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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 19, 2005: I'm in San Diego. Alarm went off at 3:30 AM local time, but I didn't. See you Monday when I'm back in New York. Here's yesterday's column in case you missed it. Apologies for sleeping in. I should have a better excuse in future. The dog ate my column?

8:30 AM Thursday, August 18, 2005: Chalk one up for the boy genius. On Monday I said sell oil. Yesterday it fell $2.83 a barrel to $63.25, much below the $67 it was when I said SELL. I got one right.

I'm in San Diego. Neat weather. Neat town. Totally horrible traffic -- the flip side of all those people buying all those new homes (aka the housing boom.)

JetBlue (JBLU) was wonderful for the trip out. Best part was watching Federer and Safin play tennis live on ESPN2. Brilliant idea -- live TV on planes. The plane was 100% full, like most JetBlue flights these days. That doesn't mean you should buy their stock. High jet fuel hurts.

My son, Michael, 23, says "Sell Whole Foods (WFMI) because it's now way overpriced." Like all youth, he has a short attention span. Lately, instead of chasing girls, he's been reading books on value investing. No grandchildren for me. Just advice.

TriPath Imaging (TPTH) got an FDA approval this week: Yippee. TriPath said it received U.S. regulatory approval for a breast cancer screening process using technology from Ventana Medical Systems. (VMSI). For more, click here.

Intelligent credit cards: Yesterday I wrote I'd given up on my Citibank Visa card because it charges an annual fee and gives me airline miles I can never use. Michael, my son, discovered the American Express Blue Cash card which was free and delivered a 5% cash discount on some purchases. Cash is better than useless miles. Click here. Many readers have their own favorites:

+ I have a CitiBank MasterCard that does the same rebate as your Amex Card and it is accepted almost everywhere. It pays 5% on gas, drugs and groceries and 1% on everything else. It also does not charge a yearly fee. -- Dick Hudgens.

Hi Harry: I agree, give up the special miles or points promotions for stuff you don't want: hold out for cash. But you need not be so desperate as to use the seldom accepted American Express card. Citibank MasterCard has a wonderful cash back feature. You get a minimum 1% on everything, at least 2% on gas, groceries and drug store purchases, and special programs up the 2% to 5% cash back. The calendar year maximum reward is $300 which we hit a few months ago. Its easy if you charge everything at gas stations, grocery stores and drug stores. When you hit the max at Citibank MC, switch to the same bank's AT&T Universal Card (also a MasterCard) to get another $300. They are no fee cards. The trick is to have them on auto pay from your main asset master account so there is no chance of a late payment. We never carry a balance on a charge card, but we have been overheard to say we have "maxed out our Master card." If they only knew. -- Dave and Harriet Havanich.

AT&T Universal Card, it is not AT&T any longer it is really a Citicorp card. It is a MasterCard, accepted everywhere, gives you points just like American Express Blue Card, limit 75,000 points per calendar year. It's fantastic, if you can get past the fact that the card says AT&T. -- Tony Cutrona.

Rule of Life: Honey works. Stupid stories work. Keep talking. Items:
+ I got $100 off my Hyatt hotel room by begging.
+ I got $250 off my new Verizon Blackberry by explaining I couldn't face the humiliation at home if I paid more than my son paid.

Everything is negotiable. Repeat after me, "I can negotiate anything." Store this in the part of your brain that has learned to say NO, thank you.

Rules of Email Life:
1. Never send someone a rude email.
2. Emails are for compliments and for confirming.
2. Limit each email to only one topic.
You must check every bill: Your salesman may agree to something. But his company's computer won't. Check. Check. Check.
Read my lips. Most bills have errors.

Travel Tip: I spent $10 on a broadband connection in my Hyatt hotel room. It works for surfing. But for email, you need an SMTP address. Call their "help" line. The SMTP is never on the hotel literature. Hyatt's is

Interesting software:
+ Camtasia Studio lets you publish Microsoft PowerPoint presentations as Web presentations. I haven't tried this one but it looks really neat. Better yet, it's free. Click here.

+ Microsoft Outlook files can grow as big as 4GB. You can also open several simultaneously. That means you use Outlook as a gigantic filing cabinet. Once a week, you must compact your Outlook file and run the "Inbox Repair Tool," also called Scanpst.exe. Search for it on your hard drive and set up a shortcut to it.

LCD monitors have plummeted in price: The Mag Innovision monitors I have on my desk are now less than half what I paid for them. There are huge LCD bargains around at places like Costco and Best Buy. Buy from a really reputable place. These things don't travel well. I have three. One of them arrived busted because of lousy packaging and had to go back.

Great news. We have a brain and think for ourselves: A new study by two economics professors has found that Fox News Channel had no detectable effect on which party people voted for, or whether they voted at all. Why was Fox irrelevant to voter behavior?

+ People may search for television shows with a political orientation that matches their own. In this scenario, Fox would have been preaching to the converted.

+ Watching Fox could have confirmed both Democratic and Republican viewers' inclinations, an effect known as confirmatory bias in psychology. Simon and Garfunkel said it better. We have a tendency to hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest.

+ The professors' preferred explanation is that the public manages to "filter" biased media reports.

This is the sort of junk academic "studies" you get when economists have too much time (and money) on their hands.

What money will buy.
Two elderly residents, a man and a woman, were sitting alone in the lobby of their nursing home one evening.

The old man looked over and said to the old lady, "I know just what you're wanting, and for $5 I'll have sex with you right over there in that rocking chair."

The old lady looked surprised but didn't say a word.

The old man continued. "For $10 I'll do it with you on that nice soft sofa over there, but for $20 I'll take you back to my room, light some candles, and give you the most romantic evening you've ever had in your life."

The old lady still said nothing but after a couple minutes, starts digging down in her purse. She pulls out a wrinkled $20 bill and holds it up.

"So you want the nice romantic evening in my room," says the old man.

"Get serious", she replies. "Four times in the rocking chair! NOW."

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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