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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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9:00 AM EST, Wednesday, December 26, 2007: Something seriously insane about committing to write a column the day after Christmas.

The news today reinforces my mantra: "Cash is king." Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway had $45 billion+ in cash at end September. He is comfortable with his cash. He has agreed to buy 60% of the Pritzer family's Marmon Holdings (which runs Hyatt, etc.) for $4.5 billion and buy the remaining 40% in coming years, the price depending on earnings. This is Buffett's BIG deal for 2007. Last year's big deal was Israel's Iscar Metalworking, which makes cutting tools.

You and I are not Warren Buffett, but if the master can avoid the "money burns a hole in my pocket" pain and be satisfied with one major deal a year, there's a key lesson for all of us. Patience makes huge sense. Cash is also seriously good. It brings options and comfort.

I'm as sick of sub-prime contagion articles as you are. But if you can take another one, today's piece on Bloomberg's is very good, is very detailed and is very long. It's called "Savannah Cries About a Bicycle Left Behind in Reset of Subprime." The article details some of the huge losses and some of the huge gains on sub-prime mortgages of recent months.

The Economist has a big double Christmas issue:

I it, there's a wonderful article on Ivar Krueger, the world's greatest swindler. The article quotes one of my favorite authors, John Kenneth Galbraith:

There is the dangerous cliché in the financial world [that] everything depends on confidence. One could better argue the importance of unremitting suspicion.

Chewed aspirin makes the most sense: Chest pains? Chew an aspirin and get to the hospital instantly, if not sooner.

Seven great medical myths revealed. I love this Reuters piece:

LONDON - Reading in dim light won¹t damage your eyes, you don¹t need eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy and shaving your legs won¹t make the hair grow back faster.

These well-worn theories are among seven ³medical myths² exposed in a paper published on Friday in the British Medical Journal, which traditionally carries lighthearted features in its Christmas edition. (Lighthearted features are not necessarily beneficial to good health)

Two U.S. researchers took seven common beliefs and searched the archives for evidence to support them. Despite frequent mentions in the popular press of the need to drink eight glasses of water a day, they found no scientific basis for the claim. The complete lack of evidence has been recorded in a study published the American Journal of Psychology, they said.

The other six "myths" are:

+ Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight. The majority of eye experts believe it is unlikely to do any permanent damage, but it may make you squint, blink more and have trouble focusing, the researchers said.

+ Shaving makes your hair grow back faster or coarser. It has no effect on the thickness or rate of hair regrowth, studies say. But stubble lacks the finer taper of unshaven hair, giving the impression of coarseness.

+ Eating turkey makes you drowsy. It does contain an amino acid called tryptophan that is involved in sleep and mood control. But turkey has no more of the acid than chicken or minced beef. Eating lots of food and drink at Christmas are probably the real cause of sleepiness. (Not to omit boring relatives!)

+ We use only 10 percent of our brains. This myth arose as early as 1907 but imaging shows no area of the brain is silent or completely inactive. (It's just that 90% of the brain fails to function properly, especially at election time.)

+ Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death. This idea may stem from ghoulish novels. The researchers said the skin dries out and retracts after death, giving the appearance of longer hair or nails.

+ Mobile phones are dangerous in hospitals. Despite widespread concerns, studies have found minimal interference with medical equipment.

The research was conducted by Aaron Carroll, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis, and Rachel Vreeman, fellow in children¹s health services research at Indiana University School of Medicine.

In the Hospital
A man suffered a serious heart attack and had an open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital. As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment.

She asked if he had health insurance. He replied, in a raspy voice, "No health insurance."

The nun asked if he had money in the bank. He replied, "No money in the bank.."

The nun asked , "Do you have a a relative who could help you?" He said, "I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun."

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, "Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God."

The patient replied, "So send the bill to my brother-in-law.

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 on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look 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 Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.

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