Technology Investor 

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, Tuesday, November 6, 2007:

Stop losses now work. There's nothing like the vertigo tech stocks can give you. Better than the Coney Island Cyclone.

I love Garmin products. In good Peter Lynch style, I buy Garmin stock at $118.26 -- well into its climb towards the Stratosphere (I wished). The thing promptly plunges. Instead of obeying my inviolate 15% Stop Loss Rule, I let it go until I panic out at $98.45 (down 17%). At which point, the thing promptly beetles up to $124. Now I feel like a total idiot. But then, for reasons I don't want to know, the thing craters to last night's close of $95.08. Now I look like a genius.

The moral of this sad Garmin story? There are three:

1. Mr. Market is mean and nasty.

2. Drek happens. You can't make all of them winners.

3. My inviolate 15% Stop Loss Rule still stands. True, I could have actually made money if I had waited for Garmin to bounce back,I could have sold it at $124 and actually made some money. But even I'm not that good, says he modestly. In fact, no one is.

Tomorrow Australia's central bank will hike interest rates. This will be the second time this year. The primary determinant of where the American dollar sits is the spread between what you can earn on monies here and monies abroad. As overseas (e.g. Australia) raise their rates, while we lower ours, the spread widens. Hence the dollar falls. Current thinking is for another year of dollar falling before the American dollar stabilizes. In short, overseas investments make sense.

When to change managers. I own three types of listed equities:

1. Individual stocks. (See Garmin disaster above.)

2. Index funds. See Vanguard happiness articles. I LOVE Vanguard.

3. Money managers/hedge funds. Some do well. Some don't.

The question that I spent several hours on yesterday -- and still don't have an answer -- is when to kick out a manager.

Here's my thinking on when to kick out a money manager/ hedge fund/ stock fund, etc.:

1. When their performance is consistently lousy.

2. When they change the strategy that turned you on originally.

3. When they take their own money out.

The issue usually comes down to how long? That comes down to two things:

1. Your own tolerance for Cyclones. Mine is not high.

2. Your acceptance of the fact that no manager and no style of management works consistently. Eventually everyone will have a bad year. Your job is to figure why that year was bad.

SimulScribe reads your voice mail. This is a serious time saver. SimulScribe converts your cell phone voicemail into text messages and then sends them directly to your mobile phone, Blackberry, Goodlink enabled phone and/or your normal email address. I'm impressed with the accuracy of the transcription. Heck, if it can understand my weird accent it will work with yours.

Along with the transcribed voice message, you'll also receive a wav file of the message, so you can listen to it without having to call your voice mail, punch in your password and pray that your cell phone connection is clean. SimulScribe costs roughly 25 cents a message. Click here.

Spam won't stop: In the past four days, I have received over 1,000 messages from Yahoo Groups, Mail Delivery Service, Mailer-Daemon,, Barracuda Spam Firewall, system administrators and others in the past four days. One arrives every minute.. Most contain attachments which I'm guessing contain viruses.

I have no idea how to stop this onslaught..I'm praying they'll stop by themselves, some day. Meantime, I delete the messages without reading them, or worse, opening their lethal attachments.

Molvanîa -- A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry. I mentioned this book yesterday. But it's so good, I urge you again to buy it. This is a travel book to a fictitious country somewhere in central Europe.

I'm not going to spoil your fun by telling you what's in the book. It's the funniest book I've read in eons. It reads and looks like all those travel books we buy -- replete with maps, photos and illustrations. But the book is one gigantic brilliant spoof. I can't stop laughing. Buy one today for yourself and all your friends. Click here.

The high tech milking machine:
A farmer ordered a high-tech milking machine. Since the equipment arrived when his wife was out of town, he decided to test it on himself first. So, he inserted his "manhood" into the equipment, turned on the switch and everything else was automatic. Soon, he realized that the equipment provided him with much more pleasure than his wife did.

When the fun was over, though, he quickly realized that he couldn't remove the instrument from his 'member'. He read the manual but didn't find any useful information on how to disengage himself. He tried every button on the instrument, but still without success. Finally, he decided to call the supplier's Customer Service Hot Line with his cell phone. .

"Hello, I just bought a milking machine from your company. It works fantastic, but how do I remove it from the cow's udder?"

"Don't worry," replied the customer service rep, "The machine will release automatically once it's collected two gallons."

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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