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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, November 16, 2007: Cash. It's as good as money. My
tennis friend Joe Daley just bought his dream house in the desert. Joe writes:

Rancho Mirage. A deal?? Who ever knows. But it's 3600 feet, has a detached casita, a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a three stall garage, is in gated community: Was in foreclosure. The lender is short selling, i. e. selling for $170,000 less than he was owed. I bought it at about $215 per foot. Some fixing is needed. I'm budgeting $10,000 including a new pebble tec pool surface.

It's next door to Mission Hills. 54 holes of golf; 29 tennis courts, including grass, clay and hard. I understand the best senior tennis in the valley. That probably means the whole country. Give some thought to coming out.

Joe, I'll be there next March. I'll beat your sorry ass. (Highly unlikely. Joe is really good.)

Meantime, I'm looking at investing in a Toronto office building that will yield me conservative 18% IRR. The only catch? I need to pony the money up by the end of November.

Cash is good.

If you buy a house in a development call Bellaire in Demarest, suburban New Jersey, the developer will throw in a new Maserati Quattroporte

Skip the house and buy the car. Only $121,000. .

Or you could buy the car you always wanted:

I have no idea what this monstrosity cost. But, for a large family, it can't be beat.

The stockmarket is definitely NOT the place to be at present: This is a long-term, weekly chart. Note how it's broken support.

This is the daily chart, retaining the same trendline.

Chest pains? Immediately put an Aspirin under your tongue and call 911. Do not have your spouse drive you to the hospital. You want to be in ambulance. They have equipment that could save your life.

How to ward off heart attacks: Take one low dose Bayer aspirin daily. Make sure you buy enteric coated tablets. Those are the kind that don't dissolve in, and ruin your stomach. They dissolve in your intestine.

The above two tips from one of the world's leading cardiologists who spoke at a private dinner I attended on Wednesday evening. He has been popping a "baby Bayer" every day since he turned 50.

Is napping good for one's health? From Bottom Line Health:

Yes, according to recent research. In a six year study of 23,681 people (average age 53), those who napped at midday for 30 minutes or more at least three times weekly were 37% less likely to die of heart disease than those who never napped.

Theory: Midday naps help protect the heart from stress-related problems, such as high blood pressure.

The best time is at

Suspend your computer. From a newsletter called Windows Secrets:

Many of us think nothing of leaving our computers powered up while we go to lunch or even 24 hours a day. A study in PC World found that a running computer consumes between 195 and 305 watts, while a computer in suspend mode can consume as little as 10 watts.

There are many terms for suspend. My Toshiba laptop calls it "suspend.." Macs call it "sleep."

Before They Spoiled the Software

Often a software's new version is far worse than the previous one. (Windows Vista is a case in point.) Here are 13 apps that PC World Magazine liked better before they were "improved" -- plus tips on finding the earlier editions. Here's the article from PCWorld Magazine.

Great news on fuel standards, finally. From today's New York Times:

Court Rejects Fuel Standards on Trucks

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15 — A federal appeals court here rejected the Bush administration’s year-old fuel-economy standards for light trucks and sport utility vehicles on Thursday, saying that they were not tough enough because regulators had failed to thoroughly assess the economic impact of tailpipe emissions that contribute to climate change.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, voided the new regulations for 2008-2011 model year vehicles and told the Transportation Department to produce new rules taking into account the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The court, siding with 4 environmental groups and 13 states and cities, also asked the government to explain why it still treated light trucks — which include pickups, sport utility vehicles and minivans — more mildly than passenger cars.

Under the rejected rule, the average fuel economy of light trucks was to rise to 23.5 miles a gallon in 2010, up from the current standard of 22.5 m.p.g., but still well below the current standard for passenger cars of 27.5 m.p.g.

The ruling, which is likely to be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, represents a major setback for both the auto industry and the White House at a time of growing public concern over the rising price of gasoline and the issue of climate change. ...

The appeals court, in a decision that was unanimous on all the major points, also chided the Bush administration for exempting larger S.U.V.’s — those like the Ford Excursion and the Hummer H2 that weigh 8,500 pounds to 10,000 pounds — from any fuel-economy standards.

Today's favorite cartoon.

Stolen from the latest issue of the New Yorker magazine.

Currency. Yesterday I wrote on currency and how gold, silver and oil were becoming the new currencies. Please read that important piece. It's the best piece I've written in eons. I'm still researching options on gold, silver and oil. Yesterday's article.

The Barber of Seville...
A guy stuck his head into a barber shop and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?"

The barber looked around the shop full of customers and said, "About two hours."

The guy left.

A few days later the same guy stuck his head in the door and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?"

The barber looked around at the shop and said," About three hours."

The guy left.

A week later the same guy stuck his head in the shop and asked, "How long before I can get a haircut?"

The barber looked around the shop and said, "About an hour and a half."

The guy left.

The barber turned to a friend and said, "Hey, Bill, do me a favor. Follow that guy and see where he goes. He keeps asking how long he has to wait for a haircut, but then he doesn't ever come back for a haircut."

"A little while later Bill returned to the shop, laughing hysterically. The barber asked, "So where does that guy go when he leaves?"

Bill looked up, tears in his eyes from laughter and said, "Your house."

The wife's day out
I was walking down the street when I was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless woman who asked me for a couple of dollars for dinner.

I took out my wallet, got out ten dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you buy wine with it instead of dinner?"

"No, I had to stop drinking years ago", the homeless woman told me.

"Will you use it to go shopping instead of buying food?" I asked.

"No, I don't waste time shopping," the homeless woman said. "I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive."

"Will you spend this on a beauty salon instead of food?" I asked.

"Are you NUTS !" replied the homeless woman. " I haven't had my hair done in 20 years!"

"Well," I said, "I'm not going to give you the money. Instead, I'm going to take you out for dinner with my husband and me tonight."

The homeless Woman was shocked. "Won't your husband be furious with you for doing that? I know I'm dirty, and I smell disgusting."

I said, "That's fine. It's important for him to see with his own eyes what a woman looks like after she has given up shopping, hair appointments, and wine."

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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