Technology Investor 

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 Thursday, December 1, 2005: Phenomenal GDP growth -- up 4.3% in third quarter. For a country this big to grow this strongly is truly amazing. God bless America. Japanese stocks are at five-year high. Japan is recovering. The glass is more than half-full. And I didn't read The New York Times this morning.

Wow. Not pleasant preparing for a colonoscopy, today's pleasure. But hats off to the genius who thought of the name GoLYTELY. That's the stuff I drank all night. "Follow this schedule," the instructions read:
+ Approximately 7 PM. Begin drinking GoLYTELY -- 8 ounces every 10 minutes for about 3 hours.
+ Approximately 10 PM. You will have finished drinking GoLYTLEY.
+ Approximately 11 PM. You will have finished evacuating the solution.
He lied. It's 6:15 AM. I'm still evacuating. Don't you love that "evacuating" euphemism?
Now, who makes bathroom tissue? Last night they had a major boom in my household.

Whole Foods will go higher: I was wrong telling us all to sell a little (fortunately not all) of our Whole Foods. My latest channel check (i.e. visit to my Time Warner Whole Foods store) turns up:
+ Time Warner is their largest store, at 59,000 square feet. It's booming.
+ After it opened, it got 9,000 visitors each day. Now it gets 11,600.
+ It's now doing a whopping $1.6 million a day in sales but will soon hit over $2 million a day.
+ Lots of Whole Foods employee stockholders are very happy. Service is superb.
+ The new store downtown on Union Square, 14th Street, is filled all day with students eating. Whole Foods takes the local campus cash card.

On November 9, Whole Foods said it was raising its quarterly dividend 20 percent to 30 cents per share and declaring a special $4-per-share dividend. The company also authorized a $200 million stock-buyback program and announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Gambling on Research in Motion (RIMM): My local pizza shop owner has sold RIM short, figuring it must crater because of all its legal woes. Yet the stock is hanging in. Obviously the market thinks that RIM will successfully create a design to work around the competitive patent and keep its business going in the U.S. RIM hasn't explained how the technology would work. It's hard not to see RIM as an obvious short. But there's something screwy going on here. I'd stay right away. P.S. My friend says he'll have to fun his pizza shop for several years longer than he had planned because of all the money George Gilder lost him. Fortunately, he makes great pizzas. I like eating them. And he gives me a small discount.

Amazon abolishes cars. Well not exactly. My friend Frank Derfler is waxing enthusiastically:

We might sell one car. Never have to burn gas to shop again. In one swell swoop Amazon has banished the #1 huge barrier to my online shopping. Instead they incite me to shop. And, no sales tax. Brilliant. And simple.

What's got him going is Amazon's new "All you can eat" express shipping. You pay Amazon $79 a year. Here's the deal:

Unlimited Express Shipping
* Free Two-Day Shipping on over a million in-stock items sold by
* Overnight Shipping for only $3.99 per item—order as late as 6:30 PM ET
* Ship to any eligible address in the contiguous United States
Effortless Shopping
* No minimum purchase required
* No need to consolidate items to save on shipping
Convenient Sharing
* Share the benefits of your Amazon Prime membership with up to four family members living in the same household
To sign up, click here.

What to do when you a love a product, but hate the company? Shut up. Don't go near the stock. Send the president an occasional "nudge" email. Today TiVo's president, Tom Rogers announced another dumb idea -- to use TVs hooked to TiVos to buy movie tickets, share photos, check local weather and traffic, listen to radio podcasts and play games. I emailed him:

This is a semi-uninteresting idea. All of us can do all this on our PCs at present. And more efficiently.
What we need from TiVo is improved software.
To wit, four hours later of hard work, I still cannot get TiVo-To-Go to work.
This reflects a serious problem with your software, which should be solved.
I still don't know what capacity on my TiVo I have remaining. And therefore which of my precious programs you're going to erase. There are a thousand other problems with your software.
It's terrible that your software has not been improved in so long.
What else is TiVo if it's not software?
How can you expect all the bloggers on the Internet who love technology to promote you if you don't improve your basic service?

For more on today's dumb TiVo idea, read USA Today's story. Click here.

For those of us who need to know everything (and need to know how good we got it)
+ A dragonfly has a life span of 24 hours.
+ A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
+ A snail can sleep for three years.
+ An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
+ If the population of China walked past you, in single file, the line would never end because they keep making babies, lots of them.
+ Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
+ The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
+ Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
....There, now you know everything!

Recent column highlights:
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click here.
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click here.
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click here.
+ 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 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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