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 EST Tuesday, December 12, 2006: Quiet, as Christmas approaches and the Fed holds another meeting to figure interest rates. The betting is they won't change. Inflation is still the fear.

Urgent for all of us to check our realized gains and losses this year, our dividends, earnings and the realized gains and losses of all our funds and managers (hedge, mutual etc.). You may be surprised. It may be time to take some losses. Do it quickly. The year is ending.

Wall Street expects the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee to leave interest rates unchanged for the fourth straight month when its policy setters conclude their last meeting of 2006. Investors are anxious to learn what the Fed will say about economic growth and inflation.

The Fed has held the fed funds rate target steady at 5.25 percent since August, when it paused after raising rates 17 times in a tightening cycle that began in June 2004 and that effectively killed the housing boom.

Oil is up a little ahead of an OPEC meeting on Thursday that may agree supply cuts. U.S. crude prices traded 33 cents higher at $61.55 a barrel.

Email to your customers works: Though we complain about too many emails, the fact is that email to our customers works. Our tiny tennis club now uses it. Bingo, we're selling more court time. There are three basic and easy ways to send bulk emails:

1. Send a normal email to Joe Blogg, but include zillions of BCC names -- blind copy. Your people won't see who else got the email, but they won't see their own name. They'll think it's spam.

2. Use Outlook's mailmerge skills. Put together a list of your customers in Excel. Get Outlook to link to it. Bingo, you have personalized emails. It's limited, but it works.

3. AY Mail is the most sophisticated email blasting software. I've used it to send hundreds of thousands of personalized emails. You can create much more professional-looking emails with AY Mail. You can also manage regular email blasts much more easily. A simple "home" version is $99.95. A "professional edition" is $169.95. You can also download a trial version -- but you're limited to only 15 recipients. Use it wisely. Hint: Write clever copy. Offer a "cents off coupon" "free delivery," or create an impending event: "Buy today, get Christmas delivery"), this software will return its cost many thousand-fold. Believe me. Highly recommended. Click here.

Calling overseas: Tips:
+ Don't call overseas from your cell phone.
+ Avoid calling overseas cell phones. My latest bill shows they're 5.5 times as expensive to call as a landline.
+ Skype to Skype calls are the cheapest. Their quality is superb. And they're free. What more could you ask?
+ Skype to landline is among the cheaper ways to call overseas. My $10 pre-pay with Skype seems to be lasting forever.

Iraq’s Biggest Failing: There Is No Iraq: That was the headline of a weekend piece in the New York Times. As we seek one goal, the Iraqis themselves seek another, viz:

Right now, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds see “freedom” more as the opportunity to be free of one another than to forge a liberal democracy. That’s how subjugated peoples, from the Soviet Union to Yugoslavia, tend to react to the lifting of tyranny. Iraqi behavior is not especially strange.

Wonderful quotes:

"Love conquers everything -- except poverty and a toothache." -- Mae West.

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping." -- Bo Derek.

Gracie Allen's Classic Recipe for Roast Beef

1 large Roast of beef

1 small Roast of beef

Take the two roasts and put them in the oven. When the little one burns, the big one is done.

The perfect investment (?)
Moshe, 88, goes to see his financial advisor. "So what is the appropriate investment for me?" asked Moshe.

"Well," replied the adviser, "I have found a terrific investment that will double your money in five years."

"Are you crazy?" said Moshe. "A five-year investment? Why, at my age, I don't even buy green bananas any longer."

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.
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