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 Wednesday, November 8, 2006: Thanks for voting. Iraq was the issue. Now perhaps we can do something.

A reader instanced the Economist's "don't abandon the Iraqi people" recent editorial. My plan is:

1. Break Iraq into three separate states -- for the Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunnis.
2. Stay as long as it takes to measure up the borders, divvy up the police, military and oil monies, and get some semblance of government working.
3. Pull out.

The English did it with India/Pakistan. They left a mess. But eventually the people who hated each other figured something out. Eventually Bangladesh also became free.

Our staying there forever does no one a favor. The point of the American revolution was to get rid of the British occupiers. Why should the Iraqis feel any different to us?

A Democratic house will hurt healthcare?
Democratic chairmen of key health committees will hold hearings on drug prices and Medicare next year. With a Republican president, enactment of legislation negative to managed care or drugmakers is unlikely before '09.

Citigroup is holding a conference call at 1:30 p.m. ET today with former senior congressional health staffer and top health lobbyist and expert Patrick Morrisey, to discuss the outlook for health care in the new Congress.
Call-in numbers: 800-229-0281 and 706-645-9237. Passcode: 1512030
Reply will available until November 13. Call-in: 800-642-1687 and 706-645-9291. Passcode: 1512030

The problem with and the potential of biotech: Few stocks explode like biotech/pharma. A new drug is FDA approved and bingo, shoot for the stars. And now, we have widespread "off label" use. Our drug is prescribed for ailments it wasn't approved for, but works on. Some drugs get 90% off label use.

I like baby biotech companies -- those typically without FDA approval. Their market caps are low, their potential capital appreciation high.

The big "problem" is that, without FDA approval and without cash sales, the stocks bounce around on rumor, innuendo and the weather. If you can ignore the meanderings, there's often strong light at the end of the tunnel. But it takes time -- typically years. Cheap biotech stocks are not for the impatient.

My present holdings including Ziopharm Oncology (ZIOP), Chelsea Therapeutics (CHTP), Hana Biosciences (HNAB), InSite Vision (ISV), Manhattan Pharmaceuticals (MHA), Novadel (NVD), Point Therapeutics (POTP) and Vioquest Pharmaceuticals (VQPH),

The key with cheap biotech when it booms is to take some profit off the table and play with the bank's money.

Behind the present market buoyancy
83% of the S&P 500 have reported…..74% have beaten consensus. The 14 year running average is 57%. The 74% rate is the best rate on record. Will it last much longer? Read the last two days' columns and the influence housing's decline might have.

Australian mining boom continues: My favorite small Australian miners continue to be Kagara Zinc (KZL), Zinifex (ZFX) and Minara Resources (MRE). My favorite large Australian miner it Rio Tinto LImited (RIO). You have to love Rio Tinto if only because of its great name. It's a hugely diversified miner. North America and Australia each account for about 40 per cent of the Group's assets. The company has activities in more than 40 countries. It's the world's second largest miner of iron ore and may well soon be the first.

We focus on energy's wholesale price... We're fooled by dueling gas stations. We think there's a competitive market out there.


We're looking for a propane supplier for our new house 125 miles north of New York City. We called a bunch of providers yesterday. "What does a gallon of propane cost today?" Here are the results of our survey. I don't make this stuff up.

How much a gallon of propane costs in midstate New York
Percentage higher
HL Fuel
+ 16%
Main Care
+ 1%
+ 51%
+ 5%

The cheapest business is repeat business. So why don't more businesses put their name, phone number and web site on their products? I remember in the old days, we used to send little stickies that people attached to their phone with our phone number on it. That way they could always find us. It worked great. What about regular email reminders? "Come do business with us." This stuff ain't rocket science, just perseverance.

Makes sense to me. This is a fake quote. She never said it. But she could. She's pretty dumb, allegedly:

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey.

Moses goes to Heaven
Moses dies and goes to Heaven. God greets him at the Pearly Gates. "Are you hungry, Moses?" says God.

"I could eat," Moses replies.

God opens a can of tuna and reaches for a chunk of rye bread and they share it. While eating this humble meal, Moses looks down into Hell and sees the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, briskets, pheasants, pastries and wines. Curious, but deeply trusting, he remains quiet.

The next day God again invites him to join Him for a meal. Again, it is tuna and rye bread. Once again, Moses can see the denizens of Hell enjoying salmon, champagne, lamb, truffles and chocolates. Still he says nothing.

The following day, mealtime arrives and another can of tuna is opened. He can't contain himself any longer. Meekly, he says: "God, I am grateful to be in heaven with you as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread, and in the Other Place they eat like emperors and kings! I just don't understand."

God sighs. "Let's be honest," He says. "For just two people, does it pay to cook?"

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. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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