Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Wednesday, April 18: Tax
day, Yuch. (Unless
you got hit by the rainstorm.) And the lessons you learn:
Money is money, whether it's ordinary income or capital gains. But ordinary
income gets ravaged by the IRS. I loaned money and made some interest. I also
received interest on some bank CDs. That was ordinary income and expensive.
I had stocks that have risen for more than a year. If I sold them, the profit
would be capital gains, and not stupid. Actually some ordinary income is useful
in order to deduct some (within reason) business expenses.
Money managers like Private Capital manage your stocks in your own account.
This means you're responsible for checking the transactions and finding "wash"
transactions. Hedge funds send K1s. That can be easier.
K1s are always late. This means you have to file for an extension, but pay estimated
taxes in the meantime. If you guess too little, you'll be hit with penalties,
etc. I seem to be running a constant balance with the IRS, with them owing me
Certified, return receipt is still the best way of sending the IRS and state
agencies your filings. Ordinary first class mail has no proof.
and ye shall receive: Yesterday I was rolling over my one-week 5.20%
CD with my local bank. On a whim, I asked if they could raise it to 5.25%
(a number I plucked out of the air). They said they could do 5.22%, which,
as they say in Australia, is better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish.
American Express Centurion card. My friend has one. It's the black
one, their top of the line. When he comes to New York, he gets a great deal
on a hotel room and two massages, all breakfasts for two, and one dinner free.
He also gets a free round-trip limo to the airport. He emailed me, "I can't
afford not to come to New York." I'm joining him on Monday for the
free breakfast. Last time I had breakfast with him, I felt guilty about the
bill. It was nearly $100 for orange juice and muffins. This time, with AMEX
paying, I'm having Kobe steak.
Microsoft Outlook, change Drafts to Inbox: Type
part of an email. Suddenly the phone rings, an interruption. Forget to send
it. The brain will think you sent it. Which is annoying later because you didn't.
Sadly, Outlook hides your half-completed email in a folder called "drafts."
Solve this idiocy by saving your half-completed emails in a place you'll find
them -- in your inbox, the place you spend most of your time.
how to do that: Tools / Options / Email options / Advanced Email options
/ change to Inbox.
creates Gore-Tex clone: Also called the power of branding. Gore-Tex
is waterproof, so is LLBean TEK2.5 material. But one is much cheaper than the
other. Check out the
TEK2.5 $59 Trail model rain jacket and the
$149 Gore-Tex rain jacket.
$145 Gore-Tex model
$59 TEK2.5 model
You can understand
my obsession with staying dry, given all the rain we've had in recent days.
I bought the Gore-Tex model before I realized my dumb mistake.
The Internet is full of contradictions:
Zappos sells Rockport shoes for more than Rockport does. Bargain airline
sites are often more expensive than going to the airlines direct. Ditto
for hotels. Often, you get a better deal by calling the supplier directly. I
once negotiated a first class upgrade (from business) to Kuala Lumpur on Malayasian
Air by simply arguing it was a quick trip and I needed the sleep.
more great talks from TED worth watching:
+ Jennifer Lin: Magical
Improv from a 14-year old pianist. About this talk:
follow only one link from this blog in your life, let it be [this one],"
wrote Freakonomics author Steven Levitt, pointing his readers toward this
performance by pianist and composer Jennifer Lin. Lin, then 14, starts by
playing Joseph Hoffmans "Kaleidoscope," then Robert Schumann's
"Abegg Variations." She talks about the process of composition and
discusses the state of flow, when she can improvise beautiful music instantly
-- a state of mind that cannot be forced. Lin invites audience member Goldie
Hawn to choose a random sequence of notes, from which she improvises a beautiful
and surprisingly moving piece, known to draw tears even via podcast. She finishes
with a lightning performance of Jack Fina's "Bumble Boogie."
Kevin Kelly: How does technology evolve? Like we did. About this talk:
uses evolutionary theory to discuss the purpose and value of technology. By
asking, "What does technology want?" he shows that its movement toward ubiquity
and complexity is much like the evolution of life. Using a discipline-hopping
range of examples -- from exotic flora to the Big Bang, from the Amish to
Mozart -- Kelly not only draws an encompassing picture of humans and machines
evolving, but discovers, while he's at it, a moral assignment for everyone
in his audience. About Kevin Kelly Kevin Kelly has been publisher of the Whole
Earth Review, executive editor at WIRED.
has web site on which he reviews technology he likes. It's called
Cool Tools. The
site is great for browsing. I found Pictopia there. It makes
huge prints from your digital photos. Here
own web site.
Richard Dawkins: An
atheist's call to arms.
talk about who to marry
session was titled "The Design of Life," and the TED audience was
probably expecting remarks about evolution's role in our history from biologist
Richard Dawkins. Instead, he launched into a full-on appeal for atheists to
make public their beliefs and to aggressively fight the incursion of religion
into politics and education. Scientists and intellectuals hold very different
beliefs about God from the American public, he says, yet they are cowed by
the overall political environment. Dawkins' scornful tone drew strongly mixed
reactions from the audience; some stood and applauded his courage. Others
wondered whether his strident approach could do more harm than good. Dawkins
went on to publish The God Delusion and become perhaps the world's best-known
How do you decide who to marry?
+ You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports,
she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip
coming. -- Alan, age 10
+ No person really
decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way
before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. -- Kristen, age
How can a stranger
tell if two people are married?
+ You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the
same kids. -- Derrick, age 8
What do your
Mom and Dad have in common?
+ Both don't want any more kids. -- Lori, age 8
What do most
people do on a date?
+ Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each
other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. -- Lynnette,
+ On the first
date, they just tell each other lies. Usually that gets them interested enough
to go for a second date. -- Martin, age 10
When is it
okay to kiss someone?
+ When they're rich. -- Pam, age 7
+ The law says
you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. -- Curt, age
+ The rule goes
like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with
them. It's the right thing to do. -- Howard, age 8
Is it better
to be single or married?
+ It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone
to clean up after them. -- Anita, age 9
How would the
world be different if people didn't get married?
+ There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? -- Kelvin, age
How would you
make a marriage work?
+ Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
-- Ricky, age 10
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 .
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