Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Wednesday, February 7, 2007: Spent
most of yesterday sedated with a colonoscopy. Hard to be brilliant when you're
me. Check. Check. Check. I have a checklist
for the day's column. It includes checking the date. Yesterday I had an early
morning colonoscopy. (Everything's fine.) I left the old date. If you missed
yesterday's column, click
characters are all the rage on the web. Oddcast is
here. See how the eyes
follow your mouse. The program speaks the text you type in the box, using accents
and voices you choose. It's all a demo for businesses who are thinking of putting
talking characters on their own websites.
Software does great: This Canadian company
puts hidden software on laptops so you can the find the machine when it's stolen
or lost. That's a simple explanation. There's more. They've clearly hit a hot
spot. And they're the leaders in their field. Dell has just agreed to bundle
Absolute's LoJack for Laptops service to people who buy a Dell laptop
with an extended warranty. In the December quarter, Absolute's revenue
was up 65%; their cash from operations was up 273%. Sadly, their net loss was
also up -- 44% to $ 1 million.
I mention this
company because I had recommended buying it earlier when it was lower. It's
now up. Time to sell.
Neat, free charting: Owning individual
stocks is not good a good strategy for most of us. We don't have the time to
"manage" them, which means watching them move and selling at the right
time -- when there's bad news, their earnings slip or they slip 15% from
a recent high.
If you do own
individual stocks, Finance Yahoo's free charting tool is most useful. You can
choose your time range -- from one day to five years and more. You can compare
several stocks. That's done on a percentage, with zero being the opening date.
You can run simple technical indicators, including several moving averages.
One nice feature is a sliding ball. It will tell you, for any day, what the
open, high, low and close was. Really useful for valuation purposes.
I like charting
because it gives a "quick hit." Eyeball something dropping quickly
and you know you should be out. The vast bulk of the stocks I write about tend
to be short-term plays. The key is to get in and out quickly. Stocks
are volatile and all the predictions for 2007 focus on even more volatility.
Which means setting targets and closely watching the price. If it moves sharply
up, then starts to move down, it's time to sell. It's not good to be wedded
to anything. "Buy and hold" is dead.
charting can help. Here's a squeezed example of what it looks like. It looks
better full-screen on a big screen.
For Yahoo! Finance charting, click
fine web hoster: My son turned me onto ICDSoft.com.
He claims they're the best and cheapest place to host your web site and get
you email service. He's right. You can get a web site for as little as $6 a
month. Everything you need is right there on its site. That includes searching
available web site names (also called domains), buying them, setting up your
own web site, email accounts, having many domains home in on your main site,
I use ICDSoft for sites relating to my dictionary. They've been super. Last
night I extended my site and needed some help. They were there for me with email
support at 1:30 AM my time. By email, they walked me through everything I needed.
It was super. Their only negative -- you can't speak to them on the phone. But
their email support is fast and courteous. I don't miss the phone with them.
For their home page, click here.
are better than children:
Changing their diapers is actually fun. They have lots of energy
and say fun things. Best of all, you can give them back when it's time for your
afternoon nap. They also say some wonderful things:
+ My young grandson
called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and
I told him, "62." He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, "Did
you start at 1?"
+ After putting
her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy
blouse and proceeded to wash her hair As she heard the children getting more
and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. At last she threw a towel around
her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings.
As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice,
"Who was THAT?"
+ A grandmother
was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like: "We
used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from
a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the
woods." The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this in. At last she said,
"I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
+ My grandson
was visiting one day when he asked, "Grandma, do you know how you and God
I mentally polished my halo while I asked,"No, how are we alike?"
"You're both old," he replied
+ A little girl
was diligently pounding away on her grandfather's word processor. She told him
she was writing a story.
"What's it about?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied. "I can't read."
+ I didn't know
if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I
would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and
always she was correct. But it was fun for me, so I continued. At last she headed
for the door, saying sagely, "Grandma, I think you should try to figure
out some of these yourself!"
+ When my grandson
Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were
inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed
us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, "It's no use, Grandpa.
The mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights."
+ When my grandson
asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, "I'm not sure." "Look
in your underwear, Grandma," he advised. "Mine says I'm four to six."
+ A nursery school
teacher was delivering a station wagon full of kids home one day when a fire
truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian
dog. The children started discussing the dog's duties.
"They use him to keep crowds back," said one youngster.
"No, said another, "he's just for good luck."
A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs,"
she said firmly, "to find the fire hydrant."
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.