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Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor. Previous Columns
8:30 AM Thursday, March 3, 2005: Saying No is hard. The first lesson you learn is: Never ever give a reason. If you do, you'll suffer doubly: First, you'll waste time justifying your reasons. Second, you'll feel like an idiot because your reasons are based on emotion, while his are based on the facts of day-to-day operations. He can always out-argue your emotions.

The hardest part of saying No is violating the "relationship" you have established by doing your due diligence -- a meeting or two, some emails, some phone calls, etc. All these lead the mendicant to believe he's going to get your money. The only solution is to say No earlier, which means develop a better nose. Set up criteria: Size, location, product, industry, etc.

Think what our goal is: It's not to make the highest return on our money. It's to protect our money. If we lose capital, we will never recoup it in earnings. Repeat that mantra in the shower every morning.

Repeat also: It's my money. I am allowed to choose how I don't spend it.

Oil is going to $62: There's too much demand around, not enough supply. An expert writes "If there is anything consistent about the forecasters it is their ability to "revise" their forecasts on a quarterly if not sometime monthly basis. The other amazing ability that all of them have since the beginning of "forecasting" is to underestimate demand and overestimate supply - I have been in this business for over 40 years and it has never changed. You have to wonder when such smart people will realize this. My tech guys see prices possibly going to 62 dollars for WTI crude within the next 30 days --- we don't say it is going to stay there but just the fact that indicators point to it hitting this number is a little scary."

This week's 25th Wedding Anniversary Party: I surveyed the attendees. Everyone had something wrong with them. Prostrate problems. Back problems. Shoulder problems. Rare diseases of the blood. I'm no doctor, but it struck me there are solutions:
+ More rest. Take a pillow to the office. Crawl under your desk for 30 minutes each day.
+ Less weight. Too many people are putting too much stress on their bodies by being too heavy.
+ A little more exercise. Walking is not exercise.
+ Don't get upset at garbage. Life is too short. 99% of the time, the problem will solve itself in time.
+ Tell the kids they need to help paying their own college bills. Explain it costs $65,000 in pre-tax earnings to send a kid to college for one year.

What amazed me most. So many of my friends are all in denial. They think they're 5lbs overweight, when they're really 25 lbs overweight. They think by walking to the subway, they're getting exercise. And the worst, they believe doctors can cure them, when a simple lifestyle change would be far more effective.

Bernie Ebbers mounts the "I am stupid and ignorant defense." People who met him said they weren't impressed. But was he really that stupid? At his trial this week, Bernie Ebbers, ex-head of WorldCom, explained, "I don't know about technology and I don't know about finance and accounting." Ebbers also said "I know what I don't know," he said, referring to his lack of understanding of the technology WorldCom sold as well as its finances. He said he did poorly in college, where his "marks weren't too good," and that he bounced from one job to another, working as a milkman, basketball coach and warehouse manager, before he and a small group of investors started the predecessor of WorldCom in 1983. Ebbers said his role was largely that of coach. He said his main job was to motivate the sales and marketing team. "I focused on the area I thought I could handle," he added, referring to his role managing the sales force.

BubbleVision has gone truly nuts. Larry Kudlow of CNBC last night strongly endorsed Carly for president of the World Bank. He said she believes in free trade. He did not mention her disastrous tenure at HP. Mr. Kudlow has never met a stock, a company, a politician, an economist or a person he doesn't love. Kudlow substitutes enthusiasm for intelligence.

We must stop the White House from appointing Carly as World Bank president. My site is receiving some attention. I've posted reader comments. Please keep them coming.

World's most incredible tennis court is on the heliport of Dubai's new Burj Al Arab hotel, which bills itself as "the world's most luxurous hotel." The cheapest room I could find was $1,333.33 for the night.

The Perks of Being Over 60
1. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
2. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
3. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
4. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"
6. You can live without sex but not without your glasses.
7. You have a new fascination hearing about other peoples' ailments.
8. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
9. You sing along with the elevator music.
10. You can't remember where you read this list.

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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