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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 Thursday, January 5, 2006: You've got to own International stocks. They will do better in 2006 than domestic stocks -- just as they did better in 2005. I can't pick international stocks, yet. But I can pick international funds. Last night I bought two Vanguard Funds:

1. International stock index fund (VGTSX). It allocates 58% to Europe, 28% to the Pacific rim, and 14% to emerging markets. In 2005, it was up 15.6%. For the past three years, it's been up 25.1% a year.

2. The Pacific Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VPADX). Its ten biggest holdings are Toyota, Mizuho Financial, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial, BHP Billiton, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial, Honda Motor, Canon, Matsushita Electric and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Last year it was up 22.7%. Over the past three years it's averaged 26.5% a year.

I also own two other Vanguard Funds -- the Vanguard International Value Fund (VTRIX) and the Vanguard Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares (VIMAX). Both are showing handsome gains. I started with both in September.

The Vanguard funds are ideas of my brilliant son, Michael. After his Greenfield disaster, the quality of his investment ideas has greatly improved. It's amazing what experience teaches.

Insite Vision hits new high. I said Insite would hit $1 by the end of the year. I missed it by a few days. It went above $1 yesterday. It will go higher.

How to survive on a bicycle: I ride around Manhattan on a folding bicycle made by Bike Friday (click here). It looks like this,

except mine is yellow. My bike has six benefits:
1. It's the fastest way around Manhattan.
2. I can take it into most buildings, because it folds.
3. I can take it on the subway and get to tennis which is outside Manhattan.
4. If it rains, I can fold it and easily stuff it into a taxi's trunk.
5. When I ride it, I get free exercise.
6. BikeFriday, the company, gives great service.

I meet a lot of bikers and have seen a lot of accidents. Most Manhattan bikers don't wear helmets. That's dumb. Most don't have these three critical safety devices:

This is called a Third Eye BarEnd mirror. It slides into your handlebars. Bingo, you can see what's coming behind you. Think of driving a car without three rear mirrors. That's how most bicyclists get around. Dumb! I have two of them, one on each side. $12 from LLBean. Click here.

This is a VistaLite 5-LCD, two AA battery rear flashing light. This is a big mother. You will be seen. Most bicyclists are invisible at night. $13 for two of them. Click here.

This is a $20 Niterider NR-10 Fazer Light. Make it flash. Anyone coming your way will not miss you. Click here.

My Visa credit card expires in 2007. Yesterday I bought something by fibbing to them that it expired five years later -- in 2012. It worked. This is great news for all the accounts I pay automatically by credit -- phone, cable TV, gas, electricity. I won't get cut off every three years -- but only every eight or nine years. I bet there's no limit. I'm going to buy something today on-line and give them an expiration date of 2020 and see what happens. I bet it'll go through.

Munich, the movie, raises questions. Lots of people don't like the movie Munich because it shows Jews as "morally conflicted" about assassinating the bad guys. The Jerusalem Post this week ends a review of the movie:

Although it is by no means an anti-Zionist film, Munich punctures the contention, popular in the Jewish community, that Israel has brought nothing but unadulterated goodness to the Jewish experience. While defending both Israel's right to exist and its response to terror, and while plainly indicating that violence has been thrust upon Israel by its enemies, the film nonetheless concedes the human toll that a lifetime of violence has begotten both on the individual and on the Jewish nation.

We are in a sad state of affairs if, almost 60 years after the creation of Israel, we must banish this topic as taboo and deny discussion of our all-too-human experiences of pain and moral doubt.

Personally, I still think it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. For the full Jerusalem Post review, Click here.

The poor weather, blamed as usual.
Saturday morning I got up early, put on my long johns, dressed quietly, made my lunch, grabbed the dog, slipped quietly into the garage to hook the boat up to the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour.

There was snow mixed with the rain, and the wind was blowing 50 mph. I pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad throughout the day.

I went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. There I cuddled up to my wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, "The weather out there is terrible."

She sleepily replied, "Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that weather."

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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