email is completely bogus. Do not visit the "FDIC website" and do not download anything. If you do, your computer will be in big trouble.

The dream delivered. Sometimes. There are four ways of filing a web page you liked and keeping its hyperlinks :

1. Save it as a favorite. Bookmark it in your browser. You hope it will be there when you revisit it.

2. Save the page as an MHT in Internet Explorer. Sometimes that works, but not for big sites, like the Wall Street Journal.

3. Save the page as HTML in virtually any browser. That will always work but it easily clutter your hard disk with 100+ little files.

4. Save the page as a PDF. The best site for doing this is Give it the web page you want. It converts it in seconds. You download the PDF file. Pretty neat. Most times it works. For some sites with a gigantic number of hyperlinks, like the Wall Street Journal, the conversion process will be ultra-slow and the end PDF ginormous. I've put a permanent link in the left column.

Windows 7 woes. My friend loves Vista. He upgraded to Windows 7. It took him only three hours. Microsoft maintains the upgrade from Vista to 7 is "painless." Meanwhile Computerworld says "Microsoft blames Windows 7 upgrade mess on user confusion," "Windows 7 upgrade paralyzes some PCs with endless reboots" and "Windows 7 endless reboot answer evades Microsoft."

My recommendation remain the same:
1. If your Windows XP is working fine, don't mess with it.

2. Don't upgrade, yet. There are major bug fixes still coming for 7.

3. Prolong your present PC's life with more memory, removing software you don't use and defragmenting your hard drive.

Second thoughts on SSDs. It costs $700 for a 256 gigabyte and $384 for a 128 gigabyte solid state hard drive. The drive is Samsung, but it's sold by Corsair. Samsung advertised in yesterday's Wall Street Journal that its drives increased performance by 38%, used 32% less energy and "is far more reliable than your average HDD." From my experience, I confirm most of those benefits. Yet I've had problems with my SSD. My Corsair blew up, gave a blue screen of death and basically died. I reformatted it and it works fine. So I'm not 100% sure what happened. It could have been a sneaky virus, not a hardware problem.

But are the advantages of SSD worth paying seven times the price of a spinning platter hard drive? I no longer believe Yes. One of the advantages of any decent operating system -- including Windows XP -- is that, once you've launched software (like Word or Outlook), the operating system remembers it in memory and doesn't need to get to the hard drive. So it works ultra-fast.

Yes, I love new technology. And yes, I love my SSD, my solid state drive. But it isn't worth the money.

Fun signs in Africa:

Very logical:
A blonde is playing Trivial Pursuit one night. It was her turn. She rolled the dice and she landed on Science & Nature.

Her question was, "If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?"

She thought for a time and then asked, "Is it on or off?"

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.