Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Wednesday, November 28, 2007: Down
one day. Up the next. But the trend -- to my brain -- is for clearly downwards,
I wish readers
would stop sending me hate mail, telling me I'm anti-American because I'm feeling
somewhat jittery and don't see persuasive, pervasive reasons to be generally
in equities. That doesn't preclude special situations -- like Australian mining
stocks. See below.
best investment advice: Never, ever listen to a stock tip -- even
one from your most successful investor-friend. The corollary of this is never,
ever give investment advice to anyone -- even if you feel 1000% comfortable
that your advice is sound.
computers to your people: An accountant I know can't do Excel. It
remains amazing to me how many people working in computer-intensive environments
do not understand how to use computers and/or the Internet. There are four ways
of getting your people up to scratch:
books. Many people can't use them. Chalk that up to poor education in their
2. Classes. They're
often not useful because students are reluctant to ask questions, thus showing
training. Very expensive.
4. The Video Professor's
video training CDs. These are the ones heavily advertised on TV. My IT management
friends tell me that these things actually work. Some of my IT friends have
put together a lending library in the company. Employees can train themselves
at their own pace and not be embarrassed by their slowness. The CDs are around
$90. But you can get the first one for $7. Call 800-297-6151.
huge entrepreneurial opportunity -- NOT : Verizon is opening its
network to other people's devices. But the devices have to be tested -- for
now -- in Verizon's labs. Figure months of delays. I have some communication
going with senior Verizon management begging them to issue a standard and let
anyone and everyone connect. I'm not optimistic.
switched governments: It went from a Liberal government of 11 years
(run by John Howard ) to a Labor government of Kevin Rudd. Traditionally Labor
governments mean just that -- favoring workers at the expense of businessmen,
cutting growth, spending like drunken sailors, etc. This shouldn't happen this
time. Rudd has specifically said he won't mess with Howard's successful economic
policies, which have created great prosperity, a huge export boom, a much stronger
Australian dollar and a Federal government budget surplus in the past several
fear in Australia is that America's economy will slow. The U.S. will buy less
from China . And China, in turn, will buy less of Australia's minerals. But
no one in Australia seems particularly worried, since Europe is now buying more
from China and China's own internal demand is exploding.
The second "big"
worry in Australia is availability of credit. Like here, banks have tightened
and it now costs more to borrow. The sub-prime contagion hit Australia, though
not as heavily as here.
irony emerged from the Australian election. Kevin Rudd's wife (Therese Rein)
is one of Australia's richest people. She has a job-finding / recruitment company
of 1,300 employees and annual sales of $175 million. She's reputed to be worth
$80-90 million. That number is impressive and in strong contrast to her husband's
low-paid government job. The ultimate irony is that much of Rein's revenues
come from the Federal Government, of which Rudd is now head. That's better than
Cheney and Haliburton.
In short, I'm
not worried about EWA or my Australian mining shares, which I have not sold.
yourself in the foot: My 45 years in business produced one lesson.
You can never hurt your competitor as much as he can hurt himself. You are your
own worst enemy. Two recent stories:
1. Samsung advertises
its solid state disk drive (SSD) extensively in the computer press. But nowhere
on Samsung's web site will you find where to buy it.
(a big computer retailer) responds to my email "Do you sell the Samsung
an automated response. Please do not reply to this message.
for your recent e-mail inquiry. Every effort will be made to respond within
2 business days."
wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation
says that "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best
strategy is to dismount." A reader commented that in government, education,
and in corporate America , more advanced strategies are often employed, such
1. Buying a stronger
2. Changing riders.
a committee to study the horse.
4. Arranging to
visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
5. Lowering the
standards so that dead horses can be included.
the dead horse as living-impaired.
7. Hiring outside
contractors to ride the dead horse.
several dead horses together.
9. Providing additional
funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.
the expected performance requirements for all horses.
And of course...
dead horse to a management position.
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.
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