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, Tuesday, September 25, 2007:
Go for a bike ride. Play tennis. Have a picnic in the park. Do not let this awesome weather go by without enjoying it.

The uranium boom is beginning seriously. An energy company called NRG Energy, will ask the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission today for permission to build two reactors in Texas. It is the first time since the 1970s (in fact 31 years) and the accident at Three Mile Island that an American power company has sought permission to start work on a new reactor to add to the existing array of operable reactors, which now number 104. I suspect they have a shot at getting permission.

In anticipation of the flood of nuke construction worldwide, investors have been "loading the boat" with shares like Uranium Resources.

Personally I prefer my Australian company Apex Minerals (AXM). Frankly, the best investment of mine remains my collection of Australian miners, which are now up, in total, a handsome 46%.

My portfolio consists of BHP, Rio Tinto, Kagara (my biggest holding), Zinifex, Minara, Oxiana, Apex, Western Sands and Metex Resources. This portfolio has also benefited by the sad (and continuing) slide in the value of the American dollar.

Some Australian miners (like Kagara) actually pay dividends. And I actually receive them in real cash -- which is as good as money.

Being a reporter or an investor? Reader Sally Higdon writes sweetly:

You didn't miss Garmin! You recommended it in 2001. I bought it for my IRA @ $18 and have held it all this time. It split once so my basis is $9.58 including two commissions. I also bought some more for my trading account in July after agonizing over the high price of $79.68 and $80. I had just bought the new Garmin Nuvi that you can carry in your pocket and I was so impressed I had to pay the price for the stock! Sometimes a high price is just the right price.

A fan of yours since your first free news letter. I sure missed them when the bubble burst.

Which now brings me to the point of this column. I write it for many reasons:

1. To clear things up in my own brain.
2. To gain a sense of accomplishment early each morning.
3. To lecture my kids.

There are two sad things to know: Writing a daily column is a HUGE undertaking. Second, Investing is a long-term business. Daily columns versus long-term investing really contradict each other. You can't have a new idea every day. But sometimes you do. And sometimes you don't load the boat with your latest brilliant idea. I didn't with Garmin, but Sally did. That's good. And you, as a reader, should recognize that. Ask yourself:

+ Is Harry's idea good?

If it is, do some research NOW.

Tomorrow's ideas from Harry may not be as good. But they won't include yesterday's ideas -- because that's bad journalism. You have to have something new every day. Which is journalism, not investing.

Get the difference.

Thanks, Sally, for helping me on this one.

Do not use Vista: It's slow. It's unreliable. It blows up. But the good news is that Microsoft has admitted its problems and the computer trade press reports that Microsoft has released a huge bug fix called Windows Vista Service Pack 1. So far you have to be one of 12,000 invite-only group of testers. This means that Microsoft doesn't trust its own bug fix! Meantime:

1. My Windows XP SP2 continues to work flawlessly.

2. PC World, a monthly computer magazine, reports that "the fastest Windows Vista notebook we've tested this year (2007) is a Mac -- the Apple MacBook Pro.

Compare Apple's sterling performance with...

Microsoft's miserable performance.

The freak sideshow at the circus. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has zero power to do anything. The religious leaders make ALL the decisions. He knows this. Instead of being frustrated trying to get things done -- like fix Iran's awful economy -- he has chosen the role of freak sideshow. Say outrageous things. Have fun. In this he performs a useful role for the religious leaders: He diverts everyone's attention from what Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader, and his unelected cohorts are actually doing.

He told Columbia University students and teachers yesterday there were no homosexuals in Iran — not one — and that the Nazi slaughter of six million Jews should not be treated as fact, but theory, and therefore open to debate and more research.

In short, sideshow rubbish. The man is a born performer. Think snake oil.

My favorite investor story: A nutcase called John Tompkins of Dubuque, Iowa was charged last week by federal authorities with threatening to bomb investment firms if they did not boost the value of his shares in 3Com. Mr. Tompkins was charged with 15 counts, including securities fraud, intent to extort, possession of an unregistered destructive device. Mr. Tompkins could face life in prison if convicted on the charge of using a destructive device while committing a violent crime.

I can understand Mr. Tompkins' frustration. It hasn't been a pretty ride for 3Com.

What we all have to look forward to.
A couple in their nineties are both having problems remembering things.

They go to the doctor for a checkup. The doctor tells them that they're physically okay, but they might want to start writing things down to help them remember.

Later that night, while watching TV, the old man gets up from his chair.

His wife asks, "Where are you going?"

"To the kitchen" he replies.

"Will you get me a bowl of ice cream?"


"Don't you think you should write it down so you can remember it?" she asks.

"No, I can remember it."

"Well, I'd like some strawberries on top, too. You'd better write it down because you know you'll forget it."

He says, "I can remember that! You want a bowl of ice cream with strawberries."

"I'd also like whipped cream. I'm certain you'll forget that, so you'd better write it down!" she retorts.

Irritated, he says, "I don't need to write it down, I can remember it! Leave me alone! Ice cream with strawberries and whipped cream. I got it, for goodness sake!" Then he grumbles into the kitchen.

After about 20 minutes the old man returns from the kitchen and hands his wife a plate of bacon and eggs.

She stares at the plate for a moment and says, "Where's my toast?

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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