Technology Investor 

Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.

Previous Columns
8:30 AM EST, Thursday, April 5: This is a no brainer. Buy Australian index funds NOW. The easiest to buy is EWA -- the MSCI Australia Index Fund, which tracks companies trading on the Australian stockmarket. It's traded on AMEX. It keeps going up. It will rise more before June 30, 2007, the end of Australia's financial year.

Because of a election year giveaway, Australians have a one-time opportunity to dump $1 million tax-free into their super funds. Right now, every Australian and his uncle is scrambling to dump in money. Most of the money will end up in the Australian stockmarket which will continue to boom.

If you don't believe me, here's a piece from today's Sydney Morning Herald, one of the leading newspapers in Sydney, Australia's largest city:

Self-managed super becoming more popular

Self-managed super funds are becoming more popular as people sell assets such as property to take advantage of changes to contribution rules before the mid-year deadline. Applications to the Australian Taxation Office for self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have risen by 30 per cent so far this financial year.

Rising interest in self-managed funds highlights changes in superannuation laws that allow for one-off contributions of up to $1 million before July 1.

"Since the new super regulations were announced last year, we have noticed an increase in the number of enquiries from the public about SMSFs, said consultancy Super Concepts' sales and marketing manager, Justin Sadler.

Although many property owners are rushing to sell their holdings to meet the deadline, others are looking at so-called inspecie contributions -- where shares or commercial property are transferred into super funds. ...

"Many investors are disposing of their properties and other assets or utilising inspecie transfers, so they can take advantage of the current superannuation tax arrangements before they expire on July 1," Mr. Sadler said.

Under the new super regulations, the tax-free threshold will revert to $150,000 from July 1 Individuals will be limited to investments totalling $150,000 a year or a maximum of $450,000 within a three-year period. In addition, income received from a superannuation fund will be tax-free once an individual reaches the age of 60.

Is uranium rising? If you think uranium will continue to rise in price -- and there is substantial reason to believe it will, then Uranium Participation Corporation -- traded as U on the Toronto Stock Exchange -- should continue to benefit nicely.

Here's a description of the stock from their web site,

Uranium Participation Corporation is an investment holding company which invests substantially all of its assets in uranium, either in the form of uranium oxide in concentrates ("U3O8") or uranium hexafluoride ("UF6"), with the primary investment objective of achieving appreciation in the value of its uranium holdings. The objective of the Corporation is to provide an investment alternative for investors interested in holding uranium. Denison Mines Inc. is the manager of Uranium Participation Corporation.

Uranium Participation Corporation’s securities are listed and trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its common shares trade under the symbol U. It has two series of warrants listed on the TSX: U.WT (exercise price $6.25; expiry May 10, 2007) and U.WT.A (exercise price $12; expiry September 14, 2008).

Uranium Participation Corporation's net asset value is calculated and reported monthly. To obtain the latest net asset value per common share reported by Uranium Participation Corporation, click on this link: NAV

The weekly uranium spot price is posted weekly by The Ux Consulting Company, LLC. To obtain the posted spot price, visit

Here is the latest price chart of uranium taken from that site:

The burden that is a new PC: In Windows XP there's a program called MSCONFIG. You get to it by RUN. It determines which software is loaded when you start your machine. The more software you load, the longer your PC will take to start and the slower it will run. There's a tab called "Startup" in MSCONFIG that shows which software you're loading. Most of this startup software is not necessary. Much of it does things like check for updates, "helper" software that makes loading of subsequent software faster.

I have removed 37 programs from Startup on my main PC by unchecking the little boxes. This does not mean I have removed the software I have simply stopped them from starting. If I need them, I can always re-check them, reboot and they'll be loaded. Think about that -- 37 programs. That's a gigantic amount of total and unmitigated crap. My rules on unchecking are simple:

1. If it's obvious -- like iTunes helper or Adobe Gamma Loader -- remove it.

2. If it's not obvious, I'll Google the name of the file. Somewhere out there in cyberspace someone has figured out what it does. If in doubt, take it out

3. If still in doubt, I check where the file is. I don't uncheck files that make my PC's hardware work better. These include the mousepad, the screen, and the keyboard, though there are exceptions. This morning I unchecked the Nividia control panel. That stupid piece of software allowed me to rotate my laptop's screen 90%. Just what I need like a hole in the head.

And this does not include all the "craplets" and "teaser software" which Walt Mossberg writes about in today's Wall Street Journal. Those things I totally removed by going into Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs and uninstaling them completely.

Software makers are paying PC and laptop makers huge amounts of money to load their new machines -- i.e. the ones you buy -- with "teaser software." Hopefully, you'll get hooked enough on your "free" trial and pay the software makers real money. Think of these monies paid by the software makers to the PC/laptop makers as advertising. As I wrote yesterday, they're not spending those "advertising" dollars any longer on magazines.

To read Mossberg's article today, click here.

Classic John Stewart. Late night TV comedy shows have increasingly replaced normal TV as places to talk politics and to interview politicians. The best shows are John Stewart's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, and "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO. Here's a clip from John Stewart. I think it's funny. Click here.

What's happened to housing prices? Reader John Nixon sent me a link to housing prices plotted via a roller coaster. I've always loved different ways of plotting numbers. This one is the best. Click here.

Yesterday's hedge fund's net returns (after all fees) were wrong: The first quarter is higher:

first quarter 2007
Hedge fund
S&P 500
Russell 2000

How to get to heaven
I was testing the children in my Sunday school class to see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

I asked them, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, Would that get me into Heaven?"

"NO!" the children answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, Would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, the answer was, "NO!"

By now I was starting to smile. Hey, this was fun!

"Well, if I were kind to animals and gave candy to all the children, and loved my husband, Would that get me into Heaven?"

Again, they all answered, "NO!"

I was just bursting with pride for them.

Well, I continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "YOU GOTTA BE DEAD."

The world's worst contrived pun
A frog goes into a bank and approaches the First Asst. VP. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack.

"Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny bright pink porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, and perfectly formed.

Confused, Patty explains she'll have to consult with the manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, " There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral."

She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"

The Manager looks back at her and says...

"It's a knic knack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan, His old man's a Rolling Stone."

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. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty 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 Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
Go back.