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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor.

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9:00 AM EST, Monday, September 22, 2008: When Hank Paulson took his Treasury job in 2006,
he sold his 3.23 million shares in Goldman Sachs for $500 million. His sale at $154.40 a share is 24% more than today's early morning trading of $125.06. The best news? He didn't have to pay capital gains tax on his sale because of a rule introduced to stop wealthy people from being penalized for taking a government job and having to sell assets.

For a further clue to his brilliance, look at this morning's photo of the Treasury Department's Washington headquarters. You'll notice it's sporting a new logo:

Remember the song:

One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys.

Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
Seven little, six little, five little Indians
Four little, three little, two little Indians
One little Indian boy.

If you were the head of Goldman Sachs and had wanted to eliminate all your competitors (incl. Bear Stearns, Lehman Bros, etc.), you couldn't have done a better job than what Mr. Paulson has now done. This man is definitely no dummy.

What does it all really mean for you and me?
The devil is in the details. And the details aren't available. A figure of $700 billion is being bandied around as rescue money. But it could be less. And it could be more. Who precisely will get the money and how much they'll get is still up for grabs. There's a line forming outside Treasury.

Clearly, this is not about reality. It's about psychology. It's about getting financial markets working again (and rewarding Wall Street for a bunch of very dumb mistakes -- but I'm not going there this morning.)

Personally I don't believe happy days are here again. We still have an economy in recession. Corporate earnings across the board are under pressure.

Some savvy people think it's time to put one's toe back in. My oil guru, Jim Kingsdale, who writes Energy Investment Strategies wrote this weekend:

Does it mean that the low point in the stock market decline has been reached? That is not necessarily the case. I suspect the real economy will still go into recession. And even with good intentions, the task before the government will be full of challenges. It could be botched. But this does mean, that the great fear of an unstoppable infection in American financial institutions that risked spreading to all investment banks and great companies like General Electric is likely to be dissipated. At least unless and until the government proves itself unequal to the task. ...

In view of this change, I have put back into place a good percentage of the long positions that I had previously liquidated. While many stocks are still not cheap, some have become very cheap, I think. SQM, which I once thought could fall to 35 actually reached 21 today. It will probably earn $1.50 this year and is still growing strongly. TBSI is still forecast to to earn over $7 this year and has fallen from over $70 per share to under $20. One of the largest wire cable makers, Fushi Copperweld, which supplies many rapidly growing electric utility markets and is expected to earn $2 had fallen from over $20 (where I once thought it was cheap) to nearly $8.

How to fix your broadband connection: There are two ways to get broadband into your house:

1. Cable modem from your cable TV company. Fast and reliable, but not available in the boonies.

2. ADSL modem from your phone company. Also called DSL service. Slower and less reliable, but available in the boonies.

ADSL service is delivered over a conventional phone line. When there are thunderstorms, electrical surges come up your phone line and destroy your ADSL modem. This is DSL's biggest vulnerability, and your biggest nightmare. Hence, the first thing you must do -- when you smell an approaching storm, disconnect your ADSL modem from the phone line and from AC power. Don't plug it back in until the storm has well and truly passed. When you shut your computer down at night or leave to go out of town, disconnect the phone line and unplug the modem from your AC power. Trust me. This will save you countless hours on hold with Tech Support.

Now, I want to explain is how to fix "busted" DSL or cable modem service.

1. Turn off your modem, your router, and any attached computers.

2. Count to 20. Turn on the modem. Wait until the lights come. Most DSL or cable modems have four lights -- power, Internet, LAN and DSL. Three will come on within 30 seconds. The final one -- LAN -- will come when you attach a computer or a router.

3. Now turn your router on. Wait 30 seconds or so -- until a bunch of lights are on. Some are steady and some are flickering.

4. Now turn your computer on. Hopefully it will find your LAN (local area network) and the Internet. Note: the two are different. If it doesn't and you still can't connect to the Internet and here are some elementary troubleshooting tips and what they mean.

1. "Power cycling" means turning your modem on and off. Always wait 20 seconds between cycles. If it doesn't work on the third time, give up. Move to Plan B.

2. Plan B: Plug your computer directly into your DSL modem. On a Windows machine, go to Start/Run/cmd. That will give you a C:> prompt. Then type ipconfig /release. That will clear things. Now type ipconfig /renew. If you get, you've probably got a busted modem. Call your phone company and ask for a replacement. They'll need to set it up for you. That takes few minutes. Then go down to the phone company's office and pick up the new one. Installing it is trivial. Follow the turn-on routine detailed above.

If you get some numbers -- any numbers -- then you have a live modem and it's time to call tech support, They may be able to send some magic up your phone line and invigorate your modem. If they can't "see" your modem, it's time for a technician to visit and to figure out what's happened to the copper wires and other electronics that make the phone line from the phone company's office to your home.

In short, the key to keeping your DSL modem working is to turn it off and disconnect its phone line when you're not using it.

There is one other "solution," also called "backup." Get yourself a subscription to Verizon's, AT&T's or Sprint's Broadband Access service. Use your free trial to make sure one of them will work at your home. Use it while you're waiting for the phone company technician to fix your landline.

P.S. Much thanks to Taconic Telephone for setting up a replacement DSL modem for me this past Saturday. Special thanks to Pete Mercer, Pete Curry and Jeff Westover.

Worried about your laptop being stolen? Adeona may be useful. Click here.

The movie "Traitor" is worth seeing. This is about a plot about a small cell of Muslim terrorists plotting serious mischief. The cell is infiltrated by the good guy, who must act bad to prove he's bad and to find the cell's head so he can be dealt with.

There's sufficient plausibility in this movie to suggest that another 9/11 attack could happen. You walk out of the theater thankful for the handful of good guys. In this movie, the good guys are extraordinary. Most people who work for our government's security agencies are not extraordinary. They are bureaucrats, protecting their careers more than us. Some of this is covered in the movie also -- making "Traitor" an engrossing, sobering movie. Highly recommended.

The Irish Millionaire
Mick, from Dublin, is on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.' He's already won 500,000 pounds.

You've done very well so far,' said, Chris Tarrant, the show's presenter, 'but for a million pounds you've only got one lifeline left - phone a friend. Everything is riding on this question......will you go for it?'

'Sure,' said Mick. 'I'll have a go!'

'The question is which of the following birds does NOT build its own nest?

A: Sparrow
B: Thrush
C: Magpie
D: Cuckoo

'I haven't got a clue,' said Mick, 'so I'll use me last lifeline and phone me friend Paddy back home in Dublin'. Mick called up his mate.

'Fookin hell, Mick!' cried Paddy. 'Dat's's a cuckoo.'

'Are you sure?'

'I'm sure.' Mick hung up the phone and told Chris,'I'll go wit Cuckoo as me answer.'

'Is that your final answer?' asked Chris

'Dat it is, Sir.'

There was a long, long pause, and the presenter screamed, 'Cuckoo is the correct answer! Mick, you've won one million pounds!'

The next night, Mick invited Paddy to their local pub to buy him a drink.

'Tell me, Paddy? How in Heaven's name did you know it was da Cuckoo that doesn't build its own nest?'

'Easy. A cuckoo lives in a clock!'

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 on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look 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 Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.