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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.

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8:30 AM EST, Friday, March 30: Rules. You need to have them. 15% down and out is our oldest rules. I'm suggesting today two new rules:

1. A money manager or fund that doesn't keep up with the S&P 500 for two years should be summarily fired.

2. A money manager or fund that has a weird, non-logical, drop has probably become a Cockroach manager. You need to be out instantly, if not sooner. You can find out if they've become "Cockroach" by listening to their explanation of their disaster. If it sounds weird, get out instantly. If not, you're likely suffer more losses. It happened to me. I stayed in too long. Short fuses have their rewards. They limit your losses. One idiocy usually follows another.

"Investment Porn" from Tribeca Financial, LLC. My friend, Dan Good, sent me a piece from Tribeca. Neither he nor I know anything about these guys. But I did enjoy this piece (though the bit about fees is no longer accurate). They called the piece "Investment Porn."

"If I have noticed anything over these 60 years on Wall Street, it is that people do not succeed in forecasting what's going to happen to the stock market." -Benjamin Graham

The media has a propensity to alarm investors with hyped messages of gloom and doom and make people feel they need to rely on financial news shows and investment gurus for updated information on the stock market. It benefits the media to have investors hooked into financial and economic news stories and articles as they provide `valuable' inside information. The bottom line is this: the right time to be in the market is when an investor has money, and the right time to get out of the market is when an investor needs the money.

The longer an investor can stay invested, the better. An investor who remains fully invested in down markets enjoys several benefits. Remaining in the market avoids exiting a down market, thus avoiding locking in losses on stock mutual fund shares. Hefty trading commissions or taxes on any realized capital gains are also deflected. An investor can also benefit by never again paying high market timing advisory fees.

A study of time pickers tracked over 15,000 predictions by 237 market timing investment newsletters from June, 1980 through December, 1992. By the end of the 12.5 year period, 94.5% of the newsletters had gone out of business, with an average length of operations of about four years!

The survey concluded: "There is no evidence that newsletters can time the market. Consistent with mutual fund studies, `winners' rarely win again and `losers' often lose again." ...

There are two kinds of investors, be they large or small: those who don’t know where the market is headed, and those who don’t know that they don’t know. Then again, there is a third type of investor-the investment professional, who indeed knows that he or she doesn’t know, but whose livelihood depends upon appearing to know.” --William Bernstein

Global warming -- Part 2: I saw receding glaciers in New Zealand. I see Australia's worst drought in a century. And I read more and more reports by experts (for the latest, click here) saying that

1. We have global warming, and

2. The consequences will not be good, i.e. heatwaves, bushfires, more intense hurricanes, rising ocean water levels flooding coastal land, and

3. We humans are most likely responsible for it through our insistence on burning fossil fuels.

But, yesterday's column (click here) did bring a firestorm of email. I was wrong. Everything happening is "natural," they said. "The media and the scientists are pumping out gloom and doom because it's in their interest. And moreover you'll kill industry and put us into a depression if you institute any controls."

This "do-nothing" is easy to argue. What bothers me also is buying so much fossil fuels puts money into the hands of those countries who make mischief for us and our friends. There are simple measures. Were we to lift our mileage requirements from today's 21 miles per gallon to Europe's 42, one estimate suggests that we would no longer need to import gas form Saudi Arabia, whose King this week told the world that America's military presence in Iraq was "an illegitimate foreign occupation." 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists were Saudis.

Whether you believe or not, there are major investment consequences to global warming, some of which I discussed yesterday.

Doing business in the Email World: Everyone has email. Everyone expects instant responses. But sadly, email is neither reliable nor always read. Hence my new email rules:

1. Respond to every email. "Got it" works. "Excellent" works even better.

2. Send emails confirming phone calls. I will do this. You will do that, etc.

3. If you don't get a response to an email, it's probably in your friend's junk email box and he hasn't seen it. Call.

4. You can't negotiate anything in email. The phone is better. Even better is face-to-face.

5. Put your phone numbers (landline and cell), your street address and web site (if you have one) on each email. Makes calling you a lot easier. Think of each email as your business card.

6. Eyeball your outbox frequently. Outlook often blocks all your outgoing email. To send it, you have to close Outlook and then start it again.

Global times? Australia went off daylight savings at a different time to the U.S. Hence my clock showing if I can call my sister in Sydney got messed up, again. My Australian friend said try Time and I did. It's good. Click here.

JibJab does it again: JibJab were the brilliant creators of the popular animated video called This Land, which featured John Kerry and Pres. Bush. They've done it again with a new video called What We Call The News. It's neat. Click here.

Passover begins on Monday evening:
A group of leading medical researchers have published data indicating that Seder participants should NOT partake of both chopped liver and charoses. It seems that this combination can lead to Charoses of the Liver.

At our seder, we will have whole wheat and bran matzoh, fortified with Metamucil. The brand name is..."Let My People Go."

If a doctor carries a black bag and a plumber carries a tool box, what does a mohel carry? A bris kit!

Jewish Jeopardy
We give the answer, you give the question:

A: Midrash
Q: What is a Middle East skin disease?

A: The Gaza Strip
Q: What is an Egyptian Belly Dance?

A: Sofer
Q: On what do Jews recline on Passover?

A: Babylon
Q: What does the rabbi do during some sermons?

A: Filet Minyan
Q: What do you call steaks ordered by 10 Jews?

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. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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