Saturday, December 5, 2009

Welcome to the holiday edition of The Pelican Report (part one of three). It seems that from the end of November all the way into the new year we are inundated with office parties, festive occasions and gift exchanges so we might as well jump on into the spirit, If you can’t beat 'em, join ‘em, so to speak. In this week’s installment we are going to look at a broad range of items, from gifts for him and her, to the secret (and lost art) of effective letter writing. We’ve brought the Investing section back for this issue and we’ve always got some interesting other tricks up our sleeve for your reading enjoyment. For our readers who caught the last issue of The Pelican Report, you might have noticed that, Google Business Apps, one of our featured web based resources for small businesses, was featured on a CNBC special as the future of business (and municipal) computing. (Hey, a broken clock is still right twice a day.) So without further ado we present the fourth installment of The Pelican Report, you should read it, but what do we know?

Drew V. Davitian

The Pelican Report
Issue 4, December 4th, 2009

Personal Business
How To Get Anything You Want And Help The People Giving It To You: The Lost Art Of Letter Writing.

When I was about ten years old, my mother opened a box of cereal she purchased from the store and there were bugs in it. She then wrote a letter to the cereal manufacturer and about a month later we received a written apology along with a box of every cereal that manufacturer made. This was a smart play all around, my mother felt satisfied that the company was willing to right the wrong, the company kept a customer and received vital information that may not have otherwise made its way back to management through the store or customer service channels.
This is the key to getting what you want. Whether you’d like to see a discontinued soft drink back on the shelf at your local supermarket or you are unhappy with your latest purchase; don’t bother with customer service 1-800 numbers, go look up the CEO of the Company and write him or her a letter; you will be amazed by the response.
Smart CEOs (most CEOs are pretty smart) know that everyone in the corporate hierarchy to some extent is guilty of padding the truth, brownnosing is the non PC term. It is often difficult for them to truly identify issues in production and distribution or what the customer really wants through market research so they welcome personal customer feedback and reward it. If you don’t believe us, try it. Do this experiment: Find something you recently purchased and are not happy with, determine who the CEO of the company who manufactures it is and write him or her a letter expressing how the product or service does not meet your expectations. This will only take about twenty minutes of your time and you might find you’ll receive praise for alerting the company to its deficiencies and an extreme willingness for them to make it right.

Perfect Holiday Gifts For The Professional On Any Budget

$20- $40

For Men
Wireless Shower Speaker Set
$40 – Available at

For Women
Coach Signature Picture Frame Key Fob (Style 92594)
$28 – Available at

$200- $400

For Men
AD Coin Carbon Fibre Cuff Links
$275 -- Available at

For Women
Tiffany 1837 Padlock Cuff, Bracelet
$225 – Available at

For Men
Samsung 55” Series 6 LED HDTV
$2,570 – Available at

For Women
NCL 7-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Epic (Villa Suite)
$2,600 – Available at

Online Resources
The Best Websites For House Hunters
National Home Management Solution is the company in charge of marketing foreclosed properties that were originally underwritten by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This site lists an incredible amount of detailed information about HUD properties that are up for auction, including full property condition reports. The website also allows house hunters the ability to place bids on those properties making it a resource for those looking for income investments (because they are HUD properties, they are generally in low income areas).
This website boasts the best searchable map application for real estate on the internet. It’s also one of the easiest sites to search price changes and sold properties for comp purposes. The school rating resources and city statistics are also the best online.
Similar to Trulia, Zillow is a great web-portal for new home and condo sales. Its design sorts properties by city that pop up in windows on the map to improve view ability. The easy to use click buttons make sorting through different preferences to update your searches a synch and the question and answer forum is an excellent resource for new buyers.
Brickell Village Realty is a South Florida local realtor with a relatively simple web portal. Fortunately, though, it places house hunters into the MLS system to search for properties in a way usually only reserved for realtors. The functionality of the website is highly advanced though it is simple to use. This is definitely an excellent source for both buyers and renters.

Keithely Instruments: An Unlikely Partner For The Future

Founded in 1946 as a testing equipment solution for government scientists, Keithley Instruments (KEI) has been at the forefront of the tech industry for over sixty years. While it is generally easy for tech companies to flash and burn out Keithley has found its market to continually develop, especially over the last 20 years. Besides the fact that the company is well managed and allocates a large percent of its budget to R&D, Keithley has an incredibly strong cash position and even stronger balance sheet. As demand continues to increase for consumer electronics throughout the recovery, demand for Keithley instruments will increase and coupled with the company’s cost saving initiatives; Keithley is poised to make substantial profits for 2010. Look to hold the stock for over a year to see quality returns.

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