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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 Tuesday, April 8, 2008: Earnings season has started. It won't be pretty. In fact, the analysts are way too optimistic. Indicative: Alcoa reported 54% lower first quarter earnings. AMD is firing 10% of its people. The stockmarket is weak, but "oversold," i.e. due for a temporary bounce.

Lots of cash and a little diversification are today's saviors. Gold, silver and some alternative energy stocks are climbing. My commodity fund is doing well. My distress real estate fund is doing well. My hedge funds are doing awfully. Raw land is plummeting by 75% out west, while our big next door building is selling apartments at an average of $2,848 per square foot. My friend is picking up foreclosed homes in Phoenix and surrounds for $80 a square foot. Location. Location. Location.

There are pitfalls everywhere. There are opportunities everywhere. But when in doubt, stay out -- in cash. And play tennis.

The BIG problem remains that capital market are frozen. What this means in English is that everyone in every institituion -- from banks, to investment banks, to GE Capital, etc. is scared, unable to make decisions -- like to lend you money.

Be wary of fickle lenders. Don't make commitments without a rock solid commitment from them.

Updated Auction Rate Preferreds site: Big update this morning on my Auction Rate Preferreds news site.

Today's discovery: We're having dinner in a nice restaurant in Hudson, NY called CA Mea. They have a beautiful menu using a typeface I've never seen. It's the first writing-like typeface that actually looks real. I beg the name out of Max, the owner. The typeface (a.k.a. font) is called Amazone BT.

You can download a free copy of Amazone BT from Newfonts.

Watch your time: Some of my computers are telling the right time. Some are not. Some of my "wireless" clocks are. Some aren't. Some of my family cell phones have the right time. Some don't. All change their times automatically and arbitrarily. All of this gives boredom a whole new meaning. Check. Check. Check.

What's a sonafabitch? A picture is worth a thousand words. In this photo, the guy on the right is a member of a bomb squad doing a deactivation.

That's it for now. I spent too long updating the ARPS site.

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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