Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Tuesday, April 4, 2006: So,
Harry, what's the investment implications of oil going to $100 a barrel (as
you wrote yesterday)? Not easy. Still mulling on this. Initial thoughts:
Many travel stocks die.
+ City real estate will boom. Who can afford to live in the suburbs?
+ Industries that use lots of energy in their manufacturing will suffer. I'm
guessing that includes steel, plastics, etc.
+ Specialty manufacturers making stuff like insulation material should
boom. We're buying a lot of blow-in, foam insulation for our new house. It will
be "super-tight," says our builder.
+ Car companies deriving revenue from gas guzzlers will suffer. Bye, bye, GM
+ Compact fluorescent bulbs will sell like crazy.
+ There'll be a lot more "stay-at-home/work anywhere and everywhere"
work. All that broadband telecom stuff -- like Verizon's Broadband Access service
-- should boom.
+ There will be "big money" in energy consulting and energy systems
specification and installation. Being an energy guru will be more cool than
being a computer guru. Tell your kid.
+ The Alternative Energy companies should continue to boom. This is the portfolio
I put together several weeks ago of every alternative energy and coal
company I could find. Some have risen spectacularly in the past 20 days. You
need to read about each of these companies and pick the ones which sound the
neatest. I haven't done that yet. I will. For now, here's the entire list:
Skip the entities. It's
so easy to start companies. It's difficult to stop them. I'm still dealing with
government entities on corporations I sold or closed more than five years ago.
Government entities want sales taxes, income taxes, filing fees, worker's compensation
payments, maintenance fees to keep the corporation. The list goes on and on.
They're relentless. I'm convinced that every time California is short of money
they simply mail a demand for an arbitrary amount of money to their "list."
It's the same logic that Eddie Bauers uses, except they send catalogs, which
you can junk. California and New York send demands endlessly. Once you've argued
your way out of one demand, they send you another one -- perhaps a penalty for
something you didn't do four years ago. Answering them, finding the records,
calling their voice mail, etc. It's endless.
The moral of this story is "Don't form a corporation." Unless you're
in the asbestos business, you don't need to insulate yourself from liability.
If you're scared about being sued, buy protection like directors and officers
insurance. Much of the above is the reason for the new popularity of something
called an LLC or even a DBA. You don't have to file separate returns on these
things. When I asked Brendan, my super accountant, last night about LLCs, he
replied "An LLC is an entity that could be taxed as a Partnership
(95% of the time) or a corporation (5% of the time). It's called the check
the box rule." An accountant with a sense of humor. I'm blessed.
In case, I'm not clear, a single member LLC. (i.e. one owner) does not file
a federal tax return. It goes on your 1040 individual return (schedule C).
Buying a new computer? Think
seriously before you do. The cost in time to set it up the way you like it is
horrendous. Better, load your present one with more memory, a second hard drive
(for more storage), a new keyboard, a new monitor, etc. Anything but
having to install all that software the way you like it.
Item: I've had my new Toshiba Tecra M5 for a week and I still can't get
it running as well as my old one. For one, the new one has come bloated with
fancy, new software that loads up and slows the machine down to a crawl. Even
after removing much of Toshiba's new stuff -- put there for marketing purposes
not for real usefulness -- and stopping much of the startup software (using
MSCONFIG), the damn thing still takes nearly two minutes to start and won't
do a few, simple standard Windows things -- like show the icon for "Safely
Remove Hardware." The way I'm feeling right now, spending over $3,000
to buy the world's fastest, most sooper-dooper laptop was not one of
my better ideas. In short, don't.
extreme redneck criteria: If you didn't read yesterday's collection,
you must. I find these thing hysterical. Click
here. Here, now, is Part 2:
You know you're a redneck when...
+ You take your
dog for a walk and both use the same tree.
+ You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.
+ Your boat has not left your driveway in 15 years.
+ You burn your yard rather than mow it.
+ The Salvation Army declines your old mattress.
+ You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.
+ You come back from the dump with more than you took.
+ You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.
+ Your grandmother has "ammo" on her Christmas wish list.
+ You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.
+ Your house doesn't have curtains but your truck does.
+ You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.
+ You can spit without opening your mouth.
+ You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.
+ You have a complete set of salad bowls. They all say "Cool Whip"
on the side.
+ The biggest city you've ever been to is Wal-Mart.
+ Your working TV sits on top of your non-working TV.
+ You've used your ironing board as a buffet table.
+ You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph.
And last, but
+ Somebody tells
you that you have something in your teeth, so you take them out to see what
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
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