Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! This week in The Pelican Report we’d like to focus on the entrepreneurial side of business. Anyone who has tried to open and run an office knows the perils involved and so we’ve offered resources to defuse some of the stress. Fashion wise we’ve thrown in some updated options of one of the most classic pieces in men’s and women’s fashion, the camel hair polo coat. In keeping with the spirit of the holidays we’d like to thank our readers for their feedback and, as usual, welcome everyone to let us know what you think.

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 3, November 26th, 2009


The Best Online Resources for Entrepreneurs

Fifteen years ago the internet was just beginning to fall into popular social use. Computer nerds and geeks still communicated through BBSs and one of the few options normal “non-techies” had to explore this new medium with was the per minute cost structure of America Online. At this time the World Wide Web was really just a collection of resources for coders and non-interactive web pages for companies looking to create a presence in this new platform. Today the internet provides resources, point of sale locations and hundreds of other functions to billions of users. It has become a way to garner maximum exposure to niche markets with minimum cost and the entrepreneurial market is no different. It is in this light that we have compiled the best online resources for entrepreneurs who are looking to get the most bang for their buck when starting a new company.

Free Education For The World – In 2008 Jack Sandler Bloom, an adjunct professor at Harvard Business School, started this online social network based platform, the goal of which was to provide free education to the entire world. As such, the first endeavor, a no charge (non-accredited) MBA program works by posting video lectures on a weekly basis and students can complete assigned projects and submit them to a messaging board for peer review.

Google Business Apps (Premiere Edition) - For those budding entrepreneurs who do not want to spend several hundred dollars a year per employee to provide e-mail, chat, interactive calendar and online document resources Google offers a more functional alternative to Microsoft exchange software for $50 a year per user. The site boats over two million companies that use these apps and with support for an unlimited number of employees it’s a cheap way to forge expansion. – “Living large on a small budget” is the perfect blog presence for entrepreneurs to reach millions of value conscious customers and it can give some great pointers for those trying to run a lean business as well.

Intuit QuickBooks Free software – In a recession you can’t beat free and that’s exactly what QuickBooks is offering their basic software for. The only difference between the free and the full version is the free version only allows you to track and invoice up to 20 clients.

US SBA Small Business Planner – This government sponsored site provides almost every resource a prospective or new business owner needs to set up, get started and eventually get out. With links to demographic sites and grant possibilities this should be your first stop when trying anything new.


The Camel Hair Polo Coat: 100 Years Old And Still Cool.

In 1910 the polo coat was imported to the US from England. The original coat was sold only in white wool, but shortly thereafter the coat started to appear in grey wools and finally camel’s hair. This jacket bloomed in popularity first in the northeastern cities then moving westward until it became an international classic wardrobe piece for both men and women. For this issue, we’ve showcased a few options at different price points for both men and women so everyone can own this luxurious, classic piece.

Italian Camel Hair Polo Coat - $898 –

$1000 +
Darci Baby Camel Hair Coat - Sale Price: $1399 –

Andrew Gn Lace Coat - $3990 –

Camel hair topcoat - $400 –

Golden Fleece Camel Hair Polo Overcoat - $1198 –

Home & Office

The Anti-cubicle: Chic Office Furniture On A Budget.

Most everyone has been required to occupy a bland off white cubicle at one time or another. The most frightening thing is that some people will spend their whole working lives in a cubicle staring at those taupe, fabric covered dusty walls. For those of us lucky enough to escape that disastrous fate, we can meet our own end with cheap, office supply store, particle board furniture. Not everyone can afford designer ultramodern Armani Casa digs, but for those of us with a little style and on a budget a plethora of new options have emerged. Studies show the average middle managers office is 8X10’ and the following pieces inhabit a functional workspace, that will fit in your office and will keep you refreshed from 8 am through burning the midnight oil.

Markus Swivel Chair - $199 –

Scoop back chair - $99 –

Parsons Dining Table/Desk - $399 –

Phantom table lamp - $99 –

Metal boxes - $22 - $34 –

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks for checking out the second issue of The Pelican Report. This week we’ve got another line up of interesting articles you might be able to learn something from, but what do we know? To become more enjoyable for our readers we have rearranged our format; investing will now be the last section of the report but definitely check it out! LDK (featured in last week’s report) is up 30% already, man are we lucky or what. We would like to again emphasize that if there is something you want to know about or something you’d like to comment on feel free to post it either here or on our Facebook page. I promise we take criticism well. You can also follow our publisher on Twitter (DVDAVITIAN) but he isn’t that interesting. So sit back, relax and enjoy issue #2.

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 2, November 19th, 2009


How To Deal With a Dysfunctional Work Environment

We’ve all been in this painful situation: Everyone in the office is readying for combat. Cubicles are surrounded by sandbags. The battlefront has been drawn next to the water cooler and spies and double agents scour no man’s land for snippets of information to be used in the next battle. Office politics in a dysfunctional workplace can seem just as emotionally volatile as a warzone and these situations have dire consequences. There is a reason “going postal” is mentioned in management and human resource classes today. Here are five tips to help you navigate the chicanery whether you are a natural born leader or a hostage.

1) Build Personal Integrity

It is difficult to stay above the petty office disputes and back stabbing if you can’t internalize that you are better than it, and that is an inside job. Take pride in delivering what you say you’ll deliver on, don’t engage in maladapted office politics and you won’t have to worry about what she said about you to the boss’s secretary, you just won’t care. The boss will notice too.

2) Set Boundaries

When I was in elementary school I used to get picked on and never retaliated. One day I lost it and hit a kid back, knocking him unconscious. For the next two and a half years no one bothered me. It was not the right thing to do, but I essentially set a boundary. Predators at work look for people incapable of defending themselves and then they swoop in for the attack over and over. If you’re the kind of person who has trouble standing your ground remember it usually just takes once and you’ll never have to deal with them again. Choose a strong yet professional tone that carries with it an air of disciplinary parenting and finish your statement with “do you understand” like your pandering to a child and you shouldn’t have a problem with that co-worker anymore.

3) Become the Office Patriarch/Matriarch

The office patriarch/matriarch is the one pulling the strings. They are often the consigliore to the boss and while they may not make ultimate decisions they usually have the power to quash a project, hiring or firing that they do not agree with. This position in the office carries with it immense influence as this person is often the go between for management and staff moving back and forth with impunity.
This is a skill play, meaning you must be able to influence others and garner respect as a leader even if it is not you official role in the office. To fulfill this objective you must be likable, have a broad range of knowledge on various subjects and carry favor with the boss and his boss. If you can achieve this unofficial title in the office political arena you will be rewarded with immunity to any office dysfunction. People will be on their best behavior as to not alienate you and your leadership will set the tone for office decorum.

4) Volunteer to Help Update the Employee Manual

You would be surprised how outdated policies and procedures usually are for small and mid-sized companies. These books need to be updated annually and you can accomplish several things at once by requesting to take on this project. First, you express to your superiors that you are a proactive troubleshooter and that you can identify future issues and try to mitigate their occurrences. Second, you undertake a project with a specific, tangible, value adding product, and one that should go in your portfolio for your next performance appraisal (tangible products are always more powerful in a review than intangible efforts). Finally, you position yourself as the person who creates the details of what constitutes harassment and lackadaisical work effort, specifically the punishments for each. This last benefit can be what legally requires your un-concerned boss to have to make an effort to re-gain control of the office, thus restoring sanity.

5) Quit

Remember the previous ideas (and many others like them) are just suggestions that, in the right situation, can help improve the efficiency, effectiveness and quality of the work environment. They are not guaranteed fixes. Sometimes, if an office culture is too far gone, or spiraling out of control, the only sane option is to quit, with or without going Dolly Parton on the boss’s ass. Just try and make sure you have something else lined up first, because unemployment is not going to cut it.


The Best Online Resources for Budding Chefs

This site is just Awesome! I’ve been using for cooking inspiration since I was 16 and I’ve never been disappointed. While many of the recipes are quite sophisticated, the selection of how to videos and library of decade’s worth of culinary information are unparalleled on the web. Check out the classic French bubble top brioche recipe for some unfathomable deliciousness.

For those of us who have exceptionally refined pallets there is Dean & Deluca’s online portal, This website has an incredible selection of gourmet meats, cheeses, seafood, hours d’oeuvres and baked goods. Though if you are on a budget, choose carefully. Check out the selection of cured meats they are literally “to die for”.

As the crowned king of Cajun, Emeril Lagasee, would say, “oh yeah, baby!” The Cajun grocer is the go to source for everything New Orleans. If crawfish is your fancy they can overnight ship you the creepy crawlers. If Alligator suits you, they’ve got it twelve different ways. For those of us who aren’t as adventurous, check out the Mello Joy Coffee and Andouille sausage, I’ve never had anything more satisfying.


Masters of the Universe: The White Cuff & Collar Dress Shirt

I don’t care what anybody says Gordon Gecko dresses like a bad ass. The 80’s stigma of “greed is good” may have no place on Wall Street anymore and “TARP wives” may be carrying their newly purchased scarves out of Hermes in brown paper bags to avoid the media blitzkrieg, but that’s no reason to throw out the fashion with the bath water. For those of us who aren’t at the helm of failing banks the white collar and cuff are signals of classic, capitalistic ambition; you know the kind this country was built on. For this very reason designers have been releasing updated styles of this 80’s throwback for a few years now and we’ve scoured the web for some of the best.

Thomas Pink Pale Solid Blue, Slim Fit, Men’s Dress Shirt
Available at --'s-Shirt---Double-Cuff/99911045

Ermenegildo Zegna Pink Striped Dress Shirt
Available at --

Golden Fleece Framed Stripe Luxury French-Cuff Dress Shirt
Available at --

Canali Men's Cotton Pinstripe Dress Shirt with Barrel Cuffs
Available at --*6*24*-1*-1*10


Media General: Don’t Call It a Comeback

Media General (NYSE: MEG) is a company that operates newspaper publishing houses and cable affiliates in the South East. The company makes most of its income from advertising revenue, specifically from automobile companies and regional auto dealerships. Like many other corporations, Media General got the wind knocked out of it between October 2008 and March 2009. Ad revenue tanked leaving the company in a fearful cash flow position and the stock traded as low as $1.25 as a result. In July 2009 the company made some difficult strategic decisions reducing workforce, fixed costs and selling off business units. These moves gave the company enough cash flow to stay solvent through the re-organization of the GM and Chrysler and now those companies and Ford are returning to their advertising partners like MEG. The stock had a nice run up in the last few months and is currently trading in a channel between $8.00 and $11.00. MEG is another underrated stock, though due to its exceptionally high beta (2.9) it can be a volatile play. Look at channeling this stock until the end of the year paying careful attention to the revenue growth of the big three auto manufactures as our statistical analysis shows significant correlation. If top line growth in auto revenues persists, look for a break out in MEG stock price to as high as 14.00 and beyond in the new year, but be sure to follow your order with a trailing stop of 10 or so percent to protect against downside risk.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome to the first issue of The Pelican Report!

This weekly report will briefly cover a multitude of business, personal and social current events that if you don’t know about, you should. We hope to provide both an informational source and a platform for discourse of contrasting opinions that will inspire our readers to think for themselves, rather than trusting legacy media outlets.
Please enjoy our first submission and feel free to e-mail us with any comments or suggestions.

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 1, November 13th, 2009


LDK, The Cheapest Chinese Solar Company You Don’t Know About

In these post apocalyptic times of slightly loosening credit markets and flattening unemployment rates the last thing most people are concerned about is sourcing alternative energy improvements. Oil prices are relatively high but appear to be stable and due to concerns in the Middle East, healthcare and housing initiatives, the push for the United States and Europe to invest in sustainable energy infrastructure has been put on the back burner. Solar silicon wafer manufactures are in a debilitating position, due to a drastic drop in demand prices have crashed in both the silicon refining industry and ingot manufacturing industry. As a result, companies like First Solar and Semiconductor Manufacturing International are quickly depleting cash. The entire industry is reeling from capitulating stock prices, LDK included. By all measures, avoiding the industry in the short term seems like a smart option, but following this strategy discounts the heavy subsidies China has just released to maintain its national solar wafer industry. Our analysts believe that the position of the Chinese government is to continue to subsidize the operations of companies like LDK while silicon prices are so depressed, they cannot sustain profitable enterprise. China believes this strategy will allow its manufactures to gain large amounts of market share creating both economies of scale and industry leverage for solar wafer manufactures as demand and therefore price increases. LDK’s recent re-organization of top management coupled with its dismal first and second quarter earnings have dropped the stock price back down to October lows. Due to the company’s cash rich position and continued subsidies from the Chinese government, we believe LDK is a severely undervalued company. Look for a mid 2010 rebound of the stock price to around $15.00.


Men’s Fashion: How to Look Like a Million Bucks for Around $500

The key, of course, to any ensemble is how you wear your clothes. Like most things in life, the confidence one conveys, whether it be in athletics, the classroom, the board room or just sipping coffee at the local beanery carries with it more importance than what is said and often done. A reserved yet confident demeanor is the cornerstone of class and any proper gentleman’s guide will express that it doesn’t have to cost a house payment to look good, but quality does matter. For this purpose we have included this section for your sartorial enjoyment. Visit the links for sizing and purchasing information and rest assured that a man on a budget is no lesser than a man with an unlimited one, so long as he purchases the best quality clothing he can afford and takes pride in his appearance.

Lauren By Ralph Lauren "Total Comfort" Gray Suit Separates
Jacket – 225
Slacks – 80
Available at --

Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Slim Fit Pinpoint Ainsley Dress Shirt (White)
Available at --

Nordstrom Tonal Paisley Woven Silk Tie (Blue)
Available at --

Nordstrom ‘Baldwin’ Oxford Shoe (Black)
Available at --


4 Steps to Market Yourself in a Depressing Employment Situation

There is no question that the current job market can look like a scene out of the movie Fun With Dick and Jane with lines extending out the door just to fill out an application. I recently held interviews for a small, relatively low paying assistant position where the top candidates were six sigma certified and had master’s degrees. I’m still getting calls about the position though interviews have been closed for weeks now. There aren’t many silver linings in this kind of situation so the ultimate key is to make your own. In our experience the following steps have been credited as the catalysts for success:

1) Appearance is everything, everywhere.

Remember the last time you ran into the person you had a crush on in the supermarket and looked like a mess? In times of high unemployment, serendipity can be the only salvation to your job search, be prepared. Don’t wear that stained, thread bare sweatshirt to pick up your dry cleaning; you never know when you will run into an old business contact in line who needs another one of you on his team.

2) Play a bourgeoisie sport.

I play golf about once a week. I’m not even very good at it, but its good exercise and a great stress reliever. I show up alone and always get paired with someone I don’t know by the starter. In the past few weeks I have played with an executive chef, a landscape architect and a sales executive. Over the four to five hours I spend with a new friend on the course I can get a good idea of who they are and what they do, and they get the same information about me. The next person I play golf with could very well be the gatekeeper of the position of my dreams.

3) Volunteer your time and expertise.

This step serves two purposes; one, in this day and age people are cutting out donations and volunteering to save time and money, so it’s time for you to do your part. Two, philanthropists are generally successful people who have broad social networks and strong pull with pillars of the community. Volunteering allows you to rub elbows with these influential people in an amicable and productive way opening the door for their help in your job search.

4) Take it easy man.

No one wants to buy a car from a desperate car salesman and no one wants to give a job to someone who looks desperate for a job. There is a fine line between ambition and desperation and the guy who is one day going to be CEO never expresses the latter. Take it easy on the job interview and in the application process. Exude professionalism by dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, not fanaticism by calling twenty-five times to see if you got hired.