Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
AM EST Monday, December 18, 2006: I'm going to Australia to spend
Christmas with my father-in-law, who is 90. On the way back Susan and I are
spending 8 days in the south island of New Zealand visiting middle earth. Remember
Lord of the Rings? All the scenery is New Zealand. Hence, this will be the last
column until Monday, January 15.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
investment lessons from 2006 from Harry:
+ It pays to
be optimistic. There are always bears. There are always problems. But we
always manage to solve them and move on. That's our nature as Americans.
+ Go with what
you know, see and understand. Enjoy the company's products and service?
Check out its stock.
+ No one can
predict anything. Change is faster than ever. Last year's "hot"
area will be dead this year -- e.g. housing, commodities, alternative energy.
Hence the only viable strategy for investments you don't control is broad
+ When in the
slightest doubt, say No. When God closes a door, He opens a window. There
are always great investments. There'll always be another one. And it will always
be better than the one you just said No to, or you couldn't get in.
+ Your individual investments should stand on their own individual merits.
Does the present rate of return look OK?
+ Most investment
"professionals" aren't. Listen to them at your peril. All investment
"professionals" are trying to sell you something. You don't need a
big IQ or a Harvard education to buy a nice suit, rent a corner office and sweet-talk
someone into an investment you don't own, or want to own. Salesmen make nice
friends. But don't listen to them. God gave you a brain. Use it.
+ The financial
press is confused, uncertain, hesitant and often flat-out wrong. Check out
this week's Business Week.
+ Finding investments is the key. No one has the full panoply of real estate,
funds, stocks, bonds, commodities and startups. Your flow of deals is critical.
The more choices, the more good ones you'll find. Cultivate bird doggers. They
know one field and can get you into deals they also invest in. Don't listen
to their recommendations outside their field. They're flying blind.
+ Wall Street
makes huge monies in fees. You, the customer, are at the bottom of the totem
pole and are usually screwed.
index funds make huge, painless sense. Yup. That's right. They made more
money in 2006 than several of my hedge funds.
+ Keep backups.
Your life is on a flimsy $100 hard disk. One day soon it will die. I can predict
that. Perhaps the only thing.
2006 investment lessons from Dan Good, a dear friend and reader:
1. Read offering memorandum documents carefully; fees differ greatly.
2. Stay with established investment managers; startup managers are too risky.
3. Diversify, diversify, diversify.
4. Dont lose your liquidity
5. Ignore the experts
Life Lessons from 2006 from Harry:
+ The family. Treasure it. They're all you got.
+ When you sell the business, or, God forbid, retire, you're suddenly a nobody.
Retirement can be more stressful than working 24/7. Form your own charity. Give
+ Fewer confrontations.
Stress is bad. It's cheaper to write checks.
+ Say "Yes"
+ You can't continue to be mean, when you're suddenly rich.
a house is the most stressful thing you'll ever do. Avoid it. Buy someone
else's. Rent it. Do anything but build. Anything is less less stressful.
+ Naps are good. Exercise with naps are the best.
lessons from Dan Good:
1. Life is short;
enjoy it in your own way
2. Life is precious
Value and spend time with your family
3. You only really
appreciate good health when you lose it
4. You really have only a few true friends; treasure and nurture them
5. This too will
to share with your kids from Harry: You'll
see the kids and grandkids shortly. Time for some friendly advice:
+ Owning your own business makes serious
sense. There's the excitement of seeing your ideas succeed and the excitement
of growing it. There's the control. You make the decisions. No crazy boss with
his own insane ideas (or lack of ideas). And best yet, you get to reap the rewards
twice -- once as you make the money and twice when you sell the business to
some big company.
Learning is better than education. You learn what you learn, not
what they teach you. Keep learning.
Money does not buy happiness. But it sure buys a lot of other useful things
-- like great medical care.
+ Compound interest is a great invention -- one of the greatest ever.
Children from Dan Good:
is a fraudulent email. It looks so realistic.
It almost sucked me in. You will get one too. Be wary. Here's how it works.
They sent an email saying your PayPal account has been charged with a huge sum.
You know you didn't buy this thing. You quickly click o "Dispute Transaction."
See below. It takes you to link which asks you to type in your PayPal user name
and passport. Do that. They'll instantly drain any money you have in your PayPal
account. Or they'll use your PayPal account to go on an instant shopping spree
-- before you can reach PayPal Fraud and shut your account down.
are clues as to why this email is fraudulent:
1. My email address was not in
the "To" line.
2. No one in their right mind would pay $475 for a cell phone.
3. The address for the web site "Dispute Transaction" was not a paypal.com
site. It was obscure. It looked and smelled fishy. And it was.
a new house?
"Damn contemporary bullshit architecture."
I didn't learn in Hebrew school
1. The High Holidays
have nothing to do with marijuana.
2. No meal is
complete without leftovers.
3. According to
Jewish dietary law, pork and shellfish may be eaten only in Chinese restaurants.
4. One mitzvah
can change the world. Two will just make you tired.
5. Anything worth
saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
6. Next year in
Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
7. Never leave
a hotel or a restaurant empty handed.
8. If it tastes
good, it's definitely not kosher.
9.. Without Jewish
mothers, who would need therapy?
10. . If you have
to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure to
tell everybody what you paid.
lesson:. Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a Lexus, eating dinner
at 4:00 PM and living in Florida or Arizona.
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.