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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 Wednesday, October 19, 2005: The dumbest mistake you can make is not to sell your stock after it falls 15% -- from its peak or from where you bought it. We hold onto stocks for dumb reasons:

1. We fall in love with them -- their products, their management, etc.
2. We are lazy.
3. We ignore the charts, which usually tell a simple, objective story.
4. We don't like admitting to a mistake. While we hold it, we haven't lost anything. Only when we sell it, will we then be really dumb..
5. We think it will bounce. Somehow magically, one day the world will recognize our brilliance.
6. We enjoy the ongoing pain. This is called pleasurable masochism.
7. We've done a "fundamental" analysis and are convinced we're right and, for now, the market is wrong. This is supreme arrogance or superior intelligence. Probably the former.
8. There's an event coming up which may change everyone's perception. In this case it's November 10 -- TriPath's meeting with the few analysts it has.

My dumbest, biggest mistake is holding on TriPath Imaging (TPTH). Yesterday I did what I've done many times. I called several large holders of the stock and asked them what was going on? The stock has tumbled from $9.52 to its present $6.84. And the answer was the same it's always been:

1. The president, Paul Sohmer, is not hot on investor relations, but has finally been coerced into hiring a new investor relations firm.
2. The CFO, Steve Hall, is a good CFO, but a horrible investor relations guy.
3. There are two few analysts covering the stock.

4. The company is earnings positive. Its SurePath business alone could generate 33 cents in earnings in 2005.
5. The company has a ton of intellectual property -- over 110 issued patents.
6. New products have a huge potential, especially in the early identification of cervical cancer. And the potential market is gigantic.
7. The president has a million shares/options -- major incentive to sell the company for $20+ a share. He's already sold three companies. He'll sell this one when he's ready.

I have two recent analysts' reports. They're both positive on TriPath. They have lots of arguments, lots of information and lots of spreadsheets. For the Wachovia Securities (target $10 to $13) report, click here. For the Moors & Cabot report ($12 target), click here.

For now, I'm holding my TriPath stock, for all the reasons above.

America's enormous charm: See a need. Fix it. Don't wait for someone else. When Bobbi Warren's son, Todd, contracted Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, she pulled out all stops to help him. In doing do, Bobbi found not only was there no cure, little research, no support groups and no central information source. Bobbi is an enthusiasm powerhouse. She formed the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF). Now she's raised $21 million. Lymphoma research is exploding. Patients have support. Chapters are sprouting nationwide. There's information galore on LRF's handsome web site. Click here.

Last night Bobbi invited us to the Foundation's Annual Gala at New York's Marriott Marquis hotel on Times Square. The affair was truly gala, with celebs like Mariano Rivera and John Starks supporting the Foundation. Go Bobbi.

My friend, Bobbi Warren, founder of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Her son Todd is a Hodgkin's lymphoma survivor. If anyone finds a cure for lymphoma, it will be through Bobbi's efforts. I'm proud to be her friend.

The philosophy of George Ntim: Last night's dinner honored George Ntim, an amazing man with huge community accomplishments. In accepting the award, George explained his five prong personal philosophy:

1. Respect people.
2. Have integrity.
3. Be consistent in your dealings.
4. Be kind to people.
5. Serve the community.

"My computer is slowing.": As computer guru to all my friends, I hear "slowing computer" regularly. There are several solutions:
1. Back up all your data instantly. Best, back it up two places.
2. Run an anti-virus program.
3. Run an anti-spyware program. Careful not to erase needed cookies.
4. Uninstall all software you're no longer using, especially any you recently installed.
5. Run Disk Fragmenter. Right click on My Computer. Right click on Drive C: and go to Tools.
6. When all this fails to speed up your computer (as it probably will), it's time to start from scratch. Format your hard disk. Install Windows and your various software programs from scratch. When you do, look skeptically at all your software. Ask yourself, "Do I really need it?" If not, don't install it. The more software you install, the more your computer will struggle.

Is it Heaven or Hell?
A man dies and finds himself in a small room furnished with a couch and TV.
There's another guy sitting on the couch, watching the screen.
"So, is this heaven or hell?" he asks the guy on the couch.
"Well, there are no windows or doors, and no apparent way out," the man answers.
"So it's hell?"
"I don't know," says the other guy, without looking up. "They did give us this nice big TV."
"So maybe it's heaven."
"Maybe, but it has only one channel," the man counters.
"Oh, so maybe it's hell?"
"Well, the station it gets is pretty good. It's PBS."
"So, maybe this is heaven after all?"
"Yeah, except for one thing," the other guy says sadly, "It's always Pledge Week."

Seattle's Charming Weather
The newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. She gets up the next morning and it's raining. It continues to pour for the rest of the week. Leaning out her apartment window, she sees a little boy on the stoop below and asks,"Hey, kid, does it ever stop raining around here?"

The kid looks up and replies, "How should I know? I'm only six."

Recent column highlights:
+ 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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