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 Monday, October 31, 2005: Gorgeous weekend fall weather. Only idea -- Qualcomm (QCOM), under pressure from news that six mobile phone and component makers -- Nokia, NEC, Panasonic, Broadcom, Texas Instruments and Ericsson -- had reported it to the European Commission for not licensing its promised WCDMA technology to them. Actually their real bitch is that Qualcomm is charging too much for its royalties. I can't imagine how this will go anywhere. Qualcomm has the technology. They need it. They'll pay. End of story. Might be a good to pick some up for a bounceback.

Qualcomm is not for long-term holding, however. The company is now being run by the founder's sons, who are not as competent as Daddy.

Qualcomm is one of Investors Business Daily's "10 Highest-Rated Stocks that Investors Love to Own." The other nine are Apple (AAPL), United Health Group (UNH), Motorola (MOT), Halliburton (HAL), Amgen (AMGN), WellPoint (WLP), Starbucks (SBUX), Schlumberger (SLB) and Prudential Financial (PRU).

How you feel about the remaining two months of this year -- your quess is as good as mine -- will figure in whether you want to own any these stocks.

October in the stockmarket was terrible. It hurt a lot of people. Reports today's New York Times,

"Some of the year's best-performing hedge funds are nursing big losses for October, stung by reversals in energy stocks, takeovers and investments overseas.

Some large hedge fund managers are facing losses of 5 to 10 percent for the month, according to people briefed on the results. The losses may be tied in part to many funds selling their biggest winners at the same time, putting pressure on prices.

October, historically the cruelest month for investors, has been rocky. Despite a rally on Friday, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is down more than 2 percent for the month, and Treasury yields have recently spiked. Comments by Federal Reserve officials early in the month set off fears of rising inflation, while crude oil prices have eased.

You control your financial destiny. There is no one else. I've reiterated this theme a thousand times. It was underlined on the weekend by Roger Lowenstein, author of two great books -- Buffett -- the Making of an American Capitalist and When Genius Failed -- the Rise and Fall of Long-term Capital Management. He wrote the weekend's cover story on the New York Times Magazine. The illustration was:

The heading was "We regret to inform you that you no longer have a pension." The article talked about three recent corporate bankruptcy filings -- Delphi Corporation, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines -- "have blown the lid off America's latest, if long-simmering, financial debacle. It is not hedge funds or the real-estate bubble - it is the pension system, both public and private. And it is broken."

Virtually all pension promises are underfunded. The worst underfunding appears in the public sector, with cities facing huge problems. To read the entire gruesome piece, click here.

Need a small digital camera? I love my new Canon PowerShot SD-450. Things I like about:
+ At 5 megapixels and with great Canon optics, it produces remarkbly good photos.
+ I bought it on eBay for $309. Normal retail price is around $400.
+ It's tiny and light. Fits in the palm of your hand, in your pants pocket.
+ It has a huge 2.5" LCD screen -- great for previewing and viewing photos you've just taken.
+ It has a straight-through viewfinder also. I prefer taking pictures with a viewfinder.

+ It's fast. There's virtually no shutter lag. In the old days, you pressed the shutter and waited until the shutter went off, thereby missing great family expressions. No more. Now it goes off instantly.
+ To capture photos, it uses an SD memory card. I take that card and slide it directly into my Toshiba Tecra laptop -- at which point the card becomes another hard drive. I don't connect the camera with a cable and I don't load software into my PC. I simply copy the photos across to my hard drive, just as I do with Word files, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.

The new Canon PowerShot SD-450.

The only negative of this camera is that it doesn't do bounce flash, which is far more flattering than the straight-on strobe this one does. For bounce flash, you're looking at a big Nikon -- say a D50 or D70 and a SB-800 strobe. Cost: $1000 up.

A friend has a house in hurriance world in the Caribbean. He sent me a photo:

I email back: "The awnings over the doorway don’t look hurricane proof. Am I wrong?"

He emails back: "Nothing is hurricane-proof as a reading of my insurance claims will quickly verify."

Email is the greatest way to sell and inform your customers: It's not junk email or spam when you contact your customers about your new products or services, or new prices or new features, etc. I don't read emails about Viagra or penis-enlargement. But I do read emails from my suppliers -- the ones I spend money with.

The greatest software for sending professional emails to lists of customers is AY Mail. You get an HTML editor for colorful messages and a library of templates, so it's even more idiot-proof. I used the earlier version for years. It was fabulous. Now there's a new version out. At between $90 and $400, this is the greatest bargain in the history of software. It will pay itself off with the first few orders it generates. Get it. Click here.

The Carlyle Group revisited: Remember those great PowerPoint slides on Friday showing "The Ten Reasons Why You Really Went into Private Equity." A friend read the slides and reminded me of the ultra-famous email sent 5 1/2 years ago from Korea. In case you missed it (I had), here it is:

Life Was Good, and Then...

PETER CHUNG, a young buy-side analyst in the Carlyle Group’s Seoul office, sent the following e-mail message to a group of 11 recipients––including one at UBS Warburg and another at Credit Suisse First Boston––on Tuesday, May 15, 2001, via Carlyle’s system.

One or more of Mr. Chung’s "friends" loosed it, and it has been circulating around Wall Street since. According to Bloomberg News, Mr. Chung resigned from the firm on Friday. Neither he nor Carlyle returned calls for comment.

Re: Living Like a King.

So I’ve been in Korea for about a week and a half now and what can I say, LIFE IS GOOD....

I’ve got a spanking brand new 2000 sq. foot 3 bedroom apt. with a 200 sq. foot terrace running the entire length of my apartment with a view overlooking Korea’s main river and nightlife . . .

Why do I need 3 bedrooms?

Good question …… the main bedroom is for my queen size bed … where CHUNG is going to fu*k every hot chick in Korea over the next 2 years (5 down, 1,000,000,000 left to go) …… the second bedroom is for my harem of chickies, and the third bedroom is for all of you fu*kers when you come out to visit my ass in Korea.

I go out to Korea’s finest clubs, bars and lounges pretty much every other night on the weekdays and everyday on the weekends to (I think in about 2 months, after I learn a little bit of the buyside business I’ll probably go out every night on the weekdays).

I know I was a stud in NYC but I pretty much get about, on average, 5-8 phone numbers a night and at least 3 hot chicks that say that they want to go home with me every night I go out.

I love the buyside ... I have bankers calling me everyday with opportunities and they pretty much cater to my every whim - you know (golfing events, lavish dinners, a night out clubbing). The guys I work with are also all chill -- I live in the same apt building as my VP and he drives me around in his Porsche (1 of 3 in all of Korea) to work and when we go out.

What can I say ... live is good ... CHUNG is KING of his domain here in Seoul ...

So ... all of you fu*kers better keep in touch and start making plans to come out and visit my ass ASAP, I’ll show you guys an unbelievable time ... My contact info is below ... Oh, by the way ... someone’s gotta start fedexing me boxes of domes (condoms) ... I brought out about 40 but I think I’ll run out of them by Saturday . . .


Peter Chung
The Carlyle Group
Suite 1009, CCMM Bldg.
12, Yoido-dong, Youngdeungpo-ku
Seoul 150-010, Korea
Tel: (822) 2004-8412
Fax: (822) 2004-8440

The most dangerous food
A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode our stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, "Wedding Cake."

Pray for Vanessa
A friend coaches soccer. This morning he emails me: "One of my soccer girls, Vanessa Pean (16 years old, gorgeous, brilliant, great athlete), died Saturday night in a car accident -- FANTASTIC kid. She died around the corner from my house."

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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