Wall Street to Main Street: News, Views and Commentary: June 19, 2006

It’s Monday June 19, 2006, and it’s the first day of the trading week and it should be an interesting one. Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has taken the bull by the horns as they struck a multiyear deal with PBS TV Stations to carry a wide array of PBS programming on the new Verizon TV Business. The lines are getting thinner and the war between phone companies and cable operators will begin to heat up this summer.

On the heels of that, the new FCC rules that would loosen the noose on major phone companies have been upheld by the U.S. Appeals court. Basically the large phone companies will not have to provide access to their networks in the residential arena. So smaller phone companies that are trying to grab market share from companies like AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon will have a tough time of it as the major carriers own the infrastructure that allows for service to a majority of the residential areas through out the country.

Political Front

In the Saddam Hussein trial prosecutors      cania-consulting    are pushing for the death penalty for Saddam Hussein and three of his former aides for crimes against humanity following a 1982 crackdown on Shi’ites in which hundreds were killed and tortured. So Hussein will rant and rave until the gavel comes down and his fate is sealed.

North Korea plans on testing a missile launch that, fully fueled, could reach as far as Alaska. So both the United States and Japan have warned North Korea against the launch. North Korea is taking advantage of the worlds attention that is diverted to Iraq and Iran to run this test. So this is a developing story.

Here in New York, city lawmakers are coming down hard on the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to cut anti-terror funding. This comes on the heels of a report that came out over the weekend that showed that al-Qaida had a plan to attack the NYC subway system in 2003.

Tid Bits

To combat the mighty Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERICY) Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens (NYSE:SI) have both agreed to a joint venture that will merge their mobile network operations, creating a $20 billion entity. Now the new venture will be called Nokia Siemens Networks and is still subject to regulatory approval, but if this should go through two things will certainly happen, one is that Ericsson will be given a run for their money and two , close to 10,000 jobs will be eliminated. That is the casualty of this mobile network war. It is a smart move for both companies, as the mobile arena is getting tighter. So expect for these stocks to trade higher on this news.

After months of Intel Corp (NASDAQ: INTC) creating historic lows in its trading history. UBS sees value in the company. The upgraded the stock from a Neutral to a Buy and gave the stock a target price of $23 and that is up from $21.Now the question is will the Institutional money begin to flow back into Intel or will the UBS upgrade just entice individual investors to jump on board. The stock closed at $18.30 on Friday.

Now lets take a look at the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) front, last week Bill Gates stated that he will be stepping down from the Day to Day duties of Microsoft. Now this is definitely getting mixed reactions as he was the visionary behind the company and at one point in time gave a helping hand to Apple Computer (NASDAQ: AAPL) when the company was down on its luck. But times do change, Microsoft, once being a vibrant young company that dared to be different, topping the one time juggernaut IBM (NYSE: IBM) seem to have gotten too big to have that burning desire and vision. With Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) looking to grab software market share from Mr. Softie by giving people what they want but for free seems to be just another nail being driven into the coffin of Microsoft. Now don’t count them out just yet, Mr. Softie is coming out with guns blazing against Apple’s iPod success by launching its own MP3 player. Some think that its late in the game but technology is constantly changing so they still may have a shot, but 10 years or so ago would Mr. Softie have waited so long to be at the forefront of an evolution?, all that we can do at this point is wait and see what the reaction will be to the new product line, the shift in management and whether the software giant will consider splitting the company at some point down the road.

Movers and Shakers

Some major movers in yesterdays trading session included Focus Media Holdings (NASDAQ: FMCN) , we mentioned Focus Media when it hit a ceiling of $68 three times in a row and sent out an alert that it could pull back into the $51 range, which it did. We also alerted our readers that once it found a bottom that their next trip up to $68 would be fierce and create a base in that level. The stock traded up $6.28 on Friday to close at $60.78, the momentum has been building up in the company and you should see it try to reach that ceiling this week. We also mentioned that their United States based mirror image is a small little known company by the name of Impart Media Group (OTCBB: IMMGE), for those that have taken steps in researching and getting involved in the company should listen in on their analyst/investor conference call that is set up for this Thursday. Take a look at their latest press release for call-in details.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD) made nice movement on Friday, trading up $4.69 to close at $44.31. The company announced about a week ago that they have upped their stake in a ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) Alaska offshore project called Cosmopolitan Unit, from 10% to 50%. So the stock moved up along with several other Natural Gas companies but investors had time this weekend to ponder many things that happened in the previous week and Pioneer Natural may be one of them.

Polo Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) made moves on the upside on Friday after reports surfaced that the New York based Polo was on the road to striking a deal with JC Penney (NYSE: JCP) in the form of an exclusive partnership. This would give a big boost to Polo and definitely add to JC Penney’s bottom line. Polo closed up $2.30 to close at $57.00 on Friday.

Other stocks that made nice moves on Thursday include Martek Biosciences (NASDAQ: MATK) which traded up $2.77 to close at $29.48, Cigna (NYSE: CI) traded up $2.25 to close at $93.45, Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO) traded up $2.21 to close at $30.64, Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK) traded up $1.71 to close at $67.39 and New Century Financial (NYSE: NEW) traded up $1.69 to close at $47.00.

Neurocrine (NASDAQ: NBIX) traded down on heavy volume on Friday, the stock tumbled $4.19 to close at $15.18 after stating that the company may have to supply the FDA with additional safety data to get the approval from them. This could lead to big delays, as they will undoubtedly need to conduct further clinical studies to get the FDA the information that they need.

After OmniVision Tech (NASDAQ: OVTI) announced great numbers analyst had a chance to review their quartley earnings and question the quality of those earnings. Analyst at both Piper Jaffray and Needham & Co questioned that as well as the company’s outlook. So this drove the stock down $3.37 to close at $23.44 on Friday, this was on over 14 million shares traded. Their average volume has been approximately 1.8 million. So once the bleeding stops OmniVision may require a second look.

Under Ten

Some stocks that made moves on the upside under ten bucks include Britesmile (NASDAQ: BSML) for some odd reason closed up 90 cents to close at $3.23 on Friday. Initially the stock gained lots of interest on the heels of a fluff bid from one of their private competitors, which Britesmile graciously turned down. So you can expect the stock to slip back a bit over the coming days after the bump up last week. But who knows perhaps the fluff bid for the company may be backed up by a solid financial group, but that may not be likely just yet.

Orthovita (NASDAQ: VITA) traded up 41 cents on Friday when word got out that the Food and Drug Administration approved its product for controlling bleeding during surgeries. Now this may also pull back a bit even though the run wasn’t tremendous it did hit a new 52 week high, which could cause for a pullback.

Wet Seal (NASDAQ: WTSLA) received an upgrade by Matrix Research from a Sell to A Hold, this morning and it should be a welcome upgrade which could give boost to investor confidence in Wet Seal. So look for a tad bit of movement in this one today.

Other stocks that moved higher yesterday under ten bucks included Catalyst Semiconductor (NASDAQ: CATS) which traded up 27 cents to close at $3.89, Memry corp (AMEX: MRY) traded up 23 cents to close at $2.90, Great Basin Gold (AMEX: GBN) traded up 20 cents to close at $1.85 and Novavax (NASDAQ: NVAX) traded up 19 cents to close at $4.71 on Friday.

Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades

Recent Analyst upgrades include aQuantive (NASDAQ: AQNT) was upgraded to a Buy from a Neutral by Merriman, Curhan Ford & Co and to an Outperform from a Market Perform by Piper Jaffray, Martin Marietta Materials (NYSE: MLM) was upgraded to an Outperform from an In-Line by Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) was upgraded to an Overweight from an Equal Weight by Lehman Brothers, Vulcan Marterials (NYSE: VMC) was upgraded to an Outperform from an Inline by Goldman Sachs and Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ: MNST) was upgraded to a n Overweight from an Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley.

Recent Analyst downgrades include Petsmart (NASDAQ: PETM) was downgraded to a Neutral from an Outperform by Credit Suisse, and Michaels Stores (NYSE: MIK) was downgraded to a Peer Perform from an Outperform by Thomas Weisel Partners.

Recent analyst coverage initiations include Vishay Intertechnology (NYSE: VSH) which was initiated with a Hold rating and a $16.50 price target by Citigroup Investment Research, Novacea Inc (NASDAQ: NOVC) was initiated with an Outperform rating by Cowen 7 Co, Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) was initiated with an Outperform rating and a $30 price target by Credit Suisse, RH Donnelley (NYSE: RHD) was initiated with an Overweight rating and a $64 price target by Lehman Brothers, the stock closed at $51.55 on Friday and Allscripts Healthcare Solution (NASDAQ: MDRX) was initiated with a Neutral rating by UBS.


Today we are featuring Universal Truckload Services (NASDAQ: UCAL) as our “Furious Five” feature on the Investors Corner. As our subscribers already know, this will be sent out separately later today to subscribers only.

For our outlook, and other vital information on the companies that we feature as the “FURIOUS FIVE” on Wall Street to Main Street just subscribe for FREE at

We cannot stress enough that investors need to do their due diligence, call the companies, get the information, consult with your investment advisor and if you do not have one consider getting one. Put the same time into investigating these companies as you do when you go to purchase a new television, it’s only for your protection. When it comes to thinly traded securities stagger your orders or put a limit order in to avoid a run up.


Is a Muzzle Right For Your Dog? Advice For Pet Grooming

Home pet grooming can be a harrowing experience for both animal and owner. The activity stresses out some dogs and cats and, as such, they behave differently when they are getting a bath or having their nails clipped. They may snip or bite at the pet groomer even if they familiar with the human grooming them. A loving, docile pet can become all teeth and nails if they do not want to be groomed. The best, most humane way to protect both human and animal during pet grooming is to use a muzzle.  sieumarketing   Though some people think that a muzzle is cruel, it can keep the animal restrained and stop them from possibly doing harm.

A muzzle fits around the dog’s mouth and is secured around the back of the head with ties or straps. Pet grooming experts agree that the animal feels no discomfort when wearing the muzzle. It leaves enough room for the pet to breathe and at the same time restricts the animal from biting. Muzzles are made in many different sizes. Even small dogs with tiny mouths can inflict a nasty wound. There are no muzzles for cats but there are “head bag” contraptions that fit over the entire head, restricting biting. Pet grooming experts say that the bag is thin enough for the cat to breathe, but will keep the animal from biting the groomer.

There are many styles of muzzles the home pet groomer or pet grooming expert can use. The most popular one is called the softie. The softie is made of a pliable, soft, but resistant material that gives your dog the ultimate comfort as they are being groomed. The DuPont fabric is tear-resistant and durable, able to hold up during any pet grooming experience. It is stain resistant and can be machine washed. If you are grooming several dogs in succession, it is wise to wash the softie between dogs or to use another muzzle so diseases or bacteria will not be passed on.

There are several sizes of softies even for little breeds like Yorkies or Chihuahuas. Pet grooming experts do emphasize to not keep the muzzle on for an extended period of time. The muzzle could interfere with the animal’s natural cooling system.

The softie should not be used with overly aggressive dogs. When grooming an animal known to bite or attack, a leather muzzle is best. The leather will have enough strength to restrain the dog’s jaws and keep the groomer from getting bit, while having adequate space for the dog to pant and cool down. Besides pet grooming, these muzzles can be used during walks. They will warn passers-by that the dog is not friendly while protecting the public from a dog who doesn’t get along well with strangers. The drawback of the muzzle is that if your animal is attacked by another, it will have no way to defend itself.

Whether you are pet grooming or just worried about the disposition of your animal, the muzzle will protect you and your pet. Remember to look into multiple muzzling options before settling on any one model – find out what variety works best for your pet.

Jonathan Hook own Bow Meow Pet Care Centre in North Bay, Ontario. Much more information about dog care and general pet care is available

Men and women should know that Sirdar is a famous brand when it comes to knitting patterns, and yarns. This brand is well known for quality yarns for hand knitting. It has a mark in creating wonderful, new fashion yarns and colours every season. Along with other brands Sirdar has extensive range including yarns for baby, classic, and fashion knitting. These fashion knitting range of yarn weights from 2 Ply to super chunky. Informatively a wide array of fibers are used from classic wools, mohairs, alpacas, silks, cottons to newest favourites such as knitters, soya and bamboo. Women always check the quality, reliability, durability, yarn weight, ball weight, and their affordability. All these are important aspects of purchasing knitting patterns and yarns available for all ages in the market. You can avail knitting patterns and yarns of Sirdar for babies which are incredibly versatile and comes in handy 25g balls, can say a perfect size for all the little toy knits.

Buyers can find latest trends of Sirdar knitting patterns and yarns having fantastic collection of 19 fun shades, and these colors are introduced for knitting toy designs with the inclusion of some funky colours creating exciting dolls clothes and perfect flesh tone too. Especially this brand is famous among ladies as they like Big Softie which is an incredibly soft and lightweight super chunky yarn, with a fashionable loose twist construction which is once again incredibly easy to knit on 10mm needles. Also found that its products are quite beneficial for babies, and is also perfect yarn for beginners and for knitters who want a really quick and amazing results. Moreover Big Softie also knits all the Denim Ultra designs to reach every level of customers. Some of the examples of knitting designs of Sirdar are Baby Bonus 4 Ply, Baby Bonus DK, Baby Bonus Lustre DK, Big Softie Super Chunky, Bonus Aran etc.



Affiliate Marketing For Softies

Everyone wants to make money online from home without the need to be a technical expert. Acronyms like HTML, FTP and the stomach churning SEO strike terror into the hearts of all internet ‘wannabies’.

Add to this the pressure of creating your own product, website and marketing campaign and your average newbie will be thinking that the 9 to 5 treadmill isn’t so bad after all.

It’s all very well for gurus to suggest sub contracting all of this stuff, using sites like elance,  sieumarketing   however the very reason many are attempting to sell online is that they need more income and quickly ! Spending a pile of money outsourcing before earning any is a little like giving a drowning man a do-it-yourself lifeboat kit.

In order to speed up the money making process, ‘affiliate’ marketing – selling someone else’s existing, successful product – has obvious appeal. No product to develop, this has already been done for you. The product creator might also supply a whole raft of goodies from promotional graphics, sales copy and perhaps a ready-to-go email campaign.

Then, as importantly, what you don’t get involved in. Handling complaints and queries, returns as well as after sales support. Most important of all, the time, effort and cost of product creation. Furthermore if you choose wisely from an affiliate agency like Clickbank, you know, in advance, that you are promoting an already in-demand product. Your own creation, despite lots of research and market surveys, might still bomb.

Any downside to affiliate marketing ?

Well it isn’t your product, which means that not only do you not keep all of the sales income but you cannot modify it. With your own creation you could turn it into an audio or video product, make it part of a larger package or split it up into smaller, less expensive units. Talking of sales, I will not handle any affiliate product that pays less than a 50% commission or $40 (£20) per sale.

All things considered I believe that affiliate marketing should be the second stage in any ones online business; the first being eBay for reasons I have explained, at length, elsewhere.

‘What is the easiest, quickest and least painful way of getting into affiliate marketing ?’

You see I contend that speed of results and ease of execution to be crucial. It is understandable for a back bedroom internet empire builder to become easily discouraged. Working alone on what, at times, seems am impossible mission is only bearable if some sort of success, no matter how small, is achieved reasonable quickly. This is the spur needed to carry on. Weeks of work followed by yet another expensive failure leads, all too often, to the towel being thrown In.

So what is the least complicated affiliate program known to man ? – An eBay one !

eBay have the products ( at least 60,000,000 at any one time ), one of the worlds largest websites and customers logging on to buy !

The final piece of the jigsaw, therefore, is to establish what is the best eBay affiliate program available. After much research I believe the BANS – Build A Niche Store – to be head and shoulders above the rest for lots of reasons.

If you recall I suggested that affiliate marketing should be the next stage following a spell of selling on eBay, so what could be a more natural choice than to become an eBay affiliate ?

Click through to the BANS site to find out how you choose your niche, build a website, link it to eBay, display the relevant ‘live’ listings, promote the site, collect your cut of the eBay listings fee then move onto your next site. I just wish to highlight what makes BANS so different.

Before you buy you can check out dozens, if not hundreds, of live, successful BANS produced sites, visit today’s forum – live and check out their huge list of glowing testimonials. Their after sales back up is second to none and their commitment to helping you achieve success cannot be faltered.

With am almost inexhaustible choice of niche sites for you to create, making money online from the comfort of your own home and establish a real business.

A combination of the power of eBay coupled with the limitless help by the BANS people to get your eBay-linked site up, running and profitable is a formidable team.

You owe it to yourself to check out this inexpensive opportunity without delay – it even has an eight week money back guarantee!

Please click through to [] to find out more about the amazing ‘BANS’ program and should you decide to make money online from your home by using this proven system, I will give you a copy of my book ‘Ebay My Way’ with my compliments as well as my free weekly newsletter.



Italian Mastiff – Is This Big Dog Actually a Softie?

Sharing the traits of the Mastiff breed, the Italian Mastiff can seem very intimidating with its large body build and its rugged appearance. Don’t let appearances fool you though, as this dog is among the most sensitive mastiffs that you’ll be able to meet. Known for their intelligence, even-mindedness, endurance, and agility, these dogs make the best watchdogs to guard your family and your home.

As a protector, it has enough strength to guard their masters even from even wild boars and bears.  ソフト闇金   In this aspect, the Italian mastiff will not let you down as its protective instincts make it extremely wary of strangers and other animals. However, it will not go out of its way to pick fights with dogs and other animals. In the presence of its master they can learn to relax their defensive stance if they perceive that their master is not threatened. With enough training, they can be submissive and very accommodating to other family members, even children.

Somewhat betraying their intimidating build, Italian mastiffs actually possess a gentle demeanor, and are very tolerant and patient with kids. They also tend to be very protective of women and children, regardless of their gender.

The Italian mastiff’s ability to notice small changes to their environment shows just how much sensitivity this dog breed has. As such, they might react negatively whenever you rearrange your furniture at home.

You should also be prepared to give your dog a lot of attention, because the Italian mastiff is one breed that needs to be given much affection by its master. It must not feel ignored or unwanted or else it will suffer. When training it, be sure to avoid scolding it too much or it will be very upset!

Still, Italian mastiffs are very easy to train so you shouldn’t have much trouble with your pet at all. In exchange for your attention and the love that you shower on it, you will be rewarded with the companionship of a dog that is very affectionate and would want nothing more than to be with you as much as it can.

Steve Blake has got a mastiff obsession and would like to share it with you. You can discover a ton more about Italian Mastiffs watchdog.html] and load of mastiff advice by checking out Steve’s site at

Everyone wants to make money online from home without the need to be a technical expert. Acronyms like HTML, FTP and the stomach churning SEO strike terror into the hearts of all internet ‘wannabies’.

Add to this the pressure of creating your own product, website and marketing campaign and your average newbie will be thinking that the 9 to 5 treadmill isn’t so bad after all.

It’s all very well for gurus to suggest sub contracting all of this stuff, using sites like elance, however the very reason many are attempting to sell online is that they need more income and quickly ! Spending a pile of money outsourcing before earning any is a little like giving a drowning man a do-it-yourself lifeboat kit.

In order to speed up the money making process, ‘affiliate’ marketing – selling someone else’s existing, successful product – has obvious appeal. No product to develop, this has already been done for you. The product creator might also supply a whole raft of goodies from promotional graphics, sales copy and perhaps a ready-to-go email campaign.

Then, as importantly, what you don’t get involved in. Handling complaints and queries, returns as well as after sales support. Most important of all, the time, effort and cost of product creation. Furthermore if you choose wisely from an affiliate agency like Clickbank, you know, in advance, that you are promoting an already in-demand product. Your own creation, despite lots of research and market surveys, might still bomb.

Any downside to affiliate marketing ?

Well it isn’t your product, which means that not only do you not keep all of the sales income but you cannot modify it. With your own creation you could turn it into an audio or video product, make it part of a larger package or split it up into smaller, less expensive units. Talking of sales, I will not handle any affiliate product that pays less than a 50% commission or $40 (£20) per sale.

All things considered I believe that affiliate marketing should be the second stage in any ones online business; the first being eBay for reasons I have explained, at length, elsewhere.



Does Fish Oil For Blood Pressure Actually Work?

The benefits of fish oil for blood pressure are widely hailed and confirmed by clinical studies. For example, it is regarded as a safe method of effectively fighting hypertension.

But how does fish based oil actually help against high blood pressure? Let’s find out.

Lowers Blood Pressure

The omega 3 essential fatty acids (DHA and EPA) are natural blood thinners and help to reduce pressure in the blood. They have a major role in breaking down fibrin, a compound which forms blood clots.

Ingesting EFAs (essential fatty acids) therefore reduces the chances of strokes and heart attacks dramatically. Blood circulation is also smoother as a result.

Therefore, fish based oil can help blood pressure effectively.

No side effects

A fish oil dietary supplement which is properly purified is the healthiest fish based oil and also contains no side effects. This is a increasingly prominent reason for people choosing a fish supplement over blood-thinning medication.

General Quality of Health Improved

When you take a fish based oil for blood pressure, it’s not only your blood pressure that is getting better — many areas of your life are too. Fish supplements can help fight cancers, defeat depression, ease the pain of arthritis and help with skin conditions. This is only the start of a long list.

For All Age Groups

It isn’t only the elderly who have high pressure in the blood, many other age groups do. Stressful Western lifestyles coupled with bad diets and little exercise can lead to young people having high blood pressure.

This means that anyone can benefit from adding a fish supplement to their diet.

Getting the Right Dosage

While taking a fish oil will help with your blood pressure, over-exposure to omega 3 fatty acids — as with many other products — can actually have negative side effects. That’s why you need the correct dosage.

Two soft gels will be perfect for health adults. However, for the elderly, children and the unhealthy, the dosage may fluctuate. It is best to consult your physician before you make any choice on adding a fish oil supplement to your diet.

This is especially true if you are already on blood-thinning medication.

Getting the Right Fish Oil

Experts have a found the most potent formula of a fish oil yet. They blended two fish, Hoki and Tuna, which made one of the most effective fish oils. Try and keep an eye out for a fish based oil like this.

Also, make sure it has been molecularly distilled, as this will be the product which is safest for you. Combining these factors should allow you to choose the best fish oil for blood pressure.



Bank Account Perks Don’t Come Free

Bank Account Perks Don’t Come Free

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Almost every body has noticed that there is a periodic entry for bank charges on our statement. But few of us understand what that is all about. Remember those highly attractive services that you liked when you got this bank account? Well today you are paying for them. This might come as a surprise to many. After all, most of us take it for granted that since we have an account with Bank X, we are eligible for a number of miscellaneous services.

So it is always better to f…

Bank Charges, Bank Charges Refund, reclaim bank charges

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Almost every body has noticed that there is a periodic entry for bank charges on our statement. But few of us understand what that is all about. Remember those highly attractive services that you liked when you got this bank account? Well today you are paying for them. This might come as a surprise to many. After all, most of us take it for granted that since we have an account with Bank X, we are eligible for a number of miscellaneous services.

So it is always better to find out in advance what the free services offered are and what extra services can be availed at a cost. Hopefully what you are paying for is what you intended to pay for. These include, using of the ATM card beyond a certain limit, issuing more than the allocated number of check books, or availing of bank statements in between quarters.

All these are activities that may invite additional bank charges. People often feel that they should be getting some of these services free of charge.

Either because you did not have the money or because there was a withdrawal limit, sometimes you might end up overdrawing. In a case of overdrawing, a fee is levied by the bank on the extra amount that has been withdrawn. This is merely because the bank has done you a favor by providing you with funds when you did not have enough. Another example that we can look at is that of issuing a check to a third party while being unaware of insufficient funds.

In such a case, the check will not be cleared. Instead, it will have to be presented once again after we have made arrangements for the necessary funds to be deposited. A charge will be levied on the cheque that has bounced and additional fees will be levied for representing the same. Prudent financial management dictates that we do bother about these little sums too.

Whether we issue checks today or whether we had issued them a long time ago, it is our responsibility to ensure that the checks get cleared. In a case like this, we will have to pay the bank a certain amount to hold the cheque till we deposit sufficient funds into it. Any service carried out by the bank for our benefit will be outside of what we are eligible for. That is why I find it reasonable that a bank charges for them.

While traveling or otherwise we may be unable to locate our bank’s ATM, so we might use the teller machine of another bank. However, a certain amount will also be debited from our account for the same purpose. Even if not free, the ATM card serves a valuable function.

Some services provide by banks are free of charge, others are paid for. Make sure that you do not take any service for granted. Of course there is no harm in paying for what you want to buy. At the same time make sure that you are not accidentally paying for something you do not need.


Balance Transfer Credit Cards – Why Switch Cards?

Balance Transfer Credit Cards – Why Switch Cards?

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This article covers the advantages and disadvantages of balance transfers and the opportunity to do it.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards, Balance Transfer Credit Card, Credit Card Balance Transfer, Balance Transfers, Balance Transfer

Article Body:
In recent years, credit cards have become a major component of everybody’s life. It started as a convenient spending tool but now it has become a reasonable way to gain access to much needed credit in the form of cash and loans. Keeping a balance on a credit card account is today a very common thing and interest rates are a dominant factor in peoples’ daily finance.

As newer credit cards are issued every year, a balance transfer between credit cards is a common way for many to reduce their monthly payments and fees to lending organizations. If the credit history is kept in good standing, a balance transfer can be much easier and rewarding as most credit cards will be willing to grant a new loan to obtain future customers. Most credit cards offer introductory rates that are as low as zero percent and very often this low interest is kept up to twelve months.

Clearly, if someone has a very high interest rate on a credit card, he or she will save a lot of money if he/she can transfer its’ entire balance into a different credit card. But a balance transfer between credit cards can actually be used effectively for years by switching from one card to another while paying down the overall balance. But that is a dangerous game to play.

Let’s take for example, Mr. X who opens a credit card account at a given rate, say 7.99%. As he uses his card, he decides to carry a balance and just make the minimum payments. Within a few months, his balance or principal will most likely be the same and his minimum payments will only be paying down a percentage of the interest. Let’s assume now that another credit card issuer offers a 2.99% interest rate to Mr. X to transfer his balance. Mr. X will save 5% right off the bat by moving his balance. Furthermore, let’s assume that a year later a third credit card issuer offers 0% interest rate. In this case, Mr. X can transfer the balance yet again, effectively eliminating the interest paid for the period offered.

But obtaining a balance transfer credit card has a few rules that need to be followed. We already mentioned the fact that your credit history must be in good standing. The balance to be transferred should not be too high or at least in the price range that the other credit card is willing to lend. Another important factor is fixed fees that are involved in balance transferring. Because of the potential for significant balance transfer fees, before making a final decision on balance transfer card it is very important to compare the net benefit of the card offer. Simply put, because of added fees and surcharges, the other credit card offering a low or even a 0% interest rate might not be sufficient to justify such transfer.

At least two more elements must be taken into consideration regarding balance transfer credit cards. First to consider is the duration of the lower interest rate offer and second, is the amount of credit available for the actual transfer. The duration must be for a sufficient amount of time and the interest rate at the end of the promotional period must be lower or equal than the original interest rate. In this case, it is possible to find many credit cards that will guarantee the same introductory interest rate for the entire life of the balance that has been transferred.


Evaluation Criteria for Selecting Your Business VOIP Solution

Introduction to VoIP Business Communications

Migrating your business communications to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) from the legacy Public Switched Telephony Network (PSTN) or PBX is a sound business decision, now that VoIP has achieved acceptance as a mainstream communications service. However, business VoIP solutions come in many varieties, from VoIP call termination service to IP Centrex service. The primary motivation for businesses to migrate their communications network infrastructure to VoIP services comes from the ability to make much less expensive voice calls and faxes. Deployed properly, business VoIP, whether implemented in small, medium, or large organizations, can lead to improved productivity and increases in profitability.

Types of Business VoIP Solutions

One solution for businesses looking to reduce their communications costs is known as Voice over IP Call Termination through which a business could potentially save up to 50% on calls as compared to the PSTN. This service uses the public Internet or privately managed IP network to terminate your business calls instead of the PSTN, thereby realizing substantial savings for you. Another business communications replacement service is known as IP Centrex, or Hosted Centrex service. This can be thought of as a virtual PBX replacement service. The Service Provider you choose provides PBX-like features from their “host” softswitch at their POP over your business’ existing broadband connection. You should determine which type of service best suits your business needs as part of your business VoIP solution evaluation.

Evaluation Guidelines

Because of the increasing popularity of VoIP to reduce business communications costs, there have been many recent Service Provider entries into the marketplace. With the current proliferation of new providers, they are often newly minted wholesale carrier Service Providers and individual resellers who make very attractive price and quality claims that they cannot meet. This of course will lead to your dissatisfaction with VoIP business service and a negative outcome to your decision to switch. For these reasons, it is best to create a “short list” of well-known, established and reliable VoIP Service Providers. A reliable VoIP Service Provider would be any communications provider who has a solid customer base, seasoned telecom management and engineers, with 2 or more years of reputable service experience.

Evaluation Criteria to Select Your Premier Business VoIP Service Provider

All well-established VoIP carriers in the market will claim to offer the best VoIP business solution. So how do you choose who should be on your “short list” and final choice to implement your VoIP solution? The following criteria should all be considered when selecting the best business VoIP provider:

1. Voice Quality: A premier Service Provider will have multiple POPs (Point of Presence) and softswitches, resulting in minimum latency (aka delay) and allowing for faster connections. Minimizing delay and jitter (the short term instability in the quality of a call) are 2 crucial parameters of providing high quality VoIP voice and fax calls. Another critical parameter that should be used to gauge voice quality is the Service Provider’s MOS (Mean Opinion Score) number. MOS Scoring is a subjective test of a call’s quality originally designed by the Bell Companies to quantify the quality of a voice call, with 1 being unacceptable and 5 being superlative. A typical range for Voice over IP would be from 3.5 to 4.2 using a G.711 Codec. In contrast, a score of 2.8 to 3.2 is typically seen for cell phone calls. For your business VoIP service, you should specify a minimum 4.0 MOS score from your potential provider, with a goal of getting as close to 4.4 (which equates to PSTN “toll quality” network service) as possible. Good voice quality is one crucial factor in your evaluation that separates the average provider from the best.

2. Pricing: One of the most critical areas that probably attracted your business to moving to VoIP service in the first place was to reduce its telecommunications costs. Make sure to thoroughly understand the rate structure of the various providers you have chosen to evaluate. Due to increasing competition in the business VoIP space recently, rate can vary widely. All VoIP networks are not created equally, and a provider’s internal cost structure and profit margin requirements can create a wide range of pricing structures. Also be sure to negotiate discounts based on volume of calling, generally expressed as MOU (Minutes of Use) that you plan to send to the Service Provider.

3. Network Integration: All businesses in operation today have an existing telecom network to meet entry criteria for testing  their various telecommunications needs. Migrating to VoIP service should be a seamless and relatively painless transition for your business. The VoIP Service Provider of your choice should be able to easily integrate your existing service with VoIP so that your network operations are minimally affected during the migration process.

4. Feature Richness: A wonderful aspect of both Voice over IP termination and hosted IP services is the wide variety of value-added features they allow to be offered. Call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way calling, speed calling, pre-established teleconferencing, even video- conferencing (and many others) are are available, usually at little or no cost, which will help achieve your goal of increasing productivity. Choose the provider who offers you the features & services that meet your business needs and will add value to your particular organization.

5. Billing: All premier VoIP Service Providers should offer a real-time billing capability with demonstrable expertise to exert proper control over the VoIP minutes used by their large number of individual customers. CDRs (Call Detail Records) should be available on every single call billed, allowing them to optimize their network and you to ensure the rate structure you signed up for is being charged accurately and consistently.

6. Trial Results: To verify the claims regarding the quality of the network, your service, and user friendliness of features that will ultimately determine your overall service satisfaction, you should always sign up for a live test trial from the VoIP provider being evaluated. The trial should be no less than 48 hours, preferably longer. This will give you a good representation of the services and features being offered. During the trial, be sure to get measures of the ACD (Average Call Duration), ASR (Average Success Ratio), and PDD (Post-Dial Delay) which also can be used to compare different providers’ QoS (Quality of Service).

Ultimately, you should choose the best business VoIP service for you and your organization, based on the evaluation criteria, to attain a high level of satisfaction with your new VoIP business service. In this way,


Real Estate Investment Options

Real Estate Investment Options

There are all kinds of avenues available to those that are considering real estate as a likely method of investing in the future. And why on earth shouldn’t you? This is one way that millionaires around the world will agree to build a massive fortune quickly. At the same time, real estate can be a very risky venture for business so you need to have a few more stable methods of bringing in money in order to have a truly diverse portfolio and a better security system for your financial future. Even within the world of real estate investment you will find different manners of investing that each bear different risks.

Commercial real estate is a good place to begin because it is relatively secure when compared to some of the other forms of real estate investing. The drawback with commercial real estate is that it requires a massive investment to begin with. This is something that many real estate iBudapest property
nvestors do not even consider until they have built a sizable portfolio and have plenty of money to risk. It is stable because most businesses that lease from you will want to lease on a long-term basis. This means that when you get clients, businesses prefer to stay in one location as long as possible because it’s bad for business in most cases to constantly be on the move, they tend to stay a while.

House flipping. This is becoming a popular form of real estate investing and many people have discovered that this is also a great way to make or spend money very quickly. This is a high-risk venture to say the least but the rewards are equally high when a flip goes well. You will have to decide for yourself if you are willing to take the gamble as house flips are part skill and part luck.

Residential rental properties. Becoming a landlord, while perhaps not as glitzy as owning business properties throughout the city or flipping fabulous properties for instant profits is a great way to work yourself into a rather comfortable retirement. This is a long-term type of real estate investment but the payoffs can be rewarding when all is said and done. For the cautious real estate investor this is a worthy type of real estate investment to pursue.

Pre-construction real estate. Pre-Construction profits are even riskier than house flipping in many instances, particularly as it has become so popular in recent years. The trick with this kind of investment is finding the right property in the right market. If you can get in a city that is about to have a serious housing shortage or is in the beginning stages of a housing shortage (such as a few desert and coastal communities have experienced in recent years) you stand to make quite a fortune for yourself. The problem is that this field is highly speculative and very competitive.

Lease or rent to own purchases can often bring better profits. For many real estate owners this is preferable to straight up renting for many reasons. First of all, those who hope to own their homes are much more likely to take better care of their homes than those who are just renting. This means that even if for some reason they decide to move elsewhere and do not complete the purchase you are less likely to need extensive repairs before you can move along to the next client. You can charge a little more than rent applying a certain amount of the monthly rent to the purchase price or down payment of the home, and you can actually be helping a family that might have hit a trouble spot along the way to achieve the American dream of home ownership.

Real estate investing is a great way to build great fortunes. You must decide where you want to begin your journey into this lucrative field however. Remember that once you’ve begun your real estate investment career it is a good idea to utilize more than one type of investment for the sake of diversity and spreading the risks, as this is a volatile market at best.




User Reviews Reveal Season’s Best Gas Grills

Everybody looks forward to summer because warm weather equals outdoor grilling!

When deciding their next purchase, people often reach out to user reviews to make sure they purchase the absolute best gas grill.

We have done that for you.

The following is a compilation of the three best gas grills of the season.

#1 Weber 586002 Q 320 Portable Outdoor Propane Gas Grill

The Weber 586002 Q 320 Portable Outdoor Propane Gas Grill is ideal for camping, tailgating events and even at home. It is large enough to feed a whole family yet small enough to be portable. The Weber Outdoor propane Gas Grill has a large cooking space that fits up to 36 hot dogs,    grillsay  18 burgers and two chickens on the go. It has a large rack for warming food that keeps cooked foods warm and can be used to heat up buns. The easy to push button for electronic ignition for the portable grill offers an easy to use lighting every time you want to heat up food.

The Q 320 consists of two iron cooking grates that is porcelain-enameled, which distributes heat evenly when cooking food. This solves the problem of foods under cooking or overcooking. The Weber gas grill is durable, made of heavy-duty materials without being heavy. The body of Weber outdoor portable grill is made of sturdy cast-aluminum and has a strong glass reinforced with nylon frame. This makes the grill strong and sturdy while keeping it as much lightweight as possible. The tall profile of the Weber portable outdoor grill makes it convenient for cooking tall and bulky items such as whole chickens. For extra workspace, the double removable folding work table with tool hooks holds your utensils, spices, bowls and plates in place.

Weber 586002 Q 320 Portable Outdoor Propane Gas Grill Reviews

A customer liked the Weber Q 320 portable outdoor propane gas grill because of its cast iron grill and great cooking platform. The after sales service was enormously appreciated by one customer who wanted to do a replacement for the corroded and degraded parts after long usage of the grill. A woman said the Weber Q 320 grill cooks up faster although it is only 21700 BTU. She said the grill does a good roasting with the burners turned down. She finally gave her advice to those looking for a grill for the 1st time to try out the Q 320, if looking for replacement grill still to try out the Q320, if looking for a grill at $359.01 to go for the Q320.

The setback for this grill is it rusts and corrodes after some time of usage but is durable. Many customers agree the Weber Q320 is the most solid grill they have ever owned. They say it is easy to assemble in less time. On the many reviews made by customers, they strongly agree it cooks steaks evenly producing a fantastic tasting pie. It’s just so easy to see why the Weber Q320 is one of the best gas grills of 2011!

#2 Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip Grill (Blue)

The Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip grill is a genuine open flame grill that is compact enough to be transported easily and stored. The Coleman road trip grill has a powerful 20,000 BTU burner, which can be fully adjusted, and supports variety of cooking mix and match surfaces. The Coleman road trip grill supports a pancake griddle, stove for water heating and drip-through grill. The 20,000 BTU burner is so powerful to be used in cold weather environs and areas of high altitude. The collapsible frame feature holds the grill at a standard cooking level when in open position.

The two detachable side tables on the Coleman road trip grill provide space for cooking and grilling activities. The storage hooks are useful for storing cooking utensils. The grill is used on tabletops when removed from the sturdy stand. The Coleman road trip grill use is dependable when camping, tailgating, and travelling because its durable not wear out after one season of use. The sturdy construction of the grill makes it withstand drizzly and windy conditions while at the same time it cooks hot dogs and burgers quickly and evenly.

Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip Grill (Blue) reviews

A certain family likes to go out camping in summer and do some tailgating during spring and fall. When they were looking for a good portable grill for these occasions, they chose the Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip Grill (Blue) because it could withstand wear and tear. The family says the grill was large enough to cook foods for the whole family. The Coleman road trip grill was easy to transport around because it is lightweight. The family says they liked the electric starter that heats up the grill quickly. The uniqueness of the Coleman 9941-768 Road Trip Grill comes from standard grill and griddle. The family used the grill for scrambling pancakes, eggs, bacon, and cheese. The family says it sometimes cooked fish on the grill.

A certain couple decided to purchase the Coleman road trip grill after previously having bad experiences with a certain grill. They decided on the Coleman road trip grill because of the great reviews it was receiving in Amazon and other such sites. The couple says the burner was very easy to clean up. They could place the grill on the picnic table or just on its fold down legs when cooking on it. They said the grill best cooks grilled onions, pork chops, chicken, and potatoes.

#3 Paul Jr. Designs Coleman Road Trip Grill

The Paul Jr. Designs Coleman Road Trip Grill comes out unique because its portable, easier to transport and quicker to set up for use at campsites, tailgate parties and other outdoor places of fun, friends get-togethers and places of cooking food. The Paul Jr. road trip grill has two powerful burners, which can be adjusted. The electronic ignition helps in fast start-ups when you start cooking. The Paul Jr. Coleman road trip grill has an open frame grilling system. The X-shaped chassis on the road trip grill is wheeled for easy maneuvering in collapsed-for-transport position and upright position. The set up of the Paul Jr grill is easy and is very stable when cooking because its scissor like legs are made simple together with its frame design.

The Paul Jr. road trip grill has two side tables integrated in to the unit for suitability of cooking and grilling duties. When you want to pack off the grill when moving or storing it; the side tables are easily retractable under the unit in a moment’s time. The unit is steady and secure; you can tow it from the vehicle and back in because the road trip grill is affixed to the stand with the lid having a locking mechanism. In order to use the Paul Jr. road trip grill, it must be completely assembled. The highest score for Paul Jr. road trip grill comes from its design, it is easily set up when traveling and has excellent stability when cooking on it. Even when collapsed, it is easy moving it around because of its frame design and scissor like legs. When traveling on road trips, the Paul Jr. grill fits perfectly well into most cars because it can be folded into a compact size.

Paul Jr. Designs Coleman Road Trip Grill Reviews

A client who bought the Paul Jr. road trip grill says she liked the product because of its better quality parts that included chrome knobs, better wheels, pull out side plates, nice temperature gauge and chrome hooks. Another customer was very disappointed on the first buy because hardly hard she started using it when it produced a popcorn popping sound. The customer service people served her right though without hassle and she got her back order successfully.

A certain user liked the folding out and folding in feature of the Paul Jr. road trip grill. He says this feature on the Paul Jr. grill is very much better compared to other portable grill he has come across. He recommended the grill perfect for camping, tailgating, picnics, and car tents among others. The grill looks better with the chrome and black finish.


Overall you will need to see what gas grill fits your cooking needs.

What if you just can not make a decision on which grill to purchase?

I know that it can be tough to make a purchase online when you have not even seen the product. That is why I have written several reviews on