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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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9:00 AM EST Monday, June 9, 2008: This is our Moment of Pain, as high oil, plummeting housing and stock prices destroy our wealth. But the news is good, in fact excellent. Humans need a crisis to alert them to new ways of thinking and acting. Suddenly, new opportunities abound:

Your own business: Now is the perfect time to start your own business. People are cheap. Your competitors are laying off people like they expect no tomorrow. And you can take advantage of all the new ways of getting into business, including cheap web sites and cheap selling on the Internet. Your new customers are craving for a returned phone call, for friendly service, for a "No worries, mate." (My favorite Australian expression.)

Alternative energy. With high oil prices, alternative energy now makes sense. My favorite new energy stocks are the photovoltaics -- Canadian Solar (CSIQ), A-Power Energy Generation (APWR), Yingli Green Energy (YGE), Suntech Power Holdings (STP), and, once again, First Solar (FSLR), which I suspect has finished its slide. There's also everything from wind power

Energy conservation. There's a huge business in Europe making factories to become more energy efficient. That business will explode here also. The major energy conservation I did to my new house was blown-in foam (not fiber glass) insulation. It's now paying off in spades.

New, local financial institutions. People have lost faith in Wall Street. But, they haven't lost their need to bank, invest and borrow money. My friend got together with local businessmen and formed a new bank. I remember when I was a child, my father told me he had the same bank manager for 25 years. What a joy to have a relationship with someone who's sticks around and cares about my business. I am a client of several Wall Street houses. In the old days they actually cared about me. But lately, they've cared only about themselves. They keep the best opportunities for themselves. They gamble with their money. They ignore mine.

Tele-medicine and Tele-everything else. Monitoring people remotely is cheaper than forcing them to drive to a hospital. My 91-year old father-in-law is now living with us. He needs to be monitored, and have a way to alert us to emergencies.

Mining companies: No recession, no government, no nothing is going to stop a couple of billion people in India, China, Brazil, Russia and even Africa from wanting refrigerators, mobile phones, cars etc. The usual suspects reign -- from BHP to RioTinto to all my Australian miners.

Food companies: Monsanto (MON) and Syngenta (SYT) make seed that give farmers more bang for their bucks. And the potash companies give them the fertilizer they need -- Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT) and Intrepid Potash (IPI).

Technology: The traditional "big" technology companies like Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard will flounder around. No opportunities there. But new tech will do well. And that includes everyone from Bucyrus International (BUCY) to Zoltek (ZOLT).

Bus companies: Employers will need new ways of getting their employees to work. Maybe there's an opportunity to rent those yellow schoolbuses which do no nothing most of the day? The railroads, like CSX, are on a roll (bad pun) also.

Commercial real estate. On Friday, I wrote,

Finally commercial real estate is edging to becoming reasonable: Prices are coming down. Yields are rising. But you need more money. Remember my rule about Cash is King? Now you see why. A year ago, you could -- if you were lucky -- get 90% financing. Now you're lucky to get 60%. That means you need more cash.

You won't borrow any longer on Wall Street, who would (in the old days) sell your mortgage to someone else. Now you'll get it from a local bank -- a much more conservative animal. And they'll want your personal guarantee. Choose carefully.

Scooter and bicycle makers. My friend bought one recently. He loves it. He rides it around Manhattan. He puts $8 of gas in it once a month. I prefer my bicycle.

Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn on a scooter in 'Roman Holiday.'

Go short. This is the perfect market for going short. It may be time to close my Lehman Brothers shorts today, since all the horrible news is out. And we all did well on the First Solar shorts. There are zillion more shorts. Stick around.. We'll find them together. Send me an email with your favorite shorts -- . I didn't have time to find more on the weekend. I played and watched too much tennis. Sorry about the final. Nadal is an animal.

OK. That's it. Those are the opportunities I thought up in two hours of writing this column this morning. It's time for you to email me your favorites. Do it. Let's be positive. Let's get us all out of this mess.

You may be Taliban if ...

1. You refine heroin for a living but have a moral objection to beer.

2. You own a $3000 machine gun and $5000 rocket launcher but can't afford decent shoes.

3. You have more wives than teeth.

4. You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

5. You can't think of anyone you HAVEN'T declared Jihad against.

6. You consider television dangerous but routinely carry explosives in your clothing.

7. You've uttered the phrase 'I love what you've done with your cave.'

The story of the black man and the alligator.
A filthy rich North Carolina man decided to have a Party and invited all of his buddies.

He also invited Leroy, the only Black man in the neighborhood. He held the party around the pool in the backyard of his mansion.

Leroy was having a good time drinking, dancing, eating Shrimp, oysters, BBQ and flirting with all the women.

At the height of the party, the host said, 'I have a 10ft man-eating gator In my pool and I'll give a million dollars to anyone who has the nerve to jump in.'

The words were barely out of his mouth when there was a loud splash and every-one turned around and saw Leroy in the pool!

Leroy was fighting the gator and kicking its ass! The water was churning and splashing everywhere. Finally Leroy strangled the gator and let it float to the top like a dime store goldfish. Leroy then slowly climbed out of the pool.

Everybody was just staring at him in disbelief.

Finally the host says, 'Well, Leroy, I reckon I owe you a million dollars.

'No, that's okay. I don't want it,' said Leroy.

The rich man said, 'Man, I have to give you something. You won the bet. How about half a million bucks then?' 'No thanks. I don't want it,' answered Leroy.

The host said, 'Come on, I insist on giving you something. That was amazing. How about a new Porsche, a Rolex and some stock options?'

Again Leroy said no.

Confused, the rich man asked, 'Well, Leroy, then what do you want?'

Leroy said . . . .'I want the name of the sumbitch who pushed me.'

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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