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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor. Previous Columns
8:30 AM Thursday, July 7, 2005:
Seven blasts hit London buses and subway today. Most likely more terrorism by Al Qaeda. Two are dead. 95 are hospitalized. European stocks are down 3% to 4%. Oil was down as much as $4. U.S. stocks will fall, too. Now is the time to buy. Stock prices will bounce back, as they did after 9/11. Here's what happens:

These numbers come a report called Cataclysm, Terrorism, and Stocks issued fortuitously yesterday by Smith Barney, a division of Citigroup and written by Tobias Levkovich. His conclusions:

 Our analysis suggests that the U.S. stock market remains reactive to events that occur within its own borders, and is less sensitive to overseas events.

 However, the impact of U.S. events on U.S. markets has generally been short-lived, even in the case of 9/11, as the trading range environment persisted both before and after the attack.

I live in New York City. It will be our turn again soon. It is a fear we New Yorkers live with every day. For now, I stick with my bicycle.

Muni bonds DO default: Though it's rare. Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York, the financially strapped operator of seven hospitals in New York City, filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Saint Vincent had issued two types of muni bonds through the New York Dormitory Authority -- insured and uninsured. The insureds held their price. The uninsureds haven't traded, but should drop, traders are guessing, dramatically. The lesson here is simple. Not all muni bonds are equal. It pays to check.

Shredders offer limited protection: Popular Mechanics magazine tested three shredders -- costing from $52 to 399. They put "super-secret personal information" through each. Then an intern was given 45 minutes to put each back together. The amount of data recovered by intern ranged from 58% for the cheapest shredded to 49% for the most expensive shredder. The Federal Trade Commission recommends shredding sensitive material before you discard it, otherwise you fall victim to dumpster divers. If you're paranoid, shredding and burning probably work best.

The most popular Campbell's Soup in Hong Kong is watercress and duck gizzard. You don't want to know more.

And you thought picking investments was difficult. Try making babies in the harshest climate in the world -- Antarctica. You must see The March of the Penguins, a gorgeous documentary narrated beautifully by Morgan Freeman. It's playing at your local movie house.

It tells the story of the emperor penguin and the incredible sacrifices it makes to make babies. The story has love, drama, courage and adventure - all in the heart of Antarctica, the most isolated place on earth. For a preview of the movie, click here.

The second worst pun:
Two robins were sitting in a tree.

"I'm really hungry," said the first one. "Let's fly down and find some lunch."

They flew down to the ground and found a nice plot of newly plowed ground that was full of worms. They ate and ate and ate till they could eat no more.

"I'm so full, I don't think I can fly back up into the tree," said the first one.

"Let's just lay back here and bask in the warm sun," said the second.

"O K," said the first.

So they plopped down, basking in the sun. No sooner than they had fallen asleep, when a big fat tomcat up and gobbled them up.

As the cat sat washing his face after his meal, he thought...

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"I just love baskin robbins."

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. That money will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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