Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.
For today's column
on Auction Rate Preferreds.
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.
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.
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
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
The Philips SHS3201 headphones.
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.
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
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