Travel and Limos 101

It’s the busy travel season and since I am in the limo business, I want to share some tips if you are traveling and using a car service or limo company during your trip. There are so many disreputable limo companies that have no business even BEING in business and they give the rest of us a bad name. I have heard dozens of horror stories from my clients over the past few years that I feel it would be a public service to my readers and clients so that they know what to look for! Here are some things to know that will make your limo service a pleasant one and keep your holiday happy!1. BOOK EARLY – I cannot stress how important it is to book your limo service early to avoid disappointment and to make sure that you have a car for your event!! Thanksgiving Day is the single biggest travel day of the entire year!! If you don’t book your reservation at least 10-14 days in advance, you will NOT be getting a car. The same is true of New Year’s Eve which is the single biggest night in the industry–BOOK EARLY and USE A CREDIT CARD!! There are several reliable limo service websites, the two best in the industry are limos.com where you can rate your service and airportservice.com where many airport travelers find car service for airport transportation. You can easily check for limos at both websites and you can find my company, dependablelimos.com listed at both sites! Always use a credit card for your reservation so that the limo service KNOWS you are going to show up and get into the car. If you cancel your reservation within a certain time frame, your card will not be charged, but if you cancel at the last minute and/or don’t show up, expect to pay the full price for the trip. The limo company turned away people to honor your reservation and they expect to be paid for the trip. This is standard practice in the industry, it’s just like a guaranteed hotel room.2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CONTACT NUMBER FOR THE COMPANY. The airports are packed with people in the holiday season and people get lost in airports and traffic is usually very snarled outside major airports and limo companies are very tightly booked. If your plane is going to be late, then make sure you call the limo company and TELL THEM!! Any reputable company will bend over backwards to make sure that you get your ride no matter HOW late your plane comes in–but it helps if you let them know. If you get bumped and put on a different flight. CALL AND TELL THEM!! We are not psychic, and the more you help us, the better we are able to serve you. If your flight is early (it DOES happen) then call the company and tell them when you land–and always check your voice mail for a message from the company when you get off the plane. You might have to wait for your car, but you will get one and a little patience and understanding on both sides helps.3. AIRLINES LIE ABOUT ARRIVAL TIMES No matter how many times I receive bad information from the airline about flight times, it still infuriates me that I get incorrect information on a regular basis about flight arrival times from the airlines! If I ran my business like the airlines run theirs, I’d be in bankruptcy too–like so many airlines are!! Jet Blue is particularly bad about this–they have a flight from California to Ft. Lauderdale that is scheduled to arrive every day at 5 a.m. and it ROUTINELY lands about 4:15 a.m. This is infuriating as in order to meet the plane and get proper sleep, I have to go to bed about 9 p.m. Eastern time–and the plane leaves CA at 9 p.m. Pacific time (midnight EST) and I am asleep since I have to be up no later than 3:30 a.m. to meet this flight. When it arrives early, it breaks my back since it’s almost an hour’s drive to that particular airport.4. TIP YOUR CHAUFFEUR. Most limo drivers work almost entirely for your tips. We are waiters/waitresses with Lincolns. Limo company owners are buried with insurance bills that are ridiculous, as are licensing and permit fees and chauffeurs are working for your tips. The standard is 20% of the fare for good service and if you receive excellent service. which you do with my company and my affiliates, please show your appreciation to the hardworking chauffeur who drove the car safely, cleaned it before and after you got in and out, carried and loaded your luggage on both ends of the trip and took care of any special requests you made along the way.

Garden Fountains Are Perfect for Your House

Having a beautiful garden filled with flowers or even some plants, shrubs and trees, there would still be something missing. Garden fountains are what you must be missing. There are many designs for these fountains, ranging from ornamental statues, platform and wall-types. Fountains are beautiful accents for your garden plus they make a soothing water sound that freshens up your tired mind. For a huge garden you may want to go for bug garden fountains as well to complement its size. For the small gardens you can go for free-standing one or a statue fountain. Fountains can have waterfall that look really classy in the garden. You may also install a fountain with a small pond in your garden, with fishes in it. The water pond kind of fountain you can have a statue that may be used as the centerpiece in the garden. The exterior of the house will add an aesthetic sense to the outdoors and the fountains can be the central focus of the garden.When choosing a garden fountain for your garden or yard, be sure to pick one that is alright with your environment. If you’re in a place wherein the weather changes drastically then a heavy, stone-carved fountain can be the best for you. These fountains are difficult or impossible to store for the winter months. Different weather temperature can cause your fountain to crack and spill the water left inside. Another thing to consider whenever planning on putting up a garden fountain is its water capacity and its pump. To get the best results you can choose the fountains that pump five gallons every minute.There are several different themes available for your garden fountain. You can make garden fountains as basis for your garden theme. There are fountains that have themes such as animals, flowers, birds and/or plants. There are fountains with statues of people, fairy and/or angels. You can make garden themes based on such statues. If you want to decide on a theme for your garden, you may sprinkle different accessories in the garden such as glowing stars, wind-chimes, and many others. An angel fountain in the garden that has a bit of accessories and beautiful flowers will truly make your garden.There is nothing more refreshing compared to the sound of soothing water in a beautiful atmosphere. Life can get too tiring, and it is wonderful to simply get away from it within a beautiful environment. The fountain history goes back to the Babylonians. Originally, they were symbol of property. A fountain was used as the main piece in their hanging gardens.Garden fountains are beautiful and great additions that may add serenity to just about every garden or an outdoor patio. When picking a fountain, you may want it to last a long time in addition to being the centerpiece in your garden. With so many different kinds of fountains available, it could be very difficult to decide which one that’s ideal for your garden.

SPDN: An Inexpensive Way To Profit When The S&P 500 Falls

Summary
SPDN is not the largest or oldest way to short the S&P 500, but it’s a solid choice.
This ETF uses a variety of financial instruments to target a return opposite that of the S&P 500 Index.
SPDN’s 0.49% Expense Ratio is nearly half that of the larger, longer-tenured -1x Inverse S&P 500 ETF.
Details aside, the potential continuation of the equity bear market makes single-inverse ETFs an investment segment investor should be familiar with.
We rate SPDN a Strong Buy because we believe the risks of a continued bear market greatly outweigh the possibility of a quick return to a bull market.
Put a gear stick into R position, (Reverse).
Birdlkportfolio

By Rob Isbitts

Summary
The S&P 500 is in a bear market, and we don’t see a quick-fix. Many investors assume the only way to navigate a potentially long-term bear market is to hide in cash, day-trade or “just hang in there” while the bear takes their retirement nest egg.

The Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear 1X ETF (NYSEARCA:SPDN) is one of a class of single-inverse ETFs that allow investors to profit from down moves in the stock market.

SPDN is an unleveraged, liquid, low-cost way to either try to hedge an equity portfolio, profit from a decline in the S&P 500, or both. We rate it a Strong Buy, given our concern about the intermediate-term outlook for the global equity market.

Strategy
SPDN keeps it simple. If the S&P 500 goes up by X%, it should go down by X%. The opposite is also expected.

Proprietary ETF Grades
Offense/Defense: Defense

Segment: Inverse Equity

Sub-Segment: Inverse S&P 500

Correlation (vs. S&P 500): Very High (inverse)

Expected Volatility (vs. S&P 500): Similar (but opposite)

Holding Analysis
SPDN does not rely on shorting individual stocks in the S&P 500. Instead, the managers typically use a combination of futures, swaps and other derivative instruments to create a portfolio that consistently aims to deliver the opposite of what the S&P 500 does.

Strengths
SPDN is a fairly “no-frills” way to do what many investors probably wished they could do during the first 9 months of 2022 and in past bear markets: find something that goes up when the “market” goes down. After all, bonds are not the answer they used to be, commodities like gold have, shall we say, lost their luster. And moving to cash creates the issue of making two correct timing decisions, when to get in and when to get out. SPDN and its single-inverse ETF brethren offer a liquid tool to use in a variety of ways, depending on what a particular investor wants to achieve.

Weaknesses
The weakness of any inverse ETF is that it does the opposite of what the market does, when the market goes up. So, even in bear markets when the broader market trend is down, sharp bear market rallies (or any rallies for that matter) in the S&P 500 will cause SPDN to drop as much as the market goes up.

Opportunities
While inverse ETFs have a reputation in some circles as nothing more than day-trading vehicles, our own experience with them is, pardon the pun, exactly the opposite! We encourage investors to try to better-understand single inverse ETFs like SPDN. While traders tend to gravitate to leveraged inverse ETFs (which actually are day-trading tools), we believe that in an extended bear market, SPDN and its ilk could be a game-saver for many portfolios.

Threats
SPDN and most other single inverse ETFs are vulnerable to a sustained rise in the price of the index it aims to deliver the inverse of. But that threat of loss in a rising market means that when an investor considers SPDN, they should also have a game plan for how and when they will deploy this unique portfolio weapon.

Proprietary Technical Ratings
Short-Term Rating (next 3 months): Strong Buy

Long-Term Rating (next 12 months): Buy

Conclusions
ETF Quality Opinion
SPDN does what it aims to do, and has done so for over 6 years now. For a while, it was largely-ignored, given the existence of a similar ETF that has been around much longer. But the more tenured SPDN has become, the more attractive it looks as an alternative.

ETF Investment Opinion

SPDN is rated Strong Buy because the S&P 500 continues to look as vulnerable to further decline. And, while the market bottomed in mid-June, rallied, then waffled since that time, our proprietary macro market indicators all point to much greater risk of a major decline from this level than a fast return to bull market glory. Thus, SPDN is at best a way to exploit and attack the bear, and at worst a hedge on an otherwise equity-laden portfolio.