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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 Wednesday, January 24, 2007: Apologies. Went to the ballet, then dinner, watched tennis, then read till early morning. Quick comments:

1. Nickel is soaring, helping push miners up. The spot price of nickel has added close to $10,000 since January 9 when the metal was fetching about $31,575 per ton. Many of my Australian miners are mining nickel or soon will be.

2. The Economist is worried about inflation. It writes, "Perhaps it is time to feel uneasy. Though not very powerful now in much of the world, inflation is an uncomfortable force that may be getting stronger. Last week, the Bank of England startled markets by raising interest rates unexpectedly. This week, it became clear why. The Bank's governors had been given a sneak peek at the latest consumer-inflation figures for the country, which are a full percentage point higher than the Bank's 2% target. If you include mortgage-interest payments, the cost of living is substantially higher."

3. Some of my friends are buying oil producers on the theory that oil is rising again. Australia's Woodside is up from $AUS34 to $AUS37.29, and about to hit $AUS40, they claim.

4. Microsoft's Vista is here. Do not install it on your working PC -- the one you use each day. If you want to use it, buy a new PC. I've been reading the computer press' reviews. So far, I haven't found one serious reason to buy Vista. My Windows XP is working just fine. There's an old adage in the computer business: "If it works, don't mess with it." You can substitute another four-letter word for "mess." It sounds better.

5. I'm a big fan of great web sites and how they can make shopping genuinely pleasurable. My latest find is Zappos -- the shoe retailer. It's a seriously great site (especially if you like shoes). Go check out a pair of Pumas. Check out the views of the shoes. Zappos must have a big photography staff. What's most fascinating is when it comes time to return a pair your just bought. You go to the Zappos web site, enter your account, click on the order you want returned and Zappos gives you a free-shipping return label. All you need do is print it, slap it on the box and drop it off at UPS. For Zappos, click here.

Fossil fuels hurt global warming: Some of my readers don't believe in global warming. They think it's a left-wing commie plot. It's not. It's messing up the world's weather and could have major consequences very shortly (if it isn't already) -- including setting off damaging hurricanes, raising water levels many feet and drowning low land, etc. Our world needs to cut its carbon emissions. I am not going to nag on this subject any more but please do see Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth -- a global warning" -- no matter what your politics or your love (or not) for Mr. Gore.

The Australian Tennis Open 2007 is on. I apologize. I'm engrossed in the matches. One is better than the previous one. It's hard to concentrate on the perfect investment when the tennis is SO good. Here's the upcoming schedule. All times refer to EST. The tennis is a sound reason to buy a TiVo recorder. My box is doing a perfect job of recording those matches I miss.

Wednesday, January 24

3:30 am - 6:00 am - - ESPN (Live)
3:00 pm - 7:00 pm - - ESPN2 (T)
9:30 pm - 11:30 pm - - ESPN2 (Live)

Thursday, January 25
3:30 am - 6:00 am - - ESPN (Live)
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm - - ESPN2

Friday, January 26
12:00 am - 1:00 am - - ESPN2 (Live)
3:30 am - 6:00 am - - ESPN (Live)
3:00 pm - 6:00 am - - ESPN2
9:30 pm - 11:30 pm -- ESPN2

Sunday, January 28
3:30 am - 6:30 am - Final - ESPN2 (Live)
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Final - ESPN2

The secret of a happy marriage
With a man soon to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary at the church's marriage marathon, the minister asked Pete to take a few minutes and give some insight into how he managed to maintain his marriage with the same woman all these years. The husband replied to the audience, "Well, I treated her with respect, spent money on her, but mostly I took her traveling on special occasions."

The minister inquired "Trips to where?" "For our 25th anniversary, I took her to Beijing, China."

The minister then said, "What a terrific example you are to all husbands, Pete. Please tell the audience what you're going to do for your wife on your 50th anniversary?"

Pete: "I'm going to go get her."

Boudreaux's Daughter
Boudreaux's 21-one-year-old, unmarried daughter tells her parents she thinks she is expecting. Very worried, they go to the drugstore to buy a pregnancy kit.

The test result shows that the girl is pregnant. Shouting, cursing, and crying, Boudreaux says, "Who 'dat pig what did you like 'dis? I want to know!"

The girl picks up the phone and makes a call. Half an hour later a Ferrari stops in front of Boudreaux's house. A mature and distinguished man with gray hair, impeccably dressed in a very expensive suit, steps out of the car and enters the house.

He sits in the living room with Boudreaux, the mother and the girl and tells them, "Good morning, your daughter has informed me of the problem. I can't marry her because of my personal family situation, but I'll take responsibility."

"If a girl is born, I will bequeath her two retail stores, a townhouse, a beach villa and a $1,000,000 bank account.

"If a boy is born, my legacy will be a couple of factories and a $2,000,000 bank account.

If it is twins, a factory and $1,000,000 each. However, if there is a miscarriage, what do you suggest I do?"

At this point, Boudreaux, who had remained silent, places a hand firmly on the man's shoulder and tells him, "'Den you try agin!"

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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