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Publication: Investor's Notebook
Fearless Forecasts

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Investor's Insight - January 5, 2007
          "A Digest of Investment Opinion From the 
             World's Leading Financial Advisers"


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FEARLESS FORECASTS -- 2007
by Scott Burns

It's that time again. 

It's time to stare into the future's blank face and 
declare what it holds. 

It's time for my Fearless Forecasts.

A woman will be elected president in 2008. Two friends 
learned this while visiting Ted Turner's Vermejo Park 
Ranch in northern New Mexico. While there, they heard 
the foreman observe, "Women are better working 
with bison because they are used to manipulating bigger, 
stronger and dumber creatures without the use of force."

Surely, men, bison and voters are ready for a woman's 
touch. 

------------------------------------------------------------

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Here's a flashlight you'll wonder how you ever lived without it. 
It can swivel up and down, or all around. You can even clip it 
on your belt, shirt pocket, on a cap, just about anywhere.

Swivel Head Flashlight

------------------------------------------------------------

The parthenogenesis movement will grow stronger. In the 
odd event that "parthenogenesis" isn't one of the words 
you regularly use around the breakfast table, it is the 
process of reproducing without the aid of a male and, 
of necessity, is based on a single set of chromosomes.

This is not a popular idea among us men, particularly 
at bars around closing time. But it isn't necessary to 
visit one of Ted Turner's ranches to understand the 
movement. 

Just visit a college campus and check out the ratio of 
women to men. Women outnumber men. College for women 
isn't about "a ring by spring or double your money back" 
-- as young women at a long-closed Boston junior college 
once said. College is about being productive and self-
supporting, a concept many young men fail to grasp.

Then again, it's all part of a distressing pattern that 
my gender is showing. According to a recent report on 
defined contribution plans from Vanguard, more men are 
clueless about money than women. More women than men 
participate in 401(k) plans at work at all levels of 
income up to $100,000. Women also save more. This means 
more adult men than women still believe in the Tooth 
Fairy.

A renegade senator will file the first honest legislation 
in decades. The new bill, largely inspired by the so-
called 2006 "Pension Protection Act," will be 
called the Truth in Legislation Act. It will require that 
legislation be titled in a way that describes what will 
actually happen as a result of the bill.

No sooner was the Pension Protection Act signed into law 
in 2006 than multitudes of corporations announced that 
they were going to freeze or otherwise eliminate their 
defined benefit pension plans. As Plan Sponsor, an indust-
ry magazine put it, "What the PPA effectively does is 
hammer the nail into the defined benefit coffin by re-
voking the financial wiggle room that encouraged corp-
orations to accept the pension bargain in the first 
place."

A private equity fund will buy Manhattan. Called the 
Wappinger Fund for the tribe that sold the island in 
1626 for 60 Dutch guilders, the Mother of All Private 
Equity funds will buy Manhattan because, well, they 
have the money.

Google won't buy everything else. Contrary to the belief 
(and business plans) of every new Stanford MBA, Google 
won't buy everything. High-tech desperation will result 
as new ventures actually have to function and become 
profitable. Ferrari and Bentley deliveries will be de-
ferred. The problem will appear to be solved when one 
daring start-up leader says: "Let's be quaint. 
Let's go public."

The identity of the greater fool will change. Long 
assumed to be hapless John Q. Public and silly Johnnie 
Oddlot, it will be learned that both got smart and 
started selling their overvalued shares to the new kid 
on the block, an impulse buyer named Joseph Private 
Equity. 

Bluetooth will become fashionable with the elderly. 
This will happen when someone introduces the first 
Bluetooth hearing aid. This will allow the hard of 
hearing to look just like the road warriors we all 
see at airports, walking Borg-like and talking to the 
air with blue lights flashing from the apparatus on 
their ears.

------------------------------------------------------------

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It even comes with magnets and a dry erase pen! Grab one or 
two of these while supplies last. I got two of them... one is 
in my kitchen and the other one is a gift for my sister-in-law.
   
Home Organizer and More!

------------------------------------------------------------

How will we know it's a hearing aid and not a mobile 
phone?

Easy. The wearers who are talking to an actual person 
directly in front of them will be hard of hearing; the 
wearers talking to the air will either be road warriors 
or people who need to get back on their meds.

Cosmopolitan and Money magazines will exchange editors. 
Surprisingly, the changes will be minimal. Cosmo will 
take a broader view, offering new articles with titles 
like, "Here's a Checklist to Keep Your Sex Life on 
Track," "What Positions Should You Use in 2007?" and 
"Can You Trust an Emerging Market? Six Signs of Trouble."

Money magazine will barely change, offering, "Six Hot 
New Funds" and "Intimate Details Your Fund Manager Won't 
Share."

Finally:

We will all worry a lot. We'll do that because it's so 
easy to forget that the only reason we worry about the
markets is that we have some money to worry about.


You can discuss this issue or any other topic in the new 
Investor's Insight forum. Check it out here...

 
Investor's Insight Forum

(Investor's Insight reflects the opinions of experts. It does 
not recommend any specific investments, and no endorsement is 
implied or should be inferred. For more information, contact 
the individual firms cited).

COPYRIGHT 2006 UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE

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