Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Harry Newton
AM EDT, Friday, September 4, 2009: If I had dumped every nickel I owned
into a simple index fund in early March, I'd be up 43% today. I'd consider myself
a genius. But I didn't -- just like every one of my money managers and every one
of my friends.
But I also didn't
follow my inviolate 15% timing rules. Which I repeat:
1. The market
has reached a bottom, when it bounces 15% up. Then it's time to get in.
2. The market
(or a stock) has a reached a top, when it drops 15% from its most recent
peak. Then it's time to sell.
End of story.
Our problem as
investors is that we attempt to time to market. We try to do this by figuring
the "logic" of where things should be going. We say the economy is
lousy, consumers are unemployed and can't spend anything, the deficit is huge,
the dollar is crumbling...
And guess what?
This year, all this "logic" has been irrelevant. Not just I irrelevant.
But totally irrelevant.
is up 43%. It's been a bull market. And we're all depressed by the economic
have mentioned (and I bought) some stocks I like -- including AAPL, GOOG, BYDDF,
EWA, EWZ and STEC. All are strongly up.
I have mentioned
GLD. It's been up in recent days. But I don't own it. Maybe I should, as a hedge
against total disaster?
+ Traveling friends recently left a suitcase carrying their laptop, phone charger
and other vital things in a taxi -- because they failed to count their luggage.
My Amazon Visa bill contained a $35 late fee on $237 owing because I was "late."
They removed the charge after we bitched.
do you feel about Afghanistan? I believe we
can't "win" this war. I believe staying there wastes precious American
lives (the worst part) and money (hence weakening the dollar), and accomplishes
nothing to improve our internal security (since Osama and his crew have moved
to Pakistan). Moreover, our Karzai administration is corrupt, can't deliver
security to its own people and is generally ineffective in every way. No one
from Alexander The Great on has ever "conquered" the Afghanis, who
according to my sources, "love to fight."
President Hamid Karzai
hate the news coming out of Afghanistan. For example, today:
A NATO airstrike
killed at least 80 people, many of them civilians, in a once-calm region of
Afghanistan that has slipped under insurgent control, Afghan officials said.
mulling becoming more involved in the anti-war movement. What are your thoughts?
Send me an email.
is my new desk:
The BIG addition
is the 32 inch Samsung 1080p LCD. It's gigantic. Tennis in HD is stupendous.
Amazon and Best Buy sell the TV for $709. Click here for Amazon.
To install it, I had the help of a master Time Warner technician. Things I learned:
1. You don't need
a $50 HDMI cable. Component cables work just as well. I bet Best Buy makes more
the cable than on the TV.
2. You need to
alert your cable box to the new HD skills of your new TV. Otherwise it will
keep sending ugly low-def to your new HD TV. Low def is 4:3; high def is 16:9.
Make sure your TV knows.
3. Not all high
definition (HD) channels are 1080. Some are 720. There's a difference. But all
look better in HD.
3. You have to
change channels. With us, ESPN is channel 29. ESPNHD is channel 729.
4. There is a
real difference between normal TV and high def TV. For sports, its much clearer.
You can see the ball. For finance, some channels run more information on screen.
CNBC (aka BubbleVision) looks like this in low def (here shown in 4:3):
In high def, it
looks like this:
Note the extra
statistics and charts on the right. They're much more useful than his ugly face.
in Fairway restaurant, upper West Side, New York City.
bottles to get rich on. These bottles sell for $7.50 each. I'm sure
the stuff is lovely. But what grabs me are the words.
Kiss My Face
is brilliant. The flyline is "obsessively natural." Each of the bottles
contain "Ultra Moisturizer Hydratant Ultra." I have zero idea of what
the stuff does. But on words alone, i'm 100% sold.
Federer does it. Second mention. There are many people who believe
he's the greatest tennis player ever. To me, he's a ballet dancer. His footwork
is the best I've even seen on any tennis player. For an absolutely engrossing
analysis of how he does it, click
U.S. Open Tennis Schedule: TV coverage of the
US Open is around the clock -- presently on ESPN2, ESPN2HD and the Tennis Channel,
and then later on CBS. The full schedule is on
USOpen.org. Here's this weekend's.
Make sure you watch it in high def.
favorite recent New Yorker cartoons:
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.