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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 31, 2006: Nice to be away for a month. Not nice to return and see the piles. Just junking the mail order catalogs last night took two hours. Then there were the K-1s -- all those various syndicates I'm in. Good for me. Most are doing well. Nightmare for Brendan, my tax accountant.

One advantage of being away: It brings home how little we all really need. The key is renting a place with a washing machine. One set of clothes to wear. One set in the machine. The second key is giving away everything you haven't worn in the last year. The third key is not replacing anything.

I watched Cramer on JetBlue coming back. It was the first time in a month. Having a daily TV show (or a daily column like this one) is desperation times. To keep your viewers (or your readers) amused, you have to create great excitement with a new discovery every single day. Last night Cramer created his "Fast and Furious" portfolio -- momentum stocks that are hot (and already way over-priced).

Compare the one-year low to last night's close. Pity he didn't highlight these five earlier.

The danger of stop losses: from reader Michael Dehncke:

This morning (yesterday) somebody decided to sell 150,000 shares of Insite Vision (ISV). That tripped off a long string of stop losses and resulted in the stock falling to $1.47 at one point just after trading opened. As I type this, we are back up to $1.89, although where we will end up today is anyone's guess.

Conference call was amusing if you missed it. High points were:
- Kumar (ISV's president) wondering about the drop this morning;
- Estimate that total market for all products is $2 billion in next 1 to 4 years;
- Hope that a marketing partnership will be consummated in next quarter - noted that several companies were interested ;
- Plan to submit Azasite NDA to the FDA by close of next quarter;

Both of those last two bullets should be good for some runs in the next few months.

In short, he and I both agree, ISV should move even higher in coming months. Market capitalization is only $147 million, low for a hot pharma company. Look carefully at the chart. See how little volume this thing trades.

Specialty real estate makes huge sense. My Western tennis buddy is the king of mini-storage places in Spokane. He tells me there are still great opportunities if you can handle the clientele. Meanwhile, what do I find on my desk:

I fell into bed last night reading this thing. Guess what? I was impressed. As college enrollment soars, many colleges find it hard to keep up. Items:
+ The University of Arkansas was forced to book students into a local Holiday Inn Express.
+ Many students at the University of California at Irvine went to live at nearby trailer parks.
+ At Rutgers, the waiting list for on-campus school-owned housing has been 1,000+ for the past several years.
+ Many public colleges and universities are taking out master leases on entire apartment complexes near their campuses to house students closed out of university-owned dorms.
The book has a table showing university-owned beds to enrolled students ratio. It ranges from a low of 4.6% for Boise State University to a high of 47.5% (still low) for the University of Connecticut.

I know there's truth in this book from our family's own experience. My son is Dartmouth '04. We bought an apartment for him. This had three benefits. It avoided Dartmouth's hideously high on-campus accommodation charges, gave us some rental income (he had a roommate) and gave us a nice 30% gain when we sold it -- on his graduation.

How to get your LCD monitor to sing: Don't feed it an analog RGB signal. Feed it a digital DVI signal. The difference in clarity is staggering.

China surpassed Japan as the world's biggest holder of foreign reserves. The news came amid more politicking over China's currency policy, which some politicians see as a cause of the US's huge trade deficit. Charles Schumer, a senator who has been shrill in his attacks on Beijing (and on everything else), dropped plans, for the moment at least, to slap a 27.5% tariff on Chinese goods.

This chart from the Economist.

I don't make this stuff up.
Item 1, India: Two days ago, the day of the solar eclipse, the Hindustan Times of India advised pregnant women not to go outside during the eclipse to avoid having a blind baby or one with a cleft lip. It also advised that food cooked before the eclipse should be thrown out afterward because it will be impure, and that those holding a knife or ax during the eclipse will cut themselves.

Item 2, France: The headline reads: French Gendarmerie Nationale to use Subaru Impreza WRXs for chase vehicles. French cars were too slow. "We have a contract to supply 63 cars to the Gendarmerie Nationale for patrols on the roads," Subaru spokesman Gilles Varmoux said on Thursday. "There was a tender for four-door, four-wheel drive cars that could go faster than 149 miles per hour and had a reasonable price," he added. The Subaru Impreza WRX cars will replace Peugeot's 306 S16 and the Renault Megane Coupe. The police forces are among the most faithful clients of the local car makers, but this time the French offerings were just too slow. "These new vehicles will allow the national police to fight the most serious and most dangerous road offenses," the Gendarmerie Nationale, part of the defense ministry, said on its Website. The cars are for the rapid intervention brigade (BRI) which previously had vehicles that could not go faster 118 miles per hour. In 2005 there were 53,000 instances of people in France on the run in cars or refusing to stop at the police's request.

Nasdaq 100 Tennis from Miami TV Schedule
  Start (EST) End (EST)    
Today 15:00 17:00 Men's Semi-Final 1-Live ESPN2
Today 19:00 21:00 Men's Semi-Final 2-Live ESPN2
Saturday, April 1 12.00 14.00 Women's Final -- Live CBS
Sunday, April 2 12.00 16.00 Men's Final -- Live CBS

Another Norwegian joke:
Ole and Sven walk into a restaurant. While waiting for their order, they talk about the lutefisk and lefsa dinner at the Lutheran Church last night. Suddenly, a woman at the next table, who is eating a sandwich, begins to cough. After a minute or so, it becomes apparent that she is in real distress.

Ole looks at her and says, "Kin yew svallo?" The woman shakes her head no. "Kin yew git yewr brett?" The woman begins to turn blue and shakes her head no. Ole walks over to the woman, lifts up the back of her dress, yanks down her drawers and quickly gives her right butt cheek a lick with his tongue. The woman is so shocked that she has a violent spasm and the obstruction flies out of her mouth.

As she begins to breathe again, Ole walks slowly back to his table. His buddy Sven says, "By golly, ay herd oof dat Hind Lick Maneuver, but ay never seed nobody do dat before!"

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. 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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