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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 Tuesday, January 31, 2006: Yesterday I wrote that tonight President Bush, in his state of the union address, will focus on making the U.S. independent of imported energy. He will announce major initiatives designed to encourage alternative energy. As a result, there will be a pop in many of these stocks. Yesterday morning I published this list of alternative energy and coal companies. By end of the every one of these stocks had risen, many substantially. I have a bunch of happy readers.

I said I would publish an expanded list. Here's today's expanded list. I have also included a column for market capitalization, to show you the tiny size of many of these companies.

As usual, do not buy any of these without a modicum of research. Bush speaks tonight at 9 PM. I'd probably cash in my profits before he speaks, on the basis that, like sex, anticipation in the stock market is often better than realization.

Lucky Harry: My five Vanguard funds I burbled on about are now profitable, i.e. above what I paid for them. Remember my brilliant timing? I moved into the three funds just before Tokyo hiccuped in mid-January. They were Total International Stock Index (VTRIX), Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX) and Pacific Stock Index Admirals funds (VPADX). I still feel confident that Asia and the Pacific would well this year and these three are a relatively painless way of participating. Other Vanguard funds I own include the International Value Fund (VTRIX) and the Mid-Cap Index Fund Admirals shares (VIMAX). These two are doing the best, so far.

Bargain the price: After management and idea, the price you pay is critical. In venture financing, they call it market capitalization. There are two ways of looking at market cap -- before you put your money in and after you put your money in. I prefer after you put your money in (assuming you do). Every recent venture I've looked at recently has been too expensive, i.e. its market cap has been outta sight. My theory is that if the company hasn't any profits and limited revenues, and a wonky marketing business (i.e. one in need of help and money), the venture isn't worth more than a million or two -- depending on how ready for market the product is. These days most presidents start at $10 million. At that point I listen politely, say "thank you" and go play tennis. I can play a lot of tennis for the money I'm likely to lose on the deal.

However, not all is lost. Sometimes miracles happen. I received this email yesterday, "Harry: a large investor, XYZ Corp --$1.4 million -- asked for a valuation reduction, and ABC Corp's founders went along with it. so, the pricing is now $5 million pre-money rather than $10 million pre-money. The raise has been expanded to $3M from $2M to let all interested investors in the deal."

Cell phones as nuttiness: Ring tones are the sound your cell phone makes when a call comes in. All cell phones come with a collection. Certainly enough to satisfy me, but not everyone. Selling ring tones over the Internet is a billion a year business. My favorite ring tones are found on a site called (click here). Now your cell phone can sound like your favorite porn star faking an orgasm -- in many languages, including Russian. Many of these tones are clipped from porn movies (usually without authorization).

I went to the dentist yesterday. Hence, this is appropriate:

He ordered one hamburger, one order of French fries and one drink. The old man unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half. He placed one half in front of his wife. He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them. As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them kept looking over and whispering. You could tell they were thinking, "That poor old couple - all they can afford is one meal for the two of them."

As the man began to eat his fries a young man came to the table. He politely offered to buy another meal for the old couple. The old man said they were just fine. They were used to sharing everything.

The surrounding people noticed the little old lady hadn't eaten a bite. She sat there watching her husband eat and occasionally taking turns sipping the drink.

Again the young man came over and begged them to let him buy another meal for them. This time the old woman said "No, thank you, we are used to sharing everything."

As the old man finished and was wiping his face neatly with the napkin, the young man again came over to the little old lady who had yet to eat a single bite of food and asked "What is it you are waiting for?"

She answered, "The teeth."

Recent column highlights:
+ Munich, the movie. A must-see. Click here.
+ Identity Theft precautions. Click here.
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click here.
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click here.
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click here.
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click here.
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ All turned on by biotech. Click here.
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available: Click here. The full audio is available. Click here.
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click here.
+ When to sell stocks. Click here.

Harry Newton

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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