North of Jewfish Creek

Dear Friend & Subscriber,

I don't know when you will be reading this but, I am starting to write it on November 8, 2000.

This morning's Miami Herald headline says, "BUSH WINS IT!" The TV however, says we don't know who has won it. Personally, I don't much care. It's just mildly interesting as far as I'm concerned. Florida, of course, is the "linchpin" state which means whomever down here has the best thieves will probably manage to win (steal) the presidential election.


Did you know the "Jerry Seinfeld Show" almost didn't get on the air when Seinfeld told the TV execs he wanted to do "a show about nothing." Why do I tell you that? Because, this is the first period of time in maybe 15 years where I didn't have something I was feeling pressured to write. That's a real luxury for me and I intend to take advantage of it. Some of you will say "Eureka!" as you read this newsletter and your creative juices start flowing. On the other hand, I'm sure some of you will find this "a newsletter about nothing." 

It's not going to be of earth-shaking importance either way.

Listen: I have a tall wooden box I keep in the main salon of my boat. It is painted a bright red. I call it my "fodder box." I put newspaper and magazine ads and articles in there of printed material that, for some reason, I find interesting. There might be a rhyme or reason to my collection but, I dare say, you will have a real challenge on your hands if you determine to try to find it.

Anyway, here's some of the material from my fodder box:

A. Here's a gadget about 3" wide and little more than 4" long. It has 33 buttons on it and a screen that measure 2-1/2" x 2". On the screen are bunches of little pictures. To me, these little pictures look like a closed envelope; another one looks like an open envelope; yet another is a magnifying glass; a rolodex; but here's two pictures of things I can't make out or understand; then there's a calendar showing one day of the month; an alarm clock with two bells; a calculator; this one looks like something thumbtacked to the screen as though it were thumbtacked to a bulletin board; here's two checkmarks; a Swiss army knife; an airplane; and finally, something else that confuses me. This gadget is called a "Blackberry" and you can get it from

  The ad says for $499 plus $39.95 a month, you will always be "connected" and you can send and receive e-mail to your heart's content. Plus, you get pager and calendar features, with the day, date and time. And to think, after a mere 7-1/2 years of intense study... you will be able to make use of the alarm clock, Swiss army knife and all the other indispensable doodads which are represented on the tiny screen by all these tiny icons. After studying this ad carefully, I have deduced, it is time to crumple up this piece of paper and throw it away!

B.  Here's a pair of gasoline-powered boots which has been designed by a Russian professor. Each of these "Fly-Me-To-The-Moon-Boots" has its own 12" piston that fires every time the wearer steps down on one of them, giving him a 13 foot stride and speed greater than Michael Jordan.
C. Here's a headline I like. It says, "37 Things A Writer Can Do To Avoid Writing." According to the ad under this headline, there are approximately 500,000 books written every year in the United States... yet... 90% of these same books are never published. Thanks to the wonders of technology, it is now possible to publish your book on the Internet (where absolutely nobody will ever read it) for only a few thousand dollars.
D. According to Reuter's, the number of millionaires in the world increased by 18% last year. There are now 7 million of them, with a total net worth in excess of 25.5 trillion. (And what's holding you back?)
E. Ted Koppel checks his e-mail only once a month. He is not happy about the enhanced speed of communications. He says it detracts from reflection and carefully-considered answers and solutions.
F. A man in Wausau in Wisconsin who is a former computer analyst has won $143,000 in damages from the company which used to employ him because... his boss spanked him. According to the article, his boss spanked him as other co-workers watched and when his boss was finished, he put his arm around this man and said, "Now you're one of us."
G. When it comes to charity, people in Mississippi (the poorest state per capita in the Union) donate more money to charity than any other state. Massachusetts has once again finished dead last for the fourth time in six years. All of this vital information came to us in what's called "The Generosity Index."
H. Here's a little self-explanatory graph which I am going to ask Theresa to reproduce in this newsletter about the cost of postage. (Now that does have something to do with direct mail, wouldn't you agree?)

I. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is now developing computer systems which use biorythmetic sensors attached to the user's body and tiny cameras that record facial gestures to develop individual emotional profiles. When a user becomes uninterested, frustrated or bored, the software automatically adjusts to something else.
J. Americans lose their virginity at the youngest average age in the world, that being 16.4. We have sex more often than people in other countries... 132 times a year on average. The Russians come in second with 122 times a year on average and, the French follow in third place with 121 times and, the Greek are next with 115. The Japanese are at the bottom of the list, making love only 37 times a year.

The article continues saying the average number of partners in a lifetime is 8.2. However, the United States is listed as being the most promiscuous with 16.7 partners. This study also says Brazilians are only third when it comes to how many sex partners they have.

This survey was conducted by the condom maker, Durex, and, in my opinion... it is total B.S.
K. What should be our priority? To help us decide, here are the approximate number of deaths per year from the following causes:
Smoking: 434,000
Alcohol: 105,000
Secondary Smoke 53,000
Auto Accidents: 49,000
Suicide: 31,000
AIDS: 31,000
Homicide: 22,000
Cocaine & Crack: 3,300

L. The Post Office in Florida encouraged people in 1925 to send live baby alligators back home to their relatives. The cost of sending a baby alligator to someone in your family was 25 according to the July 29, 1925 edition of The Miami Daily News. The size of the alligator could not be longer than 12" and as many as 10,000 baby gators were shipped during the course of a normal winter season.
M. I'm looking at a picture of a guy reading the Miami Herald. The story beneath the picture says, "Many years ago, my husband, John D. Locke, was a prominent advertising manager. We lived a very interesting life and retired in Pompano Beach. One of his highlights and every day pleasures is reading the 'Herald.' He is now 80 years old." (Now, isn't that special?)
N. "Slaughterhouse Worker Uses Simple Strategies To Become A Millionaire" - that's the headline of an ad written by Russ Whitney.
O. There is now a proposed regulation to set a 10' height limit here in Florida that regulates "donkey diving." (I kid you not.) The sponsor, Representative Suzanne Jacobs, Democrat, Delray Beach, said the legislation is needed because exhibitions featuring horses and mules jumping into a pool of water is not yet covered by existing state laws on cruelty to animals.

  "The most memorable aspect of them [donkey diving] is the fear and disorientation you notice on the animals' faces after they hit the water," says Joe Taksel. He continues, "This is a belly flop times ten."

One of our legislators is pushing to get the donkey diving height limit raised to 15 feet. However, the Bill originally drafted, lowered the limit to only 5 feet. Personally, I think we need to put a lot of thought into this piece of legislation.
P. A new tribe of people has been discovered in the Amazon Jungle in Brazil near the border of Peru. There are only about 200 members of this tribe and they live not on the ground but, just beneath the forest canopy. This is great breaking news... because... it is an untapped market. It is a pocket of people that, in my opinion, are in desperate need of a McDonald's and a place to buy "Twisters" at KFC.
Q. In Japan, there is a company called Medic which markets small range jammers which will stop cell phones from working in movies and other public places. (And all along, I thought there were "Cell Phone Gods.")
R. How many times do you think people in America go to to find out exactly what time it is? The answer is 6-1/2 million times per day.
S. The Welcome Wagon isn't around any more. It's said 1-1/2 million people per year used to receive a visit from the Welcome Wagon whenever they moved to a new home. Now, new arrivals in many cities just get a directory of coupons mailed to them. How insensitive.
T.   "A Good Scare Is Worth More Than Good Advice," says Sam Ewing.
U. Here's a list of the bills in circulation in the United States by denomination:
$1 bills: $6,370,871,342
$2 bills: $1,116,303,324
$5 bills: $7,387,791,395
$10 bills: $13,304,416,330
$20 bills: $82,267,022,800
$50 bills: $46,062,973,950
$100 bills: $280,465,289,400
$500 bills: $144,314,000
$1,000 bills: $167,519,000
$5,000 bills: $1,755,000
$10,000 bills: $3,450,000

V. There's a guy named Walter Beerman who was born March 13, 1893. He began working in Nashville at his father's drugstore when he was about nine years old. At 105, he worked 30-hours-a-week at his son's real estate business in Lakeland, Florida.
W. If you are curious, you can go to and order some ingenious software which will allow you to see what you could look like with more than 150 kinds of hairstyles, hats and eyewear.
X. "Warning: Do Not Read This Unless You Are Already Rich!" That's a killer headline I wrote for a company back in 1998.
Y. Los Angeles, California is this country's #1 destination for people who have decided to relocate.
Z. On the following pages is a full-page ad (reproduced to fit into my newsletter) which appeared in Investors Business Daily featuring Martin Weiss, President of Weiss Research, and self-proclaimed America's #1 financial watchdog. His long copy, full-page ad tells you how you can, if you act quickly, avoid being devastated by the coming Y2K crisis.


"All hell broke loose when we sent our Y2K surveys to 11,000 banks and S&Ls!
"Bankers threatened me with lawsuits. Regulators hit the ceiling. Why? Because over 1,305 financial institutions are behind schedule in fixing their computers for the Year 2000, and they don't want you to know who they are. But I will tell you. I'll give you the names of the most and least vulnerable. I'll tell you where your institution stands. Plus, I'll show you how to make windfall profits from the coming Y2K Crash."

Dear Friend,

   I recently sent surveys to 11,000 banks and S&Ls, asking them about their progress in fixing their computers for the Year 2000.

   All hell broke loose. Bankers sent me threatening letters. S&L managers went ballistic. Federal regulators hit the ceiling.

   One banker wrote me that "any survey results compiled by your company... will result in dire consequences." Another warned: "If you release any derogatory information regarding our... Y2K efforts, we will immediately begin a lawsuit against your firm and its management."

   But to ensure the safety of your money, you MUST have this information. So I'm publishing the results of our survey - no matter what they say!

"Many [bank] computers
could malfunction or
even shut down."
Congressman James A. Leach

   Here's why: If your bank isn't ready for the Year 2000, your checking and savings accounts could be FROZEN. Worse, just the FEAR of this event could cause a bank run any time BEFORE the Year 2000!

   According to our surveys, there are now at least 1,300 banks and S&Ls behind schedule in fixing their computers. And if you add credit unions, the number of institutions behind schedule swells to over 6,000!

   That's why Senator Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) recently declared: A study on Y2K by the Congressional Research Service "substantiates the worst fears of the doomsayers."


To help protect you from the impending disaster...

I want to send you
the actual results of
our Y2K surveys - FREE!

   My name is Martin Weiss, publisher of the Weiss Safety Ratings and the YEAR 2000 ALERT.

   According to a study by the US General Accounting Office (GAO), our safety ratings are more accurate than those of Moody's and Standard & Poor's.

   Louis Rukeyser says ours is a "tougher service." Fortune says Weiss is "the most comprehensive source" of information.

   Now, we have just introduced the WEISS Y2K RATINGS for thousands of banks, S&Ls and insurers.

   Without the Weiss Y2K ratings, it will be virtually impossible for you to safeguard your money from the Y2K Crisis. With our ratings, safeguarding your money could be the easiest - and the most important - precaution you can take.

   That's why I want to rush you our exclusive, one-of-a-kind Y2K ratings of the safest and most vulnerable banks and S&Ls in America. Plus, I will also send you our list of the safest and most vulnerable insurance companies.

   And to make sure I get this vital, money-saving information to you as soon as possible - I'll even send it to you FREE.

   It's all in a new special free report that I have just published - Y2K-PROOF YOUR MONEY, by our Y2K expert and financial analyst, John Mauldin. In it, you'll discover...


* The safest banks, S&Ls and insurance companies in America - and those most likely to run into serious trouble during the Y2K Crisis...

* 3 "Red Flags" that can instantly tell you if your bank or insurer is likely to be ready or not...

* Why many credit unions are particularly vulnerable to Y2K problems - and what you can do if you have money in one...

* Safer than a CD: No $100,000 limit on federal guarantee. No early withdrawal penalties...

* How to protect your variable or fixed annuities, whole life policies and health coverage...

   Y2K-PROOF YOUR MONEY tells you what the regulators and unprepared financial institutions don't want you to know - and what no other publication can tell you.

   If you have a checking or savings account... a bank money market fund or certificate of deposit... or an insurance policy, Y2K-PROOF YOUR MONEY is absolutely MUST-READING for you.

   But we want to do even more to help you weather the Y2K storm.

America's largest and richest
companies will FAIL to fix a lot
of their critical software in time!

   As many as 25 to 30 Fortune 500 companies could be wiped out; up to 180,000 small companies could cease to exist. When computers foul up, everything stops. Assembly lines freeze... checks can't be written... and invoices can't be issued.

   Unless the problem is fixed - and fixed FAST - Y2K-related bankruptcies are inevitable.


The Dow could easily fall 4,000 points before the dust settles. And a lot of the bloodletting will take place well BEFORE the Year 2000 deadline. That's why I also want to send you, as a second FREE gift, a copy of Y2K-PROOF YOUR INVESTMENTS: How To Make A Fortune In The Y2K Crash. In it, you will discover...

* The Y2K Losers: Companies that are most likely to suffer from the Y2K Crisis. Get rid of them now before the crowd, or your investments could be wiped out.

* The Y2K Winners: Companies that are most likely to be ready for the Year 2000. When others have sold these shares in a panic, you will be scooping them up and making a fortune.

* Mutual funds: Which ones to avoid, and which ones will actually profit from the decline.

* An amazing mutual fund that will automatically surge 20% every time the stock market falls 10%.

* An investment that you can buy today, BEFORE the Y2K stock market decline, which could be worth 10 or 20 times more AFTER the decline.

* The Y2K Bounce: Just when people have given up hope, things will be getting back to normal. That's when you'll see one of the sharpest, rip-roaring bouncebacks of all time - and will do some serious bargain hunting. Institutions and individual investors will be in a frenzy to own those stocks. We'll own them first.

   The Y2K Crisis will be the mother of all money-making opportunities. And I want you to be with us - on the winning side!

More Important Than Money: How To Protect
Your Home And Family From A Y2K Disaster

   Some well-intentioned, but rather hysterical analysts say you should sell everything, pull up stakes and move to the country. Then they say you should spend a fortune on storage food, electrical generators, and guns and ammo. Frankly, I believe that kind of advice does more harm 

than good.

What you need is real-world help - advice you can actually use to minimize the impact Y2K will have on you personally.

   That's why I also want to send you a FREE copy of Y2K-PROOF YOUR HOME AND FAMILY: Your Personal Year 2000 Survival Manual.

   This practical, step-by-step guide is based on our own cautious and balanced assessment of the impact Y2K is likely to have on your city, your home and your family. You'll discover...

* What you should know about the potential for food and water shortages - and what you really need in order to ensure your family's needs are met.

* How to best deal with a health crisis at home - plus urgent advice for anyone on insulin or other long-term prescription drug treatments.

* Simple strategies for coping with electrical failures and brownouts - and how even lengthy disruptions can be remedied by the average homeowner.

All 3 Timely Y2K Survival
Guides Are Yours, FREE!

   These three gifts are carefully designed to help you take three giant steps toward weathering - and actually profiting from - the Y2K Crisis:

STEP #1: Protect Your Money - Your FREE copy of Y2K-PROOF YOUR MONEY reveals the banks, S&Ls and insurance companies best-prepared to protect your money from a Year 2000 disaster - plus the institutions that are LEAST prepared...

STEP #2: Protect Your Investments And Prepare To Profit - Your FREE copy of Y2K-PROOF YOUR INVESTMENTS: How To Make A Fortune In The Crash gives you simple yet powerful strategies for both protecting your investments and actually piling up more wealth even while millions of others are losing theirs...


STEP #3: Protect Your Home And Family - Your FREE copy of Y2K-PROOF YOUR HOME AND FAMILY: Your Personal Year 2000 Survival Manual helps guarantee the safety and comfort of your home and family.

   For the next 60 days, I've arranged for you to receive all three gifts free with your risk-free subscription to YEAR 2000 ALERT, edited by our Y2K expert, John Mauldin. This is our monthly guide to surviving and growing wealthy before, during and after the Y2K Crisis.

   It's through the YEAR 2000 ALERT that we keep you up to date on all the rapidly changing developments in banking and investments.

   Plus, this is where we introduce you to those companies that are likely to enjoy the most success before and during the Great Y2K Bounce I told you about. Here are just two examples:

* A leading health equipment company which is already Y2K compliant today. It will dramatically increase market share and even buy the competition for a fraction of today's value.

* A little known company that actually makes a killing from buying bad dept, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. The Y2K Crash will be a bonanza for this company.

   In each issue, you get the very latest information from the most knowledgeable, unbiased experts in government, utilities, engineering and finance.

   Most important, you'll discover how to plan your finances in such a way that you'll actually make money - a lot of money - during the Y2K Crash.

The Y2K Panic Is Not Waiting
Around For You Or Anyone
Else. It's Already Beginning
To Hit Markets Right Here
And Now.

   In 1999, long before the computers and banks and insurance companies crash, the public could be panicking, rushing to withdraw their funds.

To protect your money and your investments - and to position 


 yourself for the profits of a lifetime - you have to ACT NOW. The Y2K Crisis is already here. There is nothing you can do to stop it.

   Normally, a full year of YEAR 2000 ALERT is a bargain at just $98 per year. But if I hear from you within the next 30 days, it's yours for just $49. That's just 13 cents a day.

   Call us at 800-871-2374 and she'll arrange to have these free gifts sent to you immediately. Plus, ask her to give you - right over the phone - a Weiss Y2K Rating for YOUR bank, S&L or insurance company.

   Some institutions responded to our survey with angry letters and threats. But many also sent us the information we need to assign a Y2K readiness rating. We can't guarantee yours is among them. But if it's not, we'll give you your overall safety rating for your institution, plus the phone number of its Y2K Project Manager or financial officer!

   Don't wait. Get your money to safety - and start making huge 

profits - before the Y2K panic begins. Call NOW.

Martin Weiss, Publisher

P.S. Sign up for two years - 24 months - and I'll send you FOUR additional bonus gifts to help you survive and thrive:

   The Weiss Y2K Watchdog Service closely monitors the Y2K status of up to three banks, S&Ls and/or insurance companies for you and alerts you by first-class mail if the rating of any of them changes. (Normally, Weiss Ratings charges $300 for two years of this service - but it's yours, FREE with your two-year subscription to YEAR 2000 ALERT!)

   Three Mutual Funds That Will Soar Before And During The Y2K Crisis. One fund will automatically rise 10% for every 10% decline in the S&P! You get no margin calls. And your investment never expires. The other is even more aggressive - it will go up 20% for every 10% decline in the S&P. The third makes money whether the market goes up

or down.

   Get Out Now! 18 Popular Stocks That Will Be Hit Hardest By The Y2K Crisis. The Y2K debacle will pound these 18 Goliaths with devastating sales declines. Their earnings will be hammered 50%, 60%, even 100%. You'll discover a great way to cash in on the calamity. Our technique is simple, the risk is clearly limited; and the profit potential is explosive!

   Y2K And Your Retirement. How to build a Y2K firewall around your nest egg, and how to keep it growing no matter what happens in the stock market.

P.P.S. Whether you subscribe for one year or two, if you're not 100% satisfied with any aspect of our information or advice, just call or write our office within 60 days and you'll receive a full refund, no questions asked. And you may keep ALL the materials you've received from us with my personal thanks for taking a look at YEAR 2000 ALERT!


About the above ad, was the guy who wrote it a flat-out con man... or... an idiot? I honestly don't think he was either. I just think he is another piece of living proof...

It's Now Virtually Impossible
For Any Of Us To Predict The Future
With Any Reliability Whatsoever

   Gary C. Halbert
P.S. Thank you for indulging me in the luxury of writing this "newsletter about nothing." Next month, I promise, I will write about something.
P.S.#2 By the way, I'm just curious, did any of you find this issue of my newsletter even a little bit interesting? Fax me at (352) 861-1665 and let me know.

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Copyright 2003 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.