Technology Investor

Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton Previous Columns
9:00 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.

The stockmarket is up 43%. It's been a bull market. And we're all depressed by the economic noise.

We're idiots.

Fortunately, I 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.

How 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

I 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.

I'm mulling becoming more involved in the anti-war movement. What are your thoughts? Send me an email.

This 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.

Spied in Fairway restaurant, upper West Side, New York City.

More 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.

How 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 here.

2009 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 Here's this weekend's. Make sure you watch it in high def.

Three favorite recent New Yorker cartoons:

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investme
nt 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.