Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Monday, July 25, 2005: Hot
weather. Wall Street is at the Hamptons, enjoying the water. More good earnings
coming this week. Nice feeling.
the Making of an American capitalist. Michael, my
son, gave me this book and said, "Read it. It's good." He's
right. I'm engrossed. Several points:
+ Buffett is a man of my heart. Said his wife Susie, "All Warren needs
to be happy is a book and a sixty-watt bulb." Actually she meant a
book or an annual report. Each year he reads thousands of them. Or used to.
+ He believes in the Ben Graham's value investing ideas, but not exclusively.
He believes companies also have "intrinsic value." Like being the
only company in a submarket. Or having a great brand.
+ Early on, he obviously learned that buying stocks blind was a gamble. But
buying stocks whose management you had some control over maximized your chances
+ Taking large positions makes sense if you've done your homework.
+ Buffett's philosophy: He looked for companies he understood, run by honest
and competent managers, with favorable long-term prospects and available at
a decent price. He made no attempt to anticipate the short-term price action.
+ His best buys were made when things looked bleakest.
+ Buffett's own stock, Berkshire Hathaway is no great bargain. It sells for
1.49 times its book value -- a crucial Buffett measure of stock value.
Roger Lowenstein's brilliant book on Buffett. One of the various iterations
of the classic Ben Graham book. My son is reading it at present.
happened to Enron? Stephen F. Cooper, 58, who was brought in January,
2002, as interim CEO, has overseen the sale and restructuring of some $12.65
billion worth of the Houston energy giant's assets. Among his deals: the pending
sale of Oregon utility Portland General Electric Co. for about $2.35 billion
in cash and assumed debt. Once the sale closes and outstanding claims are resolved,
Enron, which emerged from bankruptcy in November, will distribute some $12 billion
to creditors -- far less than the $63 billion they claimed they were owed. Individual
shareholders will get absolutely nothing. But Cooper and his turnaround company,
Kroll Zolfo Cooper Inc., will have pocketed at least $63.4 million in
How big is obesity? According
to Sunday's New York Times,
epidemic isn't just a growing health risk; it's also a problem for the economy.
The percentage of Americans over 20 who are regarded as obese has more than
doubled, to about 30 percent, from about 14 percent in the early
1970's. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says obesity was
responsible for 112,000 premature deaths in 2002, and for $75 billion
in medical costs in 2003.
Now you know why
I'm interested in Manhattan Pharmaceuticals (MHTT) which has a one-day-to-be-approved,
promising obesity drug called Oleoyl-estrone. According to the company,
Armstrong wins his 7th Tour de France: You can buy the bike Lance rode
into Paris on yesterday. It's called a Trek Limited Edition Liverstrong Madone
SL, is made of carbon fibre and costs only $9,499. When he's in Paris,
Lance stays at the Hotel de Crillon on the Place de La Concorde. Many years ago,
I stayed there one weekend. (Someone else picked up the tab.) The best part of
my stay was the ironed cotton sheets in the bed. I spent months trying to find
the maker of those sheets. In the end all I found out was the Crillon rented (I
kid you not) the sheets from a supplier who cleaned them and ironed them and who
would not divluge where he got them from -- no matter how much begging and groveling
OE is an orally
administered small molecule that has been shown to cause significant weight
loss in extensive preclinical animal studies, without the need for dietary
modifications. In such studies, OE appears to be safe and effective with no
evidence of rebound weight gain after treatment has been discontinued. Developed
by researchers at the University of Barcelona, OE has been tested in both
obese and lean rats; treatment with OE resulted in significant weight loss
even in the presence of abundant food and water.
Diet and physical exercise regimens are difficult to maintain. As a result,
most overweight patients can lose only moderate amounts of weight, and usually
only for a short period of time. The current medications for the treatment
of obesity have significant side effects that limit their use. A safe, effective,
orally administered compound that not only produces, but also sustains weight
loss, would be a breakthrough in the treatment of obesity, and represent a
significant advantage over currently available treatments. The future market
opportunity is estimated in the multi-billions of dollars range, given that
2001 sales of the currently approved therapeutics amounted to more than $800
This is one of the Crillon's suites. If you even think about asking what
a night costs, you can't afford to stay there.
How to drive three external monintors with your laptop:
This is the configuration I use. My laptop drives its
internal screen and one external screen. My VillageTronic VTBook PC card and its
dualhead cable powers the other two screens. I drag windows from one screen to
the other. I have Outlook email on one screen, a browser on another, streaming
quotes on another, Macromedia on a fourth. I can also have an gigantic Excel spreadsheet
spread across three monitors. The VTBook PC Card and cable cost under $300. If
you use a laptop as your primary PC, it's the best computer investment you can
ever make. Honestly. For more, click
Never, ever buy a Mercedes-Benz. I
bought my wife a new E500 wagon in 2004. It's given nothing but trouble. Late
last week, its air conditioning died. It was 86 heat and 99% humidity. Mecedes-Benz
roadside assistance said they wouldn't fix it. Take it to a dealer. The closest
dealer is 45 miles away. Want the list of
the eight other busted things? In contrast, my own Subaru Outback wagon works
like a charm and hasn't had a single problem since I bought it three
It pays to check your bills.
My dear friend Dan Good writes, "I just checked my Time Warner Desert
internet bill and it was $62 instead of the normal $45. When I called and asked
why they admitted a mistake. I was supposed to receive a credit but they charged
me instead. I am now receiving a $34 credit. As you said recently, it pays to
review your bills carefully."
is now 95 years old. After a fulfilling life with the now dead prince,
she happily sits upon her rocking chair, watching the world go by from her front
porch, with a cat named Bob for companionship. One sunny afternoon out of nowhere,
appeared the fairy godmother. Cinderella said, "Fairy Godmother, what are
you doing here after all these years"?
The fairy godmother replied, "Cinderella, you have lived an exemplary life
since I last saw you. Is there anything for which your heart still yearns?"
Cinderella was taken aback, overjoyed, and after some thoughtful consideration,
she uttered her first wish: "The prince was wonderful, but not much of
an investor. I'm living hand to mouth on my disability checks, and I wish I
were wealthy beyond comprehension. Instantly her rocking chair turned into solid
Cinderella said, "Ooh, thank you, Fairy Godmother".
The fairy godmother
replied "It is the least that I can do. What do you want for your second
down at her frail body, and said, "I wish I were young and full of the
beauty and youth I once had."
At once, her wish
became reality, and her beautiful young visage returned. Cinderella felt stirrings
inside of her that had been dormant for years.
And then the fairy
godmother spoke once more: "You have one more wish; what shall it be?"
over to the frightened cat in the corner and says, "I wish for you to transform
Bob, my old cat, into a kind and handsome young man."
suddenly underwent so fundamental a change in his biological make-up that, when
he stood before her, he was a man so beautiful the likes of him neither she
nor the world had ever seen.
The fairy godmother
said, "Congratulations, Cinderella, enjoy your new life. With a blazing
shock of bright blue electricity, the fairy godmother was gone as suddenly as
she appeared. For a few eerie moments, Bob and Cinderella looked into each other's
eyes. Cinderella sat, breathless, gazing at the most beautiful, stunningly perfect
man she had ever seen.
Then Bob walked
over to Cinderella, who sat transfixed in her rocking chair, and held her close
in his young muscular arms. He leaned in close, blowing her golden hair with
his warm breath as he whispered..........
sorry you had me neutered."
at church: One Sunday a pastor told the congregation that the church
needed some extra money and asked the people to prayerfully consider giving
a little extra in the offering plate. He said that whoever gave the most would
be able to pick out three hymns.
After the offering
plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed
a $1,000 bill in offering. He was so excited that he immediately shared his
joy with his congregation and said he'd like to personally thank the person
who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly and saintly lady all
the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the
front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was
that she gave so much and in thanksgiving asked her to pick out three hymns.
Her eyes brightened
as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three handsomest men in
the building and said, "I'll take him and him and him."
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click
+ All turned on by biotech. Click
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available:
Click here. The full audio is available. Click
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click
+ When to sell your stocks. Click
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
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role in choosing the Google ads. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look
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will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense,
here and here.