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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 Thursday, November 3, 2005: The stockmarket gotcha. I take a little Whole Foods (WFMI) off the table and this animal goes even higher. If I hadn't, it would have plummeted.

Whole Foods is way expensive, with a P/E of 61 times their expected full year earnings. We'll hear more next week when they reports their third quarter results. The key to Whole Foods burgeoning stock price is threefold:

1. The organic/natural foods food sector is hot -- though not for all. United Natural Foods, Whole Foods' biggest supplier, tanked recently after its president and CEO left. .
2. Whole Foods' stores are great and its products even better. 100% of our families' meals this week have come from Whole Foods.
3. There's plenty of potential growth.
Whole Foods has only 180 stores. By contrast, Wal-Mart has 5,434 stores.

Where will this end? I'm guessing not for a while. I'm glad I got many of you into Whole Foods.

The Wall Street Journal picked up on theme I've been writing about. Says the Journal, "There's an unprecedented wave of capital around the world, and its owners are all anxiously looking for a better return. The result is a potentially problematic "global game of chicken" that has investors diving into riskier assets." For the Journal's piece, click here.

All this is why I keep saying: Capital preservation is the name of the game. When in doubt stay out. When 2005 is done, treasuries and muni bonds will have done far better than many, many hedge funds, private equity funds, etc.

Time to smell the roses. Yesterday was gorgeous. It was not for sitting in my office and searching for the perfect investment. I took my new camera -- the Canon PowerShot SD-450 (for more, click here) and walked through New York's Central Park, down Fifth Avenue to lunch at the University Club (where I said "NO" to a great new opportunity.) Let me share my walk (not the opportunity).

The two tall buildings are the Time Warner Center. In the basement is a 57,000 square foot Whole Foods.

This nice man was fixing a fence. I used fill-in flash.

About 200 yards from Fifth Avenue is this delightful grotto.

He had his music and his sun. He was happy.

They sell photographs to the tourist next to the park opposite the GM building.

And sell them rides on horse-drawn carriages.

The American flag looks especially great in the sun.

The vendor was shy about posing. But my attention got him some business. So he was happy.

Two English and one Welch lady were on their lunch break from selling at Abercrombie and Fitch. They came over for a working holiday and were loving America.

Many talented artists will draw you for money. I hope you don't come out looking like this fellow.

Central Park has a small zoo. Note the seal.

The zoo has an amazing variety of animals. If you're over 65, it costs only $1.25. Younger, it's $6.

This is a favorite statue to climb on be photographed with. Central Park is rife with surprises.

These are the famous Central Park elms. They're probably the most expensive elms in the entire world. Most American Elms have died of Dutch Elm disease. Not these. Everyone should have such good medical care.

New York's Marathon this weekend will attract around 40,000 runners. This is the finish line, which most will see. Last year Hendrik Ramaal won the male race in just over 2 hours. Paula Radcliffe won the women's race in two hours, 23 minutes. I couldn't run in 5 hours.

As they run the final few yards, they'll run over a bunch of logos from the race's many sponsors, one of which is New York City's Sanitation Department.

This is softball field just down from the finish line.

When the weather is nice, I take my friends into the softball field, seat them on a park bench, feed them a $7 sandwich and make pose silly. We did this on Tuesday.

A friend sent me the first photo.
It's clearly the most clever collection of urinals I've ever seen. I wanted to know where it came from. He didn't know. So I googled "urinal.jpg."

There are many uirinal.jpg photos on the web. The only one of note was this one. I don't know where it is either.

Yes, yet another dumb blonde joke
A contestant on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" had reached the final plateau. If she answered the next question correctly, she would win $1,000,000. If she answered incorrectly, she would pocket only the $32,000 milestone money. And as she suspected it would be, the million-dollar question was no pushover. It was, "Which of the following species of birds does not build its own nest, but instead lays its eggs in the nests of other birds? Is it A) the condor; B) the buzzard; C) the cuckoo; or (D) the vulture?"

The woman was on the spot. She did not know the answer. And she was doubly on the spot because she had used up her 50/50 Lifeline and her Audience Poll Lifeline. All that remained was her Phone-a-Friend Lifeline. The woman hoped she would not have to use it because ... her friend was, well .... blonde. . She had no alternative. She called her friend and gave her the question and the four choices. The blonde responded unhesitatingly: "That's easy. The answer is C: The cuckoo."

The contestant had to make a decision and make it fast. She considered employing a reverse strategy and giving Regis any answer except the one that her friend had given her. And considering that her friend was a blonde, that would seem to be the logical thing to do. On the other hand - the blonde had responded with such confidence, such certitude, that the contestant could not help but be persuaded.

"I need an answer," said Regis.

Crossing her fingers, the contestant said, "C: The cuckoo."

"Is that your final answer?" asked Regis.

"Yes, that is my final answer."

Two seconds later, Regis said, "That answer is ... absolutely correct!! You are now a millionaire!"

Three days later, the contestant hosted a party for her family and friends including the blonde who had helped her win the million dollars.

"Jenny, I just do not know how to thank you," said the contestant. "How did you happen to know the right answer?"

"Oh, come on," said the blonde. "Everybody knows that cuckoos don't build nests. They live in clocks."

Recent column highlights:
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click here.
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click here.
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click here.
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click here.
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ All turned on by biotech. Click here.
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available: Click here. The full audio is available. Click here.
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click here.
+ When to sell stocks. Click here.

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. That money will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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