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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.

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8:30 AM EST Wednesday, April 2, 2008: Take your investment out. Play with the bank's money. That's an old mantra for fast-climbers that are likely to fall back quickly to earth -- though you don't know when. Today I'd add "Get out when things initially start to look squirrely." Shorten your stop loss from 15% to perhaps 7.5% on fast movers.

I've been musing on lessons learned from two recent fast-climbers/fast-fallers: precious metals and some hot Asian markets -- China, India, etc. First, gold and silver:

I had recommended gold and silver. When they started tumbling I recommended sell. I did, for myself, managing to produce a nice profit on both.

Investing in "hot" areas is always fun -- while it lasts. Sadly, these days, hot stays hot less and less than it used to. The Tech boom of the late 1990s would probably last six months today.

So, New Rules:

1. Watch your investment like a hawk. Have the price on your screen permanently.

2. Take your initial investment out as fast as possible.

3. Ride with the bank's money.

4. When it drops 5%, read what the news and blogs are saying. If the news is bad, get out.

5. When it drops 7.5% -- even without bad (or changed) news , get out.

Cramer is right when he says "Be wary of making money too fast."

Chinese stock prices rose 500% over the past two years. But they've crashed a whopping 45% from their high last October. The first quarter of this year, which ended Monday with a huge sell-off, was the worst ever for the China market. Other parts of Asia did horribly, too. In India, stock prices have plunged 31 percent in Mumbai; they are off 31 percent in Japan and a whopping 53 percent in Vietnam, another booming economy. Angry investors have burned a securities regulator in effigy in Mumbai, and some are in tears in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, according to today's New York Times.

Gold and silver where? It's time to get back into gold and silver. They've tumbled nicely. Nothing fundamental has changed. Our interest rates are falling. They are rising overseas. Hence, there's no reason to bring money into the U.S. Your money should be outside the U.S. The dollar will continue to weaken. There will soon be another flight to precious metals. And gold and silver will rise.

The Perfect Headphones: One recent pleasure is listening to books on my iPod nano. The nano comes with bud headphones. One of my ears is not iPod friendly and the iPod earpiece keeps falling out. Solution: a set of these Philips SHS3201 Flexible Sports Style Ear-Hook Headphones. They don't have the bass that a $349 Bose set have. But, heck, they're fine for books, are comfortable, stay on your head, even when you're on a treadmill and cost only $6.79. Buy them at Ambient Weather.

The Philips SHS3201 headphones.

Thoughts for a new quarter:
Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
-- Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
-- George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- - Victor Borge

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
-- Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
-- Groucho Marx

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
-- Alex Levine

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
-- W.C. Fields

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 . 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.

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