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Nobody listens. Nobody watches, especially the SEC

Nobody listens.

When you invest in a company, the CEO won’t listen.

When you invest in a country, the President won’t listen.

Case in point: IRAQ. The US and Iran want Iraq’s President to reach out to the Sunnis. But all he wants to do is to wage war. Read today’s New York Times piece, “Sunnis and Kurds on Sidelines of Iraqi Leader’s Military Plans.” Click here.

I hope this ends quickly with a Sunnistan, a Shiistan, a Kurdistan and no bloody civil war. But I suspect we’ll end with a very bloody civil war, an Iraq, a Kurdistan, and a new, far more brutal, Saddam Husssein.

The New York Times has a map showing how five Middle Eastern countries could become 14. Fascinating. Click here.

Want to insider trade and not get caught? Use options, not stocks. The SEC basically ignores options in favor of stocks. Why? Who knows.

Even if you insider trade stock. your chances of getting caught by the SEC appear to be slim to none — unless you’re a big celebrity or work in a firm the SEC is targeting.

Read about it in today’s study of insider trading by two professors. Here’s the lead on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s story:

There is often a tip.

Before many big mergers and acquisitions, word leaks out to select investors who seek to covertly trade on the information. Stocks and options move in unusual ways that aren’t immediately clear. Then news of the deals crosses the ticker, surprising everyone except for those already in the know. Sometimes the investor is found out and is prosecuted, sometimes not.

That’s what everyone suspects, though until now the evidence has been largely anecdotal.

Now, a groundbreaking new study finally puts what we’ve instinctively thought into hard numbers — and the truth is worse than we imagined.

A quarter of all public company deals may involve some kind of insider trading, according to the study by two professors at the Stern School of Business at New York University and one professor from McGill University. The study, perhaps the most detailed and exhaustive of its kind, examined hundreds of transactions from 1996 through the end of 2012.

The professors examined stock option movements — when an investor buys an option to acquire a stock in the future at a set price — as a way of determining whether unusual activity took place in the 30 days before a deal’s announcement.

The results are persuasive and disturbing, suggesting that law enforcement is woefully behind — or perhaps is so overwhelmed that it simply looks for the most egregious examples of insider trading, or for prominent targets who can attract headlines.

To read Sorkin’s full story, click here.

The G0Pro is hot. Seriously hot. Sales in one year are up nearly 90%. The upcoming IPO is already spawning various scams in which suckers can “benefit” from the expected appreciation in the stoc post-IPO. They allegedly have the stock. Your commission is 10%.

Meantime, it’s hard not to love the product:


And all the wonderful ways it’s used:



Shipments are exploding:


The GoPro roadshow video is really impressive. I mean REALLY impressive. The CEO and founder is among the most articulate, persuasive CEOs you’ll ever see. Click here.

I think the GoPro IPO is coming soon, like maybe next week. Pick up some stock if you know someone. Sadly, I don’t, as usual.

One more birthday present:

From Steve:

HE (Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.)

Its dividend yield ranges from 4% to 5%.  The past 3 or 4 years I’ve bought it on dips a couple of times a year and have sold it each time after its share price climbed a buck or two.  This gives me a total annual return of 10% to 15%.


I’ll have my full list and my recommendations tomorrow. For what we have so far, click here.

Things I’ve learned.

+ Your pinky finger works better on the iPhone fingerprint reader than your larger index finger or thumb.

+ Housing prices in major cities are now clearly in a major bubble. Now is a good time to sell your apartment in places like New York and London, In New York supply of staggeringly high-priced apartments is multiplying like crazy. They’re building pricey residential skycrapers everywhere.

+ Most long distance planes in the U.S. now have Wi-Fi. The fastest Wi-Fi is on JetBlue. You can actually stream video from Netflix.

This summer.

1. I hear of melanoma deaths among friends, even young 40-year olds. The sun is NOT your friend.

2. Ticks are all over the north-east. Wear long pants. Put them inside your long socks. Don’t go into the woods or long grass. Outside is NOT your friend.

Harry Newton who ponders on no one listens — unless you control the checkbook. Remember the old aphorism: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. My Internet browser problems seem to have stopped. It seems I was being attacked. I didn’t have a virus. The attack has stopped. Norton Internet Security protected me. That software service is the best few bucks I ever spent. Highly recommended. Thank you Norton.



  1. Bill says:

    Ummmm The Sun is your friend. Vitamin D3, produced by sun exposure, is a precursor to a ton of hormone production in the body, including testosterone, which we all need more of. A little sun exposure does wonders for the mood, as D3 is also a seratonin precursor. Fun stuff abounds when you read into something instead of making a blanket statement. I wonder how many of those 40 year olds with melanoma sunbathed with tanning oil. hmmmm

  2. cliff says:

    Hey Steve, congrats on your brilliant investment in the Hawaiian utility company & your “10-15%” annual return. Had you simply stuck that money in the S&P 500 index you would’ve earned almost 40% in the past year. Feel dumb now? I thought so. HARRY’S BIRTHDAY PICKS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD INVESTMENTS, NOT TURKEYS.

  3. Junius says:

    Good Morning Harry,

    As a belated Birthday suggestion, you might like to consider I invested because Cody Slater has a proven track record, and because the company keeps scoring some big business with major oil companies.

    Cheers from Calgary,

  4. Kent Kjellgren says:

    Harry you will recall our discussions about satellite internet services, Excede vs. Hughes and others. Since my only choice for internet is dial up or satellite I am especially interested in your comment that you can stream Netflix on Jet Blue. Jet Blue is contracting with Via Sat for their satellite internet connections and Via Sat for consumers is available through Excede which you raved about a long time ago. But Excede for home consumers limits your download allowance to 10, 15 or 25GB download allowance per month, as does Hughes or Wild Blue, hardly enough to stream video. But if you can actually watch Netflix in the air on Jet Blue then Via Sat is somehow not restricting that particular service. I would imagine a plane load of internet users would burn up even 25GB in no time at all so something has to give. I wonder how it works.

    • Scooter says:

      GOGO etc. are using links from the aircraft to stations on the ground. Satellites are expensive to use. There have been numerous companies trying to get into this area. The trick is getting enough link locations on the ground to get continuous coverage in CONUS.