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How NOT to catch the flu. As Intel flies, which semi-conductor/s should I own? TSM? AVGO? TXN? AAPL?

Intel had a blow-out quarter, fueled by PCs, laptops and data center (i.e. cloud) madness. I’ve never owned Intel because I know first hand how stupid many of its desperate diversification decisions were. I mean, really stupid. But it does know its main biz — making chips for PCs , Macs and the cloud. And I just bought a new ThinkPad laptop with an ultra-fast Intel chip inside. It really is an impressive machine.

It’s too late to buy Intel. I do like TXN, AVGO (Broadcom), and MU. But their charts might freak you out.

I’d like to buy more Apple, but I already have enough to make me, so far, over $500,000.

Hence, pick something easier. Buy VGT, my favorite ETF, which covers Nasdaq. It’s a Vanguard ETF. Vanguard calls it the Vanguard Information Technology ETF. Here’s its one year chart. A thing of beauty.

The dangerous stuff that’s in bottled water

Read the ingredients in bottled water. you’d think it would be water — plain and simple. Maybe in some of them it is.

But, as I read ingredient labels, I discover weird stuff that — to my brain — shouldn’t be in bottled water. The weirdest ingredient is silica, which I found in Fuji water. Silica’s real name is Silicon Dioxide. Inhaling it leads to some really horrible diseases. See Wikipedia here.

Suffice, before you buy your next bottle of water, read the ingredients. You’ll be surprised at the names of chemicals you’re drinking — many of which you can’t even pronounce. Filling a water bottle with plain old New York City tap water is the way to go.

Fly private?

Take your family somewhere nice. Fly private. Easier to get to out-of-the way places.

It can be pricey. But shopping around can cut the price by two-thirds. Yes, by two-thirds. I just shopped a trip New York area to Anguilla.

I asked friend private flyer maven, Dan Good this morning. He said his research taught him:

1. Find an owner/operator at an airport near you.

2. Find someone who is willing to commit to sell the return flight to someone else. Otherwise they will try to charge you for the entire trip when you are only flying one way.

3. Give them a month’s notice and more around peak holidays. Be flexible on the dates.

4. Only use a plane with range that fits your destination. You don’t need a Gulf Stream to fly 500 miles.

5. A smaller plane means smaller cost. A refueling stop half-way in your trip could save plenty.

6. Sharing the plane with a friend cuts the cost in half. Sharing the plane with two friends… You get the idea.

7. Find a smaller airport to fly into instead of LaGuardia, O’Hare or even Palm Springs. Gas and landing fees are more expensive at the larger airports as well as traffic and other delays.

8. Don’t use a broker. He tacks on 10% to 20-%. Or more if he thinks you’re rich.

Health tips

+ Fist pumping is safer than shaking hands. Fist bumping saves catching the flu and whatever horrid disease they have in China.

+ Wash your hands. Even when they’re not dirty, they are.

+ The best investment I ever made in my health are my teeth implants. They’re really good.

+ Napping may boost your heart health. That’s the finding of researchers in Switzerland, who tracked 3,462 healthy adults for five years. Those who dozed for five minutes to an hour once or twice a week were 48 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure than those who never snoozed in the daytime. Napping longer or more often didn’t deliver any additional health benefits. Lead author Nadine Häusler says it’s still unclear how napping might influence heart health. “Our best guess,” she says, “is that a daytime nap just releases stress from insufficient sleep.”

I love napping. I’ve taught myself to nap anywhere.

Am I stupid or what?

I just received this email. More spam. Maybe from the Saudi Prince with the bone saw?

I love this:

The headline:

Trump Doral Doubled Its Prices Before White House Announced His Visit.

This main Golf Clubhouse at the Doral:

There are tennis courts, but I can’t find a photo on the Doral website.

The price hike story reads.  It’s from here:

President Donald Trump’s Doral golf resort in Miami hiked its room rates by more than double right before the White House announced Trump’s impending visit, HuffPost reports. Trump will address the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting at his own resort on Thursday. His plan to appear at the event has reportedly been in the works since mid-January, when the resort raised its cheapest nightly rate from $254 to $539. The hike could increase taxpayer costs for staff who must travel there in advance-the higher figure is just under the maximum per-night rate federal government employees can spend on a hotel in South Florida. The White House didn’t tell HuffPost how many of Trump’s team are paying to stay in the resort in the days prior and during his visit. Up to the first few days of January, Doral’s website reportedly advertised rates as low as $254 for the days of the RNC meeting, but they jumped to $459 on Jan. 13, soon after the White House first began planning for a potential Trump appearance. The next day it reportedly jumped to $539 a night.

Everyone is sending me old people’s jokes

I’m old. I don’t think they’re funny. I still can find my way to the bathroom.

But this one is definitely funny:

The Australian Open is on

Susan and I stayed up all night watching Serena lose. It was sad. I’m told Federer fought his way through in a tough five set match… I bet that match is on replay on The Tennis Channel today. They call it “encore.”

This weekend should have some great tennis. Try ESPN2 also.

I’m moving slowly over to Windows 10. I’m told it’s better. I wrote today’s blog on Windows 10. Miracles will happen.

Talking about miracles that aren’t happening… whatever is happening at Boeing?

Investors are piling into American Government debt

The Economist is out today with a story:

The great Treasuries binge
Investors at home and abroad are piling into American government debt
Fiscal profligacy can continue for now, but is it economically sensible?

You can read the article here.

See you Monday. — Harry Newton