Technology Investor

Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton Previous Columns
9:00 AM EDT, Monday, September 28, 2009: I'm mulling. Where is this going? Money managers are still pouring money into the market, hoping to redeem their awful performance so far this year with spectacular performance in the remaining few months of 2009. But there are skeptics. The Financial Times had a long piece over the weekend, "As traders celebrate big price rallies, skeptics argue that the upturn may be unsustainable -- an incipient bubble based on cheap credit backed by government money."

Tech companies are unusual. They typically have lots of cash, few debts. Now they're starting to spend their money. Adobe bought Omniture. Dell bought Perot Systems and this morning Xerox is buying Affiliated Computer -- for $6.4 billion, no less. Acquisitions in September 2009 will be twice what they were in September 2008. All this bothers me. Most acquisitions don't work out. Dell's stock cratered after it announced its decision to buy Perot Systems.

I continue to like a handful of tech companies - Google, Apple and AT&T. But volatility remains high. Look what happened after Research In Motion (the BlackBerry maker) announced results which Wall Street thought were horrible -- they weren't.

Getting well: it's about time. Most aches and pains repair themselves with time. Don't rush to the doctor, the chiropractor, the sports therapist. All they want are more visits. Of course, I'm lecturing myself. I've spent and spent on repairing aches and pains from overexertion on the tennis court. But no more. Rest works. Whoopee! What a brilliant conclusion. I'm not the only person to discover this. Last week the Wall Street Journal had a piece that began:

What cures colds, flu, sore throats, sore muscles, headaches, stomach aches, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, hangovers, back pain, jaw pain, tennis elbow, blisters, acne and colic, costs nothing, has no weird side effects and doesn't require a prescription?

Plain old-fashioned time. But it's often the hardest medicine for patients to take.

"Most people's bodies and immune systems are wonderful in terms of handling things—if people can be patient," says Ted Epperly, a family physician in Boise, Idaho, and president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The Journal said visit a doctor when you experience any of the following:

+ Crushing chest pains—the classic signs of a possible heart attack.

+ Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking or severe headache—which could indicate a stroke.

+ Sudden, severe headaches.

+ Any major injury, especially involving loss of consciousness.

+ Coughing up, throwing up or excreting blood.

+ Suicidal or homicidal urges.

+ Flashing lights in your vision—which could be a detached retina.

+Inability to breath—which could be a severe allergic reaction.

+ Recurrent tooth pain. "You can typically give a tooth ache 24 hours," says Dr. Epperly. "If it's an abscess that would require a root canal, it won't get better by itself."

Read the entire piece. Click here.

A little bit of naval history. I've checked this. It seems to be true. Irrespective, it's a wonderful story:

The U. S. S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. Fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship's log, "On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "To destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England . In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U. S. S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water.


Sign of the times. Lawmakers in England and France are trying to force ads with altered photos of models to carry disclaimers. “When teenagers and women look at these pictures in magazines, they end up feeling unhappy with themselves,” said Jo Swinson, a British member of Parliament from the Liberal Democratic Party. Since every photo in every ad these days has been enhanced (usually by Photoshop), this will mean every ad will contain a disclaimer.

When you see on the streets, you wonder if they've ever eaten a real meal or if they ever smile?

There I fixed it. A photographic testimony to the creativity of the human brain. From a site

Look carefully. It's a pair of men's underpants.

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.