Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST Thursday, July 27, 2006: It's
a good time to start your own new company. To wit:
+ Technology, in general, is cheaper, more powerful, more reliable etc. Computer
technology, specifically, is much better. Putting up a web site is much cheaper.
The big story in computing is something called virtualization. Instead
of using one machine for this application, another machine for another application,
you join all the computers together and the virtualization software runs the
applications when they're needed on the machine that has free time. This brings
utilization up from 10% per computer to 90% and dramatically cuts the number
of computers you need.
+ The pace of change has speeded up. That means new opportunities to do things
differently. Think: when was the last time you shopped at a small, neighborhood
stationery store? Or a small neighborhood electronics store?
+ Outsourcing to India and China means you can make your fancy new product
+ Getting your business up on the Internet and advertising your products or
services through Google is a real easy, fast and relatively cheap way of testing
+ When it comes time to sell your new company, there'll be a zillion private
equity firms who'll want to buy. See yesterday's column for more. Click
investment opportunities in housing: For years,
there's been no money in buying apartment buildings and renting the apartments.
With low interest rates and ridiculous mortgage terms (like no principal repayment
for five years), buying a house or an apartment has been too easy for even the
most indigent. Conversion to condos was a great game. But not rentals. Now interest
rates are up, the banks have figured the idiocy of lending to deadbeats, the
rental market is coming back. And there'll soon be opportunities in distress
housing as borrowers abandon houses they have no equity in and the banks will
want to unload their disasters.
the housing market turns, you need to be ultra-careful.
+ If you're looking to buy a house for yourself, bid low. My friend
Seth just picked up his dream house in suburban Washington, D.C. for $447,500.
Six months ago the owner wanted $475,000, but had dropped the price recently
to $457,000. Seth bought a 2300 square foot townhouse with three bedrooms, 2
1/2 bathrooms, the best appliances and gorgeous wood floors. He and his about-be-wife
Meantime, the Washington Post reports housing prices are falling in that
hot market. The paper reported yesterday that "the drops are significant
because they mark the first time in half a decade that home prices have
fallen in a 12-month span, illustrating just how much the real estate landscape
has changed after five years of double-digit growth in home prices." For
more on what the paper said, click
+ If you need to sell your house, do it quickly. Prices are likely to
Ain't America wonderful? Gas prices are
up. That's bad. No, that's good. That spells opportunity. This week a Silicon
Valley startup, Tesla Motors unveiled a beautiful new sports car:
Its 100% electric, does 0-60 in four seconds, has a top speed of 130 mph, gets
the equivalent of 135 miles per gallon, goes 250 miles on a charge -- a full
charge takes 3 1/2 hours -- and costs about 1 penny a mile to fuel.
electric cars were designed for people who didn't even like cars," Tesla's
founder and chief executive Martin Eberhard said. "This approach
this appeal to civic virtue instead of driving pleasure limited electric
cars' appeal to a small albeit enthusiastic group of environmentalists. I wanted
to build a car that I wanted to drive. And I like fast cars."
"We want to do something about global warming," says Elon Musk, Tesla
chairman and its principal investor. "But you can't achieve your philanthropic
objective unless the company works."
know too much about the Tesla," says Roland Hwang, senior policy analyst
with the Natural Resources Defense Council, "but two-thirds less greenhouse
gases and 0 to 60 in four seconds? Who could be against that?"
The car will start shipping in summer of 2007. Price $100,000. For more, click
here. I wonder if my wife would like one? I certainly do.
Looking for the best airline fare? Yesterday
I wrote, check out SideStep.com.
A reader emailed, www.Kayak.com
is better. Sadly (for my ego), I think he may be right. Both sites crawl web
sites searching for the best deal on the trip you want. They compare airlines
and give you choices. Three things are great about the sites: First, they save
you time. Second, they present many choices. Third, you can modify, narrow and
widen your search in a whole bunch of neat ways -- where and when you leave
to how many stops, which airlines, etc.
morning at 11 AM, TriPath Imaging holds a conference
call to discuss the Company's second quarter 2006 financials. You can listen
on 888-344-3716 or on 706-634-4926. ID number 3254252. The stock was a favorite
of mine for eons. But management disappointed by fluffing FDA submissions and
over-estimating sales growth. Many large institutions sold TriPath in recent
months because of their unhappiness with management. Things, I believe, have
improved. We should hear more about FDA submissions and faster growth. One neat
motivation: Their largest customer, Quest Diagnostic has millions of warrants
that don't have any value until at least the stock is 50% above where TriPath's
stock presently is. If things do work out, the best news is that all the companies
in the health imaging business -- Digene, Cytyc, Ventana and Genprobe -- sell
for much higher multiples.
is spooky: Google lets type a telephone number into their search
bar. It will give you the person's name and address. If you then hit,
Mapquest you will get a map to the person's house. If your child gives out his
phone number, someone can now look it up to find out where your kind lives.
This is not good. If you want to block Google from divulging your private information,
simply click on your telephone number and then click on the PhoneBook Removal
Form. Removal takes 48-hours.
The Nigerian Scam moves to Iraq
I hope my email meets you well. I am in need of your assistance. My name is
Sgt Williams Baker, Jr. I am in the Engineering military unit here in Ba'qubah
in Iraq,we have about $20 Million US dollars that we want to move out of the
country. My partners and I need a good partner someone we can trust. It is
oil money and legal.
We have made arrangements with a Diplomatic courier service that will move
the funds out of Iraq as a family treasure. The most important thing is that
can we trust you? Once the funds get to you, you take your 20% out and keep
our own 80%. Your own part of this deal is to find a safe place where the
funds can be sent to. Our own part is sending it to you. If you are interested
I will furnish you with more details. But the whole process is simple and
we must keep a low profile at all times. I look forward to your reply and
co-operation, and I thank you in advance as I anticipate your co-operation.
Waiting for your urgent response
Regards, Sgt. Williams Baker
Norwegians are the new blondes
Ole and Lena were out walking and Lena clutched her heart
and fell to the sidewalk. Ole got out his cell phone and called 9-1-1.
The Operator said "Where are you?"
"We were walking and Lena is on the sidewalk on Eucalyptus Street."
The operator asked,
"How do you spell that?"
The phone seemed
to go dead. The operator kept shouting for Ole. She could hear him panting.
He finally came back on line and said, "I dragged her over to Oak Street,
are the new blondes, part 2
Two Norwegian hunters from Minnesota got a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt
moose. They bagged six. As they started loading the plane for the return trip,
the pilot said the plane could take only four moose.
The two lads objected
strongly, "Last year we shot six and the pilot let us put them all on board
and he had the same plane as yours." Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and
all six were loaded. However, even on full power, the little plane couldn't
handle the load and went down a few moments after takeoff.
Climbing out of
the wreck one Norski asked the other, "Any idea where we are?"
tink we's pretty close to where we crashed last year."
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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