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

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8:30 AM Friday, August 12, 2005: Get a job you enjoy and you'll never have to work again. That's my philosophy. I had planned to be creative this morning and write about "my ten most useful investing skills. I do like writing.

Then I got caught up with "stuff" -- paperwork, family matters (my sister is coming to the U.S.), architect, builder and researching a couple of new syndications and one new loan on trust deed in Nevada. This due diligence stuff is hard. I'll get super creative over the weekend.

I bought a little Zimmer Holdings (ZMH) yesterday. Whole Foods (WFMI) is holding in. I am hoping it will pull back to allow me to buy a little more. Nothing else is exciting me at present.

Homes are taking longer to sell.
Home prices, which have grown an average of about 50% in the U.S. in the last five years, will start to flatten -- but to decline significantly. That's my prediction. There's still plenty of opportunity in residential real estate. The most fascinating news today is not the two housing stories The Wall Street Journal has today. Click here and here. The really fascinating story is the Journal's slideshow of Toll Brothers houses. This is Toll Brothers' top seller this year. It's called the Hampton.

This 4,800-sq. ft. house has four bedrooms and four and 1/2 baths. The master bath has separate "his and her" toilets. There is 320 sq. ft. of walk-in closet space in the master suite, including a 250 sq. ft. closet with a cathedral ceiling that runs the length of a three-car garage situated beneath it. The home has nine-foot ceilings throughout, a 11 1/2-foot-long kitchen island and a mud room. Base price is $888,975. To me, it looks like a good deal.

All "professionals" suck. Until you check them. Lawyers are the worst. Being supremely arrogant, they can do no wrong. I've had as much good advice from them as I've had bad. When I was younger I used to believe them. No more. I double and triple check every significant recommendation. Often they're wrong -- especially on tax advice. Accountants are more humble, except when they act like lawyers and start dispensing expensive (and dubious) tax shelters.

KPMG faces fines of $500 million for fraudulent tax shelters it peddled to its clients, including one of my dearest friends. This morning the Journal reports that the co-head of the financial group at one of Germany's largest banks, the HVB Group, faces 45 years in jail after pleading guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges relating to fraudulent tax shelter transactions. I'm not a fan of German banks after my miserable experiences with Deutsche Bank.

Personally I don't like paying taxes. But I look at them as the government's due for providing a nice place for me to make the money. I pay them and don't agonize.

Traveling by air this summer?:
Good luck. Planes are full and uncomfortable. Seats are hard to get. And joyous things happen. Today 70,000 poor people were stranded after British Airways, Qantas and Sri Lankan Airways canceled all flights to and from Heathrow Airport because of an industrial dispute.
Overnight, about 1,000 people slept on Heathrow' on floors and seats. With almost 100 BA aircraft and 1,000 pilots and cabin crew out of position around the world because of the strike, Heathrow management warned that the disruption at one of the world's busiest international airport could last for days. The problem started because Gate Gourmet, a money-losing operation providing onboard meals for BA flights, fired a bunch of people.

Too long. Too slow. Nice ending. My wife liked it. It has some fun lines. The basic plot is offensive. It's meant to be funny.

I'm not a fisherman. But I am impressed with David Rhoden and his fish. He tells me the King Salmon weighed 60 lbs and was caught on the Kenai, River near Soldotna, Alaska. This is David and his fish.

This was the morning view he caught the fish.

Soldotna is not that far from Anchorage.

This map from Delorme's Street Atlas 2005.

The O'Reilly twins
A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.

"Why of course," comes the reply.

The first man then asks: "Where are you from?"

"I'm from Ireland," replies the second man.

The first man responds: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland too! Let's have another round to Ireland."

"Of course," replies the second man.

I'm curious, the first man then asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?"

"Dublin," comes the reply.

"I can't believe it," says the first man. "I'm from Dublin too! Let's have another drink to Dublin."

"Of course," replies the second man.

Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks: "What school did you go to?"

"Saint Mary's," replies the second man, "I graduated in '62."

"This is unbelievable!", the first man says. "I went to Saint Mary's and I graduated in '62, too!"

About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar. "What's been going on?" he asks the bartender.

"Nothing much," replies the bartender. "The O'Reilly twins are drunk again."

Recent column highlights:
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click here.
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ All turned on by biotech. Click here.
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available: Click here. The full audio is available. Click here.
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click here.
+ When to sell your stocks. Click here.

Harry Newton

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. That money will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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