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 Friday, October 20, 2006: When should you fire your money manager? I don't have a decent answer to this. I fired one manager when it had lost 15% from its peak and it was down below what I had started with. I was wrong. Since July, their portfolio (as it was in July) is up about 12% and rising. The big gainers have been Apple, Expeditors International, ITT Educational Services, McGraw Hill and Moodys. This was their portfolio in July.

Most people argue for a minimum of two years with money manager you researched thoroughly. My fuse is shorter. I suspect that that's wrong.

Cramer is right: Some technology stocks are taking off big-time -- Google and Apple. Their recent earnings were awesome. But most tech companies are lagging, especially the big, old ones, like Intel, Motorola, Texas Instruments and Nokia. Microsoft has shown some life recently in anticipation of upcoming releases of Windows Vista and Office 2007. Based on what I've seen and heard, the world won't embrace these two. Neither offer a compelling reason to upgrade.

OPEC is cutting back 4% of its oil production: Or about 1% of global consumption. The price of oil is stabilizing and will begin to rise after our November election. At last night's level of $58.50, the oil business is still very profitable.

CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. Sovereign Bank wired $50, not $50,000. Citibank credited $300, not $30,000. I don't know what's happening or why. But my old motto applies even more CHECK. CHECK. CHECK.

I now routinely end each email with a question, "Is that OK?" "Are we in synch?" "Does that make sense?" That way I know they got it.

My favorite travel camera -- Canon's SD700 -- just got better: Canon has debuted an SD800 and an SD900. If you don't have an SD700 already, get the SD800. If you have an SD700, don't bother upgrading. The SD900 is not necessary.


Price at New York's B& H

Lens - 35mm equivalent
35-140 mm
28-105 mm
37-111 mm
Digital zoom
Image stabilization
Weight (without battery)
145 grams
150 grams
165 grams

This is the new Canon SD800. It looks virtually identical to the SD700. It has a viewfinder and a 2.5 inch LCD screen. GQ Magazine wrote "the SD800 has one of the quickest start-up times and shortest shutter lags (the time between when you press a button and when the image is recorded) of a camera this size. This camera's newest feature is called Face Priority. When you take a portrait of your subject, he'll continue to be in focus even if he's in motion." GQ referred to the SD800 as "our favorite all-around ultracompact camera." I agree.

My favorite Citigroup message:

There was nothing else in the envelope.

Finally, error messages you can understand

So, how honest is your lawyer?
An investment counselor decided to go out on her own. She was shrewd and diligent, so business kept coming in, and pretty soon she realized that she needed an in-house counsel. She began to interview young lawyers. "As I'm sure you can understand," she started off with one of the first applicants, "in a business like this, our personal integrity must be beyond question."

She leaned forward. "Mr. Peterson, are you an 'honest' lawyer?"

"Honest?" replied the job prospect. "Let me tell you something about honest. Why, I'm so honest that my father lent me $15,000 for my education, and I paid back every penny the minute I tried my very first case."

"Impressive. And what sort of case was that?"

The lawyer answered: "He sued me for the money."

Off to Israel:
I'm off to Israel on a trip to meet Generals, politicians and people. I hope to find out more. I'm worried about war with Iran. My next column will be Monday, October 30.

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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