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, September 27, 2006: The Canadian oil sands producer trusts have fallen heavily in recent weeks as the price of oil has plummeted. It's hard to believe oil will fall much lower -- given, short-term, the upcoming winter, and long-term, the high cost of securing new oil. Two companies stand out: Enerplus Resources Fund -- (ERF) and Penn West Energy Trust (PWE). The former is yielding 9.1%, the later 11.5%. I also own Canadian Oil Stands Trust (COS-UN.TO), which looked brilliant a few weeks back. It yields just under 7%. It's less preferred.

The Lawyers' Full Employment Act of 2006: I'm trying to buy back a property I once owned. I sold it with a two-page contract. The seller is now offering me a 16-page contract. I'd be happy with a check and a handshake. It's not to be. Off to my lawyers. Yuch.

This is a good deal: Yesterday NewEgg was selling my favorite Canon SD700 digital camera plus a one gigabyte card -- big enough for 600-plus photos -- for only $341. This morning they're selling the camera alone for $317.59. Click here.

The moral of this story: Poking around even one company's web site often finds the same product at wildly different prices. Calling them on the phone and saying "Yesterday, it was $XXX, today it's $XXX+, I deserve the lower price" often works.

If your computer is suddenly acting quirky: You may want to upgrade its BIOS. Most computer companies (especially laptop makers) upgrade BIOS regularly. But most don't tell their customers, even if you registered. Go to their web site every six months. It's trivial to upgrade.

Dealing with professionals: They have their agenda. You have yours. To them money may not be important. To you it may be. Protecting their tushy might be theirs. Getting the deal done might be yours. To assume that they are on the same page as you are -- though you are their client and pay their bills -- is wrong. It's your money, your goals, your timetable. It's your responsibility to manage the process -- even at the risk of becoming a micro-manager. This advice applies to all professionals.

If I had a hammer:
A Colorado man suspected of obtaining phone numbers in the Hewlett-Packard spying case destroyed his computer, according to today's Wall Street Journal.

The man, identified as Bryan C. Wagner, 29 years old, of Denver, told an investigator he had demolished his computer with a hammer and disposed of it after receiving a tip from a relative that he might be caught up in a criminal probe of the HP leak case by the California attorney general's office.

I don't make this stuff up.

New York City mulls ban on trans fats in its restaurants: Three years after the city banned smoking in restaurants, health officials are talking about prohibiting something they say is almost as bad: artificial trans fatty acids.

The city health department unveiled a proposal yesterday that would bar cooks at any of the city's 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.

Artificial trans fats are found in some shortenings, margarine and frying oils and turn up in foods from pie crusts to french fries to doughnuts. Doctors agree that trans fats are unhealthy in nearly any amount.

Proving certain guilt:
In a criminal justice system based on 12 individuals not smart enough to get out of jury duty, here is a jury to be proud of!!!

A defendant was on trial for murder. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense's closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all,"

The lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom.

" He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly.

A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement.

But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that you have a reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed, and I insist that you return a verdict of not guilty.

" The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door."

The jury foreman replied: "Yes, we did look, but your client didn't."

The double dose of Viagra.
A man went to the doctor's office to get a double dose of Viagra. The doctor told him that he couldn't allow him a double dose. "Why not?" asked the man.

"Because it's not safe," replied the doctor.

"But I need it really bad," said the man.

"Well, why do you need it so badly?" asked the doctor.

The man said, "My girlfriend is coming into town on Friday; my ex-wife will be here on Saturday; and my wife is coming home on Sunday. Can't you see? I must have a double dose."

The doctor finally relented saying, "Okay, I'll give it to you, but you have to come in on Monday morning so that I can check you to see if there are any side effects."

On Monday, the man dragged himself in; his arm in a sling.

The doctor asked, "What happened to you?"

The man said, "No one showed up".

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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