Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
9:00 AM EST, Thursday, January 3, 2008:
Oil hit $100, despite easing worldwide economies.
Oil is now a currency, like the dollar. Unlike the dollar, however, it appreciates.
If you were an oil country would you sell your oil today for declining dollars
or leave some of it in the ground for "a rainy day"? Hence, my prediction
on oil continuing to go up and up. And taking with it food, the cost of living
and inflation. Not a good time for many American households. Hence yesterday's
yuchy stockmarket opening to 2008 -- Dow down 220 points (1.7%).
What the heck
is an index fund? I thought it was one that mimicked an index. Wrong. Apparently
there are "index" funds that are actively-managed, Yesterday's piece
on Dimensional Fund Advisors (D.F.A.) produced an avalanche of emails -- most
saying that D.F.A.'s promotion was a lot better than its performance.
There are now
more "index" funds than there were people in Times Square celebrating
New Year (see below). Vanguard's Emerging Markets Stock closed 2007, up 38.9%,
while its Precious Metals & Mining closed 2007, up 35.6%. As they
say in Australia, that's better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish.
Two bargains abound:
financials and housing stocks. Many believe that when things look the darkest,
they are the brightest. My brain has problems with dark and light. I currently
live by three mantras:
away from falling knives."
doubt, stay out."
"Cash is king."
to play commodities. My commodities fund was
up 22.76% in 2007, less after fees. The fund allocates its money among commodities.
The weighting is the fund's skill (a.k.a. bet). What's amazing are the variations
on ROI by commodity. Check this out:
Just Say, It Was Crowded. Excerpts from a wonderful piece in yesterday's
New York Times:
many people rang in the new year at Times Square on Monday night? The simple
answer is: One heck of a lot. The complicated answer is: Perhaps only the
Police Department knows for sure, and it wont tell you.
stopped providing official counts of large public gatherings because
no one was ever satisfied with them, said Paul J. Browne, the departments
deputy commissioner for public information. Whatever the count was,
it was usually never enough for whatever group was involved. ...
Jeffrey A. Straus,
the president of Countdown Entertainment, the company that organizes the ball
drop in coordination with the Times Square Alliance, estimated that Monday
nights crowd totaled at least one million people. ...
Mr. Straus said
that for many years the police shared its estimates with the organizers. The
last time the police provided a number was Dec. 31, 2000, he said, when the
estimate was also one million people. ...
A chart printed
in The New York Times in 1993 showed that from 1986 to 1991, police estimates
of Times Square attendance on New Years Eve ranged from about 300,000
to about 600,000.
The one major
exception was Dec. 31, 1999, for the countdown to 2000. Rudolph W. Giuliani,
who was mayor at the time, said that the crowd was pushing two million.
an analysis by The Times, which found reason for skepticism. ...
the president of Crowd Management Strategies, a Los Angeles-based consulting
firm, said that many police agencies across the country became reluctant to
reveal crowd-size estimates after the Million Man March in Washington in 1995,
which was organized by the Nation of Islam. The National Park Service estimated
that the march drew 400,000 people. A furor ensued when the organizers insisted
the number was far larger. A year later, the park service said it would no
longer make crowd estimates. ...
the event organizer, acknowledged that calculating the number of people packed
into Times Square on New Years Eve can feel a little like guessing the
number of jelly beans in a jar.
an art, not a science, he said. And at the end of the day, does
it really matter? Its a lot of people.
theater, now on Broadway:
is an edgy and compelling tale of lust, seduction and deception, telling the
story of a dysfunctional family that welcomes the homecoming of its estranged
brother and competes for the attention of his dangerously alluring wife. If
you loved Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in Deadwood, you'll love him in
this play. We went last night. It was the best theater we've seen in eons. If
you're coming to New York, get yourself tickets.
Good news: Your own family will look sane after you've seen this one.
Sam died. His will provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last guests
departed the affair, his wife, Sarah turned to her oldest and dearest friend.
"Well, I'm sure Sam would be pleased," she said.
you're right," replied Jody, who lowered her voice and leaned in close.
"How much did this really cost?"
"All of it,"
said Sarah . "Thirty thousand."
Jody exclaimed. "I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?"
"The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to the synagogue. The whisky, wine
and snacks were another $500. The rest went for the Memorial Stone."
quickly. "$22,500 for a Memorial Stone? My God, how big is it?"
a half carats."
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.