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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, Tuesday, July 24, 2007: The oil boom continues. Transocean and GlobalSanteFe announced they will merge. This drove up my two oil ETFs which I'd plugged earlier -- IYE, Dow US energy and OIH, oil service holders. There'll be more gains. Oil is at $74 and going higher. T. Boone Pickens, who bought into GlobalSantaFe recently has predicted oil will hit $80 by his 80th birthday next year. He's right.

Good deal: Staples is selling the single monitor Ergotron holder for $29.99, compared with $49 MSRP.

I like the single one. It gives you more flexibility to move your monitors around. The single one has huge flexibility itself -- far more than any stand that comes with any monitor. Check the animation out. Click here.

God and his window. It took precisely one day for me to find a better printer. It took three months for my previous printer to drive me totally nuts with his incompetence and lack of attentiveness. There are three lessons to this story:

1. It takes hard work to truly piss off a customer. (I use the word "piss" sparingly. But it's appropriate here.)

2. When God closes a window, He always opens another one. And it's usually contains a far better, cheaper, more responsive opportunity.

3. Agonizing over misfortunes -- like the idiocy of a supplier -- is not productive. Put the energy into finding another supplier.

Harry and the commodity guru. Yesterday's emails:

Harry: Why, do you think, corn has come back so much in price? Everything you read in the press says it's risen so much... what with ethanol, etc. and yet, your numbers show it falling.

Commodity guru: Corn prices had been rising last year and earlier this year in response to the drought experienced in Australia as well as detriment weather conditions in the US and other corn producing areas of the world, especially, as you are pointing correctly, in light of increased or perceived increase of demand in alternative fuel. The rise in corn prices led to a sharp increase in corn plantings globally with the US facing the largest acreage committed to corn this season since 1942. Such increase in acreage and likely production has caused prices to fall rather precipitously, now down 20% for the year and more than 5% for the month of July.

Harry: You think corn will go lower?

Commodity guru: Usually that is the case until corn prices become so “cheap” that consumption for its various uses increases, causing the price of corn to rise again or we face an unexpected event (weather, insect pressure, global production disruptions, transportation factors etc.). Of course, the decline of corn prices as a result of sharp production increases has simultaneously meant a decrease in soybean acreage and a respective price increase for soybeans and its related products.

The Great Gamble: Will the Bancrofts sell Dow Jones Co? Murdoch has offered $60 a share. The market thinks the Bancrofts may not sell. So the shares have eased back. There is talk that if Murdoch walks, the shares will slump to $34. To me, the whole thing is a no-brainer. The Bancrofts should take Murdoch's money. In all these years, they've totally failed to realize the company's value. There are a million things they could have done, but didn't. They have failed to find another buyer who would ante more than $5 billion in cash. The stock has fallen steadily since the Tech Boom....

I'm guessing the Bancrofts will finally come around and sell it -- despite how much some of them dislike Murdoch. But I'm not gambling on the outcome with a nickel of my money. I'm just fascinated.

The West Nile mosquito season is here. New York's Health Department's recommendations:

• Use an approved insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. (Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should NOT be used on children younger than three.) Use products according to manufacturer’s instructions.

• Make sure windows have screens, and repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

• Eliminate any standing water that collects on your property, and dispose of containers that can collect water. Standing water is a violation of the Health Code.

• Make sure roof gutters are clean and draining properly.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. Keep them empty and covered if not in use; drain water that collects in pool covers.

• Do not leave vases in cemeteries as they are prohibited during West Nile virus season.

Jewish Sex
70-year old Rivkah goes into her local sex shop. As soon as she enters, everyone there notices how unstable she is on her feet. Very shakily, she wobbles the few feet across the shop to the counter, grabs it for support, and asks the assistant behind the counter, "Dddoo youuu selll ddiilldoss?"

The assistant, trying not to laugh, replies, "Yes, we have many different types of dildo in stock."

"Dddddoooo yyyouuuu ccaarrryy aaa pppinkk onnee,ttenn inchessss lllong aaandd aabboutt ttwoo inchesss ththiickk?" asks Rivkah.

The assistant replies, "Yes we do."

"Maazzeltovvv. Ddddoo yyoouu kknnooww hhowww tttooo tturrrnnn ittt offffff?"

Born to be Jewish
Although born to a good Irish-Catholic family, Maloney had always wanted to be Jewish. As a senior in college, he decided to take the plunge and go through the formal conversion process. He studied Judaism all semester. Finally, he was ready to take the test and complete the conversion.

On the appointed day, he arrived at the Rabbi's office.

The Rabbi said, "Before I give you the test we must discuss my fee. It's $5000."

"Holy Moses! $5,000!" exclaimed Maloney, "That's a lot of money. How about $50?"

Replied the Rabbi, "Congratulations, you pass."

Harry's note: I hesitated before publishing this "joke." Had a non-Jew told me the joke, I would have been offended. But since I'm telling it, and I'm Jewish, I thought it was funny.

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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