Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EDT, Thursday, September 24, 2009: The best
part of yesterday was not the 80 point fall in the Dow. It was the many games
I won off the lively 35-year old who hits like a canon and gets to every ball
and then some. When a 67-year old plays a 35-year old, there's only one textbook.
It's Brad Gilbert's Winning Ugly.
is what happened yesterday -- the day after Cramer hammered the table for Wynn
Resorts (and I mentioned it and mentioning I was hoping for a little pullback).
To his credit,
even Cramer recommends waiting several days after he's mentioned the stock --
though, in this case, you could have done well if you had jumped in first thing
the morning after his TV table-thumping. Personally I think it will go higher.
contagion of "service" charges. Everybody and their uncle
is copying our beloved banks and slapping "service" charges onto invoices,
monthly statements, you name it. I understand the motivation -- billing your
way out of your personal recession. But it's annoying bullshit. Question them
and they instantly remove the charges.
It's an infernal
waste of timing minutely checking every bill, monthly statement, and every quote
thing you get sent.
Yesterday I removed
$1414 in "other charges" off a rental lease by simply saying "the
charges weren't on last year's bill." I also got rid of a "security
deposit waiver" fee. This one was a beaut. Normally I give them $1,000
security deposit. If I don't trash the house, they give it back to me -- as
they've done in the past umpteen years. This time they have a new idea. They
don't want the $1,0000, they'll insure me for $45. This way, if I do trash
the place, I don't pay, the insurance company does.
creative (and spurious) charges. I will award a free subscription to this column
for all the doozies you have recently found. Email me your favorites.
dumb PC trick. Your friend uses Microsoft Word on his Apple Mac.
He emails you his brilliance. It comes in a .dat file. Microsoft Word
on your PC won't open it. Before you go ballistic at Microsoft -- totally justified
-- change the file's name to .doc. Bingo, it opens in Word.
about 75% of its share price from basically two products -- the Windows operating
system and Microsoft Office. Both are under serious competitive pressure, which
is why its share price is $26, while Apple, which gets about 80% of its value
from iPhone, is currently $185. And Google is around $500.
Chrome is now the best (and my favorite) Internet browser. You can
learn more about Chrome 3.0, the latest. And download it for free. Click here.
rich have feelings, too. That's the title of a wonderful piece in
the latest Vanity Fair, which begins:
To read the rest
of Tom Wolfe's wonderful piece, click here.
Up until the
tarantulas arrived late last year waving their billions in bailout
money before our faces, there were ten of us, including the two Harvard algorithm
swamis, who could use the Gulfstream V, the Falcon, and the three Learjets
pretty much anytime we needed them.
The vast majority of the flights lets get this straight before
anyone starts clucking and fuming were strictly business, but we also
used the planes to maintain an even strain, as our C.E.O., Robert
J. (Corky) McCorkle, liked to put it.
Tom Wolfe boards the Gulfstream V of his character Robert J. Corky
McCorkle. Illustration by Paul Cox.
At the risk of sounding condescending, we should point out that ordinary people
havent the faintest conception of the strain we had to endure daily.
How many ordinary people have ever done anything remotely like betting $7.4
billion bango! just so! that the price of energy will
rise sharply 14 months from a certain date? How many of them ever had the
animal spirits to go for it on the say-so of a young never-been-wrong-yet
meteorology swami from M.I.T. who was convinced that, after a five-year lull
in the cycle, a series of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes would pulverize the
Gulf of Mexico, obliterating all offshore drilling operations, possibly shutting
them down for years? How many ordinary people have woken up in the middle
of the night, eyes popped open swock! like a pair of umbrellas,
stark raving terrified by the possibility that they have just blown $7.4 billion
a weather forecast? How many of them have ever sat for three days,
72 hours straight, in front of a gigantic plasma TV watching the Weather Channel
as if it were the Super Bowl as Hurricane Enrique dithers, dawdles, malingers,
messes around off the coast of Fort Lauderdale? How many ordinary people have
been reduced finally, by sheer fear, to yelling at the screen, Come
on, Enrique, you pathetic wuss! Move your fat eye, you lazy worthless bitch!
Be a man! Move inland! Cut straight across the Everglades, tear em up
by the roots and just let the greenies wail! Set your eye on the freaking
Gulf! Take your goddamn steroids! Show some rage, you pussy! Barrel into those
goddamn oil rigs! Destroy em! Obliterate em!? How many ordinary
people have finally sunk to their knees, hands clasped in prayer before a
plasma-TV screen, imploring it, begging it, beseeching it
to save them?
God knows we deserved every chance we could get to even out the strain.
One of the sweetest
sounds in the world was Corky making the rounds up here on the executive floor,
saying in his laid-back voice, I feel like boffing some bimbos in the
Caribbean. Anybody like to come along?
A man wakes up one morning in Alaska to find a bear on his roof.
So he looks in the yellow pages and sure enough, there's an ad for 'Bear Removers.'
He calls the number, and the bear remover says he'll be over in 30 minutes.
The bear remover
arrives, and gets out of his van. He's got a ladder, a baseball bat, a shotgun
and a mean old pit bull.
'What are you
going to do,' the homeowner asks.
'I'm going to
put this ladder up against the roof, then I'm going to go up there and knock
the bear off the roof with this baseball bat. When the bear falls off, the pit
bull is trained to grab his testicles and not let go.
The bear will
then be subdued enough for me to put him in the cage in the back of the van.'
He hands the shotgun
to the homeowner.
'What's the shotgun
for?' asks the homeowner..
'If the bear knocks
me off the roof, shoot the dog.'
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
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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
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here and here.