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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 EST Thursday, January 18, 2007: Some preliminary conclusions. I like Australia. Well-managed, lots of commodities to export, a terrific self-managed citizen pension plan which is force-feeding billions of new money into the stockmarket each year. I like my Vanguard Index All Australian Shares Fund -- Ultra low expenses. Nice growth. It reflects the S&P/ASX 300 Index which has about 300 Australian shares and represents over 94% of the value of all Australian-based companies and property trusts listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. For more, click here.

One plus with Australia. It has oodles of tiny mining companies. They make great speculations. While I was there, there was a boom in Australian uranium stocks. I visited the management of Kagara (KZL). I continue to be impressed, though the stock has come back a little. I'll have some names tomorrow.

The commodities boom is over -- i.e. it's hard to see prices rising further. But prices will stay high enough to keep mining profits buoyant. Good opportunity to pick up cheaper mining companies in coming weeks.

I'm not hot on New Zealand. It's a gorgeous place. But it's too small and the economy is too reliant on agriculture.

The best travel tips:
+ No plane sports a decent pillow. That's why you must carry the Duxiana Travel Pillow. Perfect size. Perfect softness. Nestle your head in this beauty and most of the airline engine noise will disappear. You'll get some sleep. I love the packaging. The pillow compresses to one-third its space, making it easy to stuff into a bag. Well worth the $100. Call 214-739-8133 or

Great packaging. Remember not to leave the pillow behind. Hint: Ask Sarina for a pillow case in an unusual color.
+ Most places now have broadband Internet. Hook your laptop up in a hotel, airport or an Internet cafe. But there are quirks. All will let you use browser-based mail, e.g. hotmail or gmail. Some will let you download your Outlook POP3 mail, but won't let you transmit. Key: ask for their SMTP server and change your settings.
+ Apple's iPod is a travel must. Listening to your music blocks out irksome airport and aircraft noises, even makes waiting a little more tolerable.
+ You don't need half you pack. Pack a week early. Then progressively remove items. There are laundries overseas. Some even have soap.
+ Don't believe what the airlines say about baggage restrictions. Airlines are quirky. I took too much onboard. My bags were too heavy. But no one said anything. I was stupid. I took too much.
+ The airlines didn't once lose our baggage. They even handled inter-airline transfers. I'm sure they would have lost everything if I hadn't burdened myself by carrying onboard enough clothes and stuff to survive a week.
+ Economy is genuinely horrible on most airlines, especially American. Do whatever you can to get into business.
+ Jet lag is irksome. You can get it going west or east. But you typically get it going east. There's nothing you can do about it -- despite all the potions. It goes away eventually. Don't make important decisions while you're jet lagged.

Email, suddenly much worse: Many ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are now arbitrarily rejecting your email because it's "spam." That means that many of your customers and friends can no longer reach you. You need to check. I asked my ISP to remove all his spam filtering on all my accounts. I said I'd prefer to have Outlook do the filtering. This way I can still eyeball what's "spam" and make my own decisions.

Last airline story:
An airline pilot hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the Passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline."

In light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye. Someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane.

She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?"

The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

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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