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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.

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8:30 AM EST Monday, June 30, 2008: Today is the end of "windows dressing." It's the last day the funds (mutual, hedge, ETFs, etc.) have to sell stocks and accumulate cash. By having all that cash on their June 30 balance sheets, they can show how smart they are.

Most people won't find this cartoon funny.

But, if you're one of my readers, maybe you will find it funny. I have been nagging since November, 2007 that Cash is King, except for commodities (especially oil), oil services, mining stocks and the picks and shovels companies like Bucyrus and Syngenta. And of course, shorts on financials, like Lehman Brothers.

As to where we go from here? We now have The BIG (contrary) Theory. Now that every newspaper, magazine, web site and local guru has said we're in a bear market, we no longer are. None of my successful fund managers worry about "the market" -- unless you're buying broad index funds. They worry about individual opportunities. And those I'm now mulling. It's obvious that the opportunities in the second half of this year are going to look very different to those in the first half.

As the world economy contracts, commodities may go down in the second half? From today's Bloomberg:

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Commodities are heading for their best first half in 35 years. The next six months may not be as rewarding because record prices for oil, copper and a dozen other raw materials may crimp consumption and encourage growth in supply.

The 19 commodities in the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index jumped 29 percent this year, the most since 1973 and more than any second-half gain in at least five decades, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

High costs are slowing the pace of demand for gasoline in the U.S., and gold purchases in India, the biggest buyer, plunged 50 percent from a year earlier. Producers are expanding supplies of wheat in the U.S. and steel in China.

Now we have "bargain prices," many people will be tempted. I remain ultra-wary of trying to catch falling knives. Financials and the auto makers are not coming back any time soon. In fact, some will go bankrupt.

Free Bloomberg -- at -- remains, in my unhumble opinion the greatest source of financial stories and free market statistics. Everyone should read the site every day.

If I had read this article, which Bloomberg published on May 30 last year,. I would be substantially richer today. I would have sold financials short with much greater intensity and conviction than what I did.

The story is called Subprime Fiasco Exposes Manipulation by Mortgage Brokerages. And you must read it, even today. It will give you an understanding of why it all went so horribly wrong -- and why it's still going horribly wrong. Bloomberg won a big prize for this story.

Today is the last day for buying a PC with Windows XP: After today you'll be forced into Vista, which may not be to your liking. It's not to mine.

Manure thief falls into dung, flees naked. I don't make this stuff up. I can't. Sadly, I don't have pictures.

BERLIN (Reuters) A woman trying to make "manure bombs" using stockings, slipped into a slurry tank and fled the scene naked, German police said Friday.

Two women entered a farm in the northern village of Eberholzen Wednesday evening and started to fill the stockings with manure.

"One of them slipped into the manure tank, right into the cow muck," said a spokesman for local police. "The other one helped her out. We found their clothes in a field. One seems to have run off completely naked, the other in her underwear."

Police said it was unclear what the women had intended to do with the "manure bombs," but added the incident could be linked to victory celebrations surrounding the Euro 2008 semi-finals on Wednesday evening, when Germany beat Turkey 3-2.

"The women can get their clothes back from the local police station -- unwashed," the spokesman added.

Wimbledon continues today. As I write this column, Roger Federer is about to play Leighton Hewitt. You can watch zillions of hours of tennis today. That will be much more enjoyable than watching the ticker today. Here is the TV schedule. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time (L) = Live (T) = Taped

Monday, June 30 7:00 am - 10:00 am Early rounds ESPN2 (L)
Monday, June 30 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Early rounds NBC (L)
Monday, June 30 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm Early rounds ESPN2 (L)
Monday, June 30 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Early rounds Tennis Channel (T)
Tuesday, July 1 7:00 am - 10:00 am Quarterfinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Tuesday, July 1 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') NBC (L)
Tuesday, July 1 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Tuesday, July 1 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Quarterfinals (Ladies') Tennis Channel (T)
Wednesday, July 2 7:00 am - 10:00 am Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Wednesday, July 2 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Wednesday, July 2 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Wednesday, July 2 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Quarterfinals (Gentlemen's) Tennis Channel (T)
Thursday, July 3 7:00 am - 12:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') ESPN2 (L)
Thursday, July 3 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') NBC (L)
Thursday, July 3 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm Semifinals (Ladies') Tennis Channel (T)
Friday, July 4 7:00 am - 12:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Friday, July 4 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Saturday, July 5 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)
Saturday, July 5 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Sunday, July 6 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) NBC (L)
Sunday, July 6 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Semifinals (Gentlemen's) ESPN2 (L)

Visiting England to watch the tennis?
An Israeli recently arrived at London's Heathrow airport.

An immigration officer asked him: "Occupation?"

The Israeli promptly replied : "No, just visiting !"

There's a pun here.
Bear walks into a bar, says to the bartender "Gimme a drink".

The bartender says "hey, we don't serve animals in here".

The bear says "gimme a drink or I'll eat this woman right here".

The bartender still refuses, and the bear eats the woman right up. "Gimme a drink, now", he says.

The bartender, steadfast, says "we don't serve animals, and we certainly don't serve animals on drugs."

The bear seems taken aback, "on drugs?"

The bartender: "Well, that was a bar bitch you ate."

The second worst pun
Did you hear about the blind prostitute?

You have to hand it to her.

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 on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look 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 Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.

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