Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Technology Investor. Auction Rate Securities. Auction Rate Preferreds.
8:30 AM EST Tuesday, May 13, 2008: The
best news: My Australian miners are exploding. EWA, the Australian ETF, is roaring
back. Apple is exploding. And my favorite oil ETFs -- OIH and OIL -- are holding
in. There are vast areas of the market I've avoided (and railed against). I'm
is buying Electronic Data Systems (EDS) for $13.9 billion. There
are two things to note:
H. Ross Perot started EDS with $1,000 in 1962. That's an 88.25% annual rate
of return. That's better than any hedge fund or Warren Buffett has done.
Need I bore you? The best investment is your own business. Start one
Two-thirds-plus of acquisitions don't pan out. This one won't, either. First,
it's too big. Second, EDS is in the service business, hard to manage. Third,
HP overpaid. (Remember Newton's Rule of Buying: The price you buy determines
your ultimate profit.) EDS' stock has lately been on the skids because of lower
growth, which I don't see HP arresting. How?
crow: I thought Apple would blow Research in
Motion away. Wrong. It looks like BlackBerry will beat Apple to creating a 3G
(i.e. much faster) phone . BlackBerry is showing reporters its upcoming creation,
the BlackBerry Bold 9000. ComputerWorld writes:
support for tri-band HSDPA and quad-band EDGE (which means that it will support
the highest-speed GSM-family data networks wherever they are available worldwide),
802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, and both assisted and autonomous GPS,
the Bold could prove a formidable challenger to Apple Inc.'s next-generation
iPhone on connectivity alone.
It even looks
a bit iPhone-esque, with its glassy display area, generally flat profile and
rounded corners. Still, the Bold comes configured with a QWERTY keyboard,
and it retains the general dimensions of its predecessors, so it's much shorter
and somewhat thicker than the iPhone.
The Bold's removable
back is covered in black leatherette, and you'll be able to personalize the
device by buying replacement backs in different colors: blue, brown, green,
gray and red.
keyboard has guitar-inspired frets -- thin metal strips -- between each row.
The keys themselves are sculpted to help users avoid fingertip slippage. The
device also carries a 2-megapixel camera capable of up to 5x digital zoom.
The Bold's 624-MHz
StrongARM processor with full MMX (multimedia extensions) is the most powerful
CPU on a handheld to date. The BlackBerry Curve, in contrast, uses a 312-MHz
chip without MMX. The Bold's extra power enables the device to handle full-motion
video on its 480-by-320-pixel, 65,000-plus-color display (that resolution
is double the Curve's at basically the same screen size). In a demo at PC
World's offices last week, video clips on the Bold looked smooth and exceptionally
Bold 9000 could be a formidable challenger to Apple's next-gen iPhone
Of course, little
commercial video content is available as yet for non-Apple media players.
Further, the Bold's screen is diminutive compared with the current iPhone's
roomy 3.5-in. display, and it isn't a touch screen. (RIM President and Co-CEO
Mike Lazaridis simply smiled when we asked about reports that the company
is working on a touch-screen BlackBerry).
But since the
Bold's smaller display holds the same number of pixels as the current iPhone's,
images look much higher-resolution on it than on its competitor.
The Bold's 1GB
of on-board secure memory (on top of its 128MB of flash) will appeal to BlackBerry's
core enterprise community, providing storage for items that companies would
rather not make available for transport on a micro SD card. But users who
want to carry their music and video libraries on their handsets will be able
to do so via a micro SD card.
determine pricing, and RIM had no details on which U.S. carrier will introduce
the Bold (though AT&T, with the largest HSDPA network in the U.S., seems
a likelier candidate than T-Mobile, which has just begun to roll out 3G service
stateside). RIM said that it expects the Bold to be shipping worldwide this
Research in Motion
is overpriced with a P/E of now 63. But that hasn't stopped it exploding:
Meantime, my Apple
continues to blossom. Its P/E is "only" 39.
you wonder what God could do if only He had the money. GodTube.com,
a YouTube knockoff for the evangelical set, seems to be one step closer to building
a kingdom on earth after receiving a $30 million investment from GLG Partners,
a big London hedge fund. The investment valued GodTube.com
at a lofty $150 million. The investment will help sustain the on-screen Bible
and a prayer wall on which Web surfers can petition God to bless the afflicted
or revive a drifting relationship.
Unlike its secular cousin, YouTube, all content on GodTube must gain approval
from the sites headquarters in Plano, Tex. Vulgar and overtly sexual material
isnt allowed. Neither are videos promoting other religions for
that, there are JewTube.com and IslamicTube.net (which looks to me like a Google
site).. SatanTube.com is, however, for sale. GodTubes advertisers sell
Bible software and degrees from online seminaries. All this from NYTimes.
The Prayer Wall. GodTube only works with Internet Explorer. Each of the inscriptions
on the wall are hyperlinks.
boring backup reminder: Back up your working
files. I like FileSync.
Do it every day. Clone your hard disk every time you add or mess with software.
I like Apricorn's
collection of hard drives. I also have a backup laptop which
I bought on eBay. If my laptop crashes, I simply swap the hard drive into the
new one. And then I don't go nuts if the repair shop takes eons to fix my old
life changes: Two years ago, Wal-Mart was all washed up because it
wasn't catering to rich people. And everyone was becoming rich. Two years later
it's catering to poor people and doing richly. "Our business is even
more relevant to our customers today, given the current economic pressures,"
said CEO Lee Scott, announcing a first quarter 7% profit rise. And the stock
has flown away:
The essence of being a great stock picker is to pick these trends before they
happen. I'm learning. ... Who else will do well in a lousy economy?
Millau Viaduct is one of the most spectacular bridges in the world.
It's in Southern France. At its highest point, it's 886 feet above the ground.
That's taller than the Eiffel Tower, but not as tall as the Empire State Building.
It was completed in 2004.
Imagine how much infrastructure we could be building for $1 trillion -- the
present cost of the Iraqi War.
absolute worst racist slur this year:
Responding to complaints that FOX News doesn't
show enough Black and Hispanic people on the network, FOX has announced that
they will now air 'America 's Most Wanted' TWICE a week.
Are you a real cowboy?
As he sat sipping his coffee, a young woman sat down next to him.
She turned to
the cowboy and asked, 'Are you a real cowboy?'
He replied, 'Well,
I've spent my whole life breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing
fences, pulling calves, bailing hay, doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing
flats, working on tractors and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy.'
She said, 'I'm
a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in
the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I think about women. When I
watch TV, I think about women. I even think about women when I eat. It seems
everything makes me think of women.'
The two sat sipping
A little later
a man sat down next to the old cowboy and asked, 'Are you a real cowboy?'
He replied, 'I
always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian.'
was walking past the mental hospital. The patients were chanting "13...13....13...13."
The fence was
too high to see over. I saw a little gap and looked through to see what was
Some jerk poked
me in the eye with a stick.
Then they all
started chanting "14...14...14...14...."
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
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