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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 Thursday, December 15, 2005: Due diligence yesterday on a bunch of "hot" ideas. Nothing to report. That's the problem with due diligence. It takes time. It leads to blank walls. This is especially frustrating when you have a column that "needs" a great idea.

Time to realize some losses? Some dogs will never go up. Why give money to Uncle Sam? Sell a few tired, go-nowhere dogs at a loss. Match those losses against some of your gains this year. This is what diligent stockbrokers advise you to do at this time of year. Don't be shy. You have only 11 days of trading still to go. Do it now.

My two best shorts: GM and TiVo. This holiday driving, play "Spot the GM car" with your kids. You'll be surprised how hard it is. On TiVo, my friend emails me, 'Have you used TimeWarner's DVR? It's less than $9 a month (versus $12.95 a month for TiVo), and I would argue much more integrated -- I think that's the death of TiVo -- on what planet would I pay for a box than I get for free from my cable company, and $50 MORE a year for a TiVo."

I asked Jared how he liked his Time Warner DVR. His reply, "
I use it all the time! In fact, I LOVE it. Not even just for recording stuff, but because it auto-records what you watch for up to an hour, so you can literally be watching something and rewind. In contrast TiVo only auto-records for 30 minutes. You must have seen one in your travels by now - if you want, I could snag mine and bring it down so you can see it - in theory, at least, it will work anywhere."

How a 15% stop loss can save you money. Remember Greenfield, the stock my son loved when it was hot. And when it lost 15%, we sold it. Look at it now.

I asked him yesterday, if the stock was worth buying here? His reply, "I don't want to make that judgment. I don't understand this stock at all." Funnily enough, Greenfield rose $1.04 yesterday (19%) after the company said it was cutting its business expenses. The company called it "rightsizing" -- quaint geekspeak for admitting you're too big for your too small business.

Buying on the Internet can save enormously: Michael bought us two six-day lift tickets at Copper Mountain for $30 a day. If we had bought them by fronting to the ticket window on the slope, we would have paid $72 a day. About the only reason I can find for shopping in a bricks and mortar store is to check whether the shoes actually fit. And then buy them on-line, anyway.

The only downside is returning them. The key to that problem is to keep the original packaging. Which means some place in your house fills up with boxes. And your wife ultimately gets on your case -- until she starts storing he own boxes. That's the key.

Signing up for some companies emailing lists can actually be fun. Costco is the best. I'm not interested in their urns and caskets (at least not yet). But the array of stuff they sell cheaply is fascinating. The best news is they're now selling my favorite tiny digital camera -- the Canon SD450 for just under $300 -- which is actually less than I bought it on eBay.

But... remains my favorite Internet electronics, though they sell the Canon SD450 for $4 more than Costco. But Costco charges $13.91 for shipping and $26.28 for tax, while NewEgg charges only $5.99 for shipping and nothing for taxes.

Recipe for delicious Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer... Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup..just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add
one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas

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. 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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