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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton

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9:00 AM EST, Tuesday, February 17, 2009.
This is the best time ever to start your own business NOW. Here are ten reasons why:

1. A whole new set of opportunities has emerged as a result of the recession. My favorite remains starting your own bank. See below. But there zillions of others. Workout consulting is booming. Retraining is hot. Signage must be exploding, as old banks rework their new acquisitions (i.e. the failed banks) with new logos, color schemes, etc.

2. The most talented people in the world will work for you. They'll be happy to. Some will work for free, if only for the thrill of curing their cabin fever.

3. There is tons of money looking for a home. Treasuries? Banks CDs? The stockmarket? The returns all suck. Investors need to earn back their losses.

4. People need the excitement of a new venture -- especially if they can get involved in the management. Or stand behind the counter and be nice to customers.

5. There's plenty of cheap retail space available. There isn't a landlord that wouldn't rent you his empty retail store for a month or two. Try out your idea. If it works, stay. If it doesn't, leave. Or start something different. The clothing consignment store is the perfect recession business. People bring you great clothing they haven't worn in a while. You sell it and split the returns. Cost of inventory: zip.

6, There's zero reason to work for someone else. This recession has finally nailed shut the coffin of large company security. Talk to Detroit autoworkers about security. They worked for some of the largest companies in the world.

7. Every lawyer, accountant, advertising agency, consultant will be ecstatic to see you and give you oodles of free advice. They have plenty of time. They'll see you because you may become their next big client. I hear many patent attorneys are idle. Think new ideas you can patent. I hear you can get in to see big-name venture capitalists. Two years ago their secretaries wouldn't have taken your phone call.

8. It is cheaper. Fantastic furniture from failed firms is on eBay for a song. Computers cost nothing. You can rent a web site for $6 a month. You can get superb custom software from talented programmers at $20 an hour. Check out Rent-a-Coder. Everyone will lower their price today. Just ask.

9. You won't fail because you're managing it. You're acting intelligently. You won't do all the dumb things your boss does.

10. The new business model today is small and profitable. Growth fueled by borrowing is dead. Cash as dividends is good.

Bonus reason: You can't get a job today. So, don't bother trying.

The message is getting through. Last year, the Harvard Business School attracted 70 team entries to their "Start a New Business" business plan contest. This year they have 140 teams working feverishly on the next Google, eBay or Microsoft. Click here.

It's not risky. Risky is when you have no control. Risky is putting your money in someone else's disaster. Harken back to the recent congressional hearings. Lined up were the world's leading bankers and the world's most talented automobile execs. Would you give any one of them your money to invest? Their companies' stocks have imploded perhaps faster than any other in the history of the world.

A start up is less risky than working for a big company, a medium company or even a little company.

You cannot even reduce your risk by going with "winners" -- people who've successfully started businesses. I've started about 10 magazines. The majority succeeded. But there were some disasters. And the last one was a doozie, losing $8 million before I mercifully shot it. I have a short attention span. If it doesn't work quickly, I'm out of there fast. I never chase sunk costs.

Four reasons now is the right time to form a local bank.

1. The FDIC has done all your marketing. Stick this in your window.

And the public brings you bags of money.

2. A new bank is clean. No sub-prime. No bad loans. clean is good.

3. You don't have to act like a bank. You can be nice to your customers. You can have fun things in your branches. Check out TD Bank (the new Commerce Bank). They have children's stations and machines for counting coins. They're friendly, too. They held the door for me as I left their bank with my bicycle, which had been parked next to their ATM machines.

4. I'm guessing there's big margins in banking. If you're paying less than 1% on savings accounts, lending at 5% gives you a huge margin.

HeartWare is being bought. Remember that Australian medical device company I recommended? I still own shares. Well, it's being bought for nearly three times what most of us paid. I think management sold out too cheaply. But no one ever went broke taking a profit. Where did I read that? For more on HeartWare.

The bailout. The economic stimulus package. Imagine a swimming pool. At one end we have a bunch of government bureaurcrats furiously filling buckets with water. They carry the buckets to the other end of the pool and empty them into the pool. The pool is the economy. The buckets are the stimulus. They expect their efforts will lift the water in the pool.

So you still think the stimulus program will work?

Gloom and doom revisited. My remaining money is in cash and FDIC insured CDs. I think things will get worse. But I oon't know what it means for investing my cash. Should I buy gold? (Yes, a little.) Should I buy some foreign currency? I watch the swings in the Euro and the pound sterling. I see the yen rising and I wonder why?

Stratfor reported yesterday:

Geopolitical Diary: Why China Needs U.S. Debt
China does not see any choice but to keep buying U.S. government debt, Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), told a New York risk-managers conference on Thursday. The Financial Times quoted him as saying: “Except for U.S. Treasuries, what can you hold? Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or U.K. bonds. U.S. Treasuries are the safe-haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.” Even if the dollar depreciates because of Washington’s financial bailouts, he added, China has no other options.

Luo is acknowledging something of an open secret. Despite occasional hints (or threats) that China might attempt to bankrupt the United States by suddenly selling all of the U.S. debt it holds, that really is not an option. China would be economically destroyed in the process, unless there was some alternative place for Beijing to invest. For a number of reasons, there is none. ...

The best investment recommendation:

Did you miss yesterday's column? Michael and Anne came to visit. I chronicle their visit. Click on the picture.

I'm going to classes with my son today. My logic is simple. His two year stint at buisness school has cost $150,000. I have only attended two classes. That was $75,000 per class. Today's three will bring my classes up to five -- or only $30,000 a class. This is the only investment where averaging down makes sense.

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.