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The dumb way I pick tech stocks

Another big gain in tech stocks today.

My biggest gain today was in Enphase Energy Inc. (ENPH).

I don’t know why it went up. But it reinforced my central thesis: Solid tech stocks are the place to be.

And if you own a lot of tech stocks, some are bound to go up — enough to carry your portfolio higher.

I tend to like logical reasons — like picking stocks based on low P/Es and fast earnings growth.

But these days, I tend to eye what the company does and based on my 50-year adventure (background) in technology, if what it does makes sense.

I tend to like CEOs who make sense. I hear them on BubbleVision (often on Cramer). If they can explain what they do and why people buy their stuff, that’s a good beginning. I look at several years of stock prices. I don’t like charts that look like these:

I look at VZ, T and INTC. I buy their products and their services. And I watch them make continuing stupid expensive mistakes — buying the wrong companies, trying to grow in the wrong direction. They don’t seem to be smarter than I am. And that bothers me. So I keep away.

I ‘m not always right with the stuff I buy. Sometimes I don’t understand it thoroughly. So, I tend to buy small positions and buy more when I feel comfortable.

I just updated the portfolio.

Ransomware strikes again

GPS company Garmin reportedly paid hackers a multimillion dollar ransom to recover files after a cyberattack that left their services offline for several days last month. The malware used against Garmin has been attributed to Evil Corp, a Russia-based hacker group that was placed on a US sanctions list last year, according to Bleeping Computer.

Ransomware virus can really mess up your life. I was aghast that it caught a sophisticated tech company like Garmin. I wrote about ransome recently:

Open a bad email attachment. Bingo all the files on your computer are locked. You can’t get your precious data back unless you pay them — in untraceable bitcoin.

If you pay, the honest crooks may send you a key to get your files back. May or may not. There are keys to protecting yourself:

+ Don’t open attachments from anybody without checking first with the sender. That includes Word Docx and PDFs.

+ Keep backups of all your files. There are many ways — from flash drives to the cloud.

+ Have a complete clone laptop all loaded up and ready to take over the moment ransomware strikes. Not that pricey. Maybe $1,500 at the most.

+ Load your day-to-day laptop with anti-ransomware software. PCMag recommends Zone Alarm by Check Point. Clickhere.

Totally wonderful

We played tennis early this morning.

Our 143rd. This afternoon we’re enjoying the tornado. CodeRED weather warning. Heavy rain. Probably happened because I did a “Honey-Do” and watered yesterday.

Lost power several times during the storm. But we have an emergency generator — GNRC — and oodles of APC backup UPS batteries. Even our fiber optic Internet connection has battery backup.

Backup is next to godliness.

See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton