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J. Ward (Brecon Wales UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

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PURINA PRO PLAN Dog Large Adult Robust with Sensitive Skin with OPTIDERMA rich in Salmon Dry Food 14kg
PURINA PRO PLAN Dog Large Adult Robust with Sensitive Skin with OPTIDERMA rich in Salmon Dry Food 14kg
Price: £52.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Our dog absolutely loves these kibbles, 23 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Improved digestion

Our dog absolutely loves these kibbles, they are three times larger than his usual food.

I have noticed that his digestion has definitely improved as he no longer suffers with obnoxious flatulence and his stools are also well formed and easy for him to pass. I find this surprising as neither his usual food nor the Purina has wheat gluten, however Purina use soya beans which a new addition to his diet but not causing a problem. So a healthier digestion could mean an improvement in his skin condition but it’s too soon to tell. I will do another review at the end of the month to report if there has been any change there too.

The improvement I seen already mean that I will buy this food for him in future as it also has a 26% protein content, 5% higher than his previous food.


Russell Hobbs 23200 Slow Cooker, 3.5 L - Stainless Steel Silver
Russell Hobbs 23200 Slow Cooker, 3.5 L - Stainless Steel Silver
Price: £23.11

3.0 out of 5 stars No auto setting, 23 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Where is the auto setting mentioned in the instructions?

Excellent size, easy to wash up and put away in a kitchen cupboard, keeping worktops clear. Good size for a family of four.

On the slow cooker box and on the Amazon website only 3 settings are shown and described, however in the instructions on page 5 they state that there are four settings, high, low, auto setting and stay warm, but this model has only three settings, there is no auto setting. The auto setting means that a slow cooker starts on high heat and then drops down to low heat for the remainder of the cooking time. I felt disappointed that this setting wasn’t on this model especially as ‘Which’ has found in their tests that meat tastes better cooked on auto rather than on high or low. I would definitely look for a slow cooker with this setting next time.

I was also excited at the idea of preparing the dishes the night before and just turning the slow cooker on in the morning and sailing out the door. On closer reading of the Preparation and Cooking section I learn that the empty slow cooker must be preheated for 20 minutes and then the ingredients and freshly boiled cooking liquid are added.

The instructions give us the very important reminder to soak dried beans overnight and then to boil the beans for 10 minutes before adding to the slow cooker as they are toxic unless you do this.

If this slow cooker had the auto setting I would have gladly given it 5 stars.


Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown
Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the Next Global Financial Meltdown
by David Wiedemer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Come out of denial, be aware & be prepared, 23 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Come out of denial, be aware & be prepared

A very well written book, easy to understand even by a non-economist, however it is hard to take on board as it predicts very uncertain and painful decades to come. Our psychological reaction to pain is to go into denial and there is good evidence that we have resided there in the last 8 years.

This book is written from the American perspective, however what affects the USA will affect the rest of the world and now we also have the uncertainty in Britain especially in our post Brexit referendum days. In this fully updated fourth edition the authors explain how the economic drivers (especially printing money, a response used by the central banks around the world) have created the illusion of a recovery and a false sense of security.

It is difficult to think of the economy being in a ‘bubble’ that will inevitably fall as it is not built on underlying fundamental economic drivers. This book makes very uncomfortable reading. We want to hear good news and that our leaders will know how to make it OK. The authors make it clear that we will need to find new ways to make it OK and that we cannot go back to the old ways of conducting the economy. Indeed that we need new concepts in economics.

The authors envisage that eventually the stock market, property, private debt bubbles will fall followed by the fall in the dollar and government debt affecting the whole world. This is frightening and hard to countenance, however I prefer to be aware that this is a possibility and that we are facing a long period of uncertainty rather than to believe the ‘cheer leaders’ and to be shocked if and when the bubbles burst.


Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World
Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World
by Winthrop H. Smith Jr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.58

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent must-read for anyone interested in finance, 23 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
An excellent must-read for anyone interested in finance and business.

In this book Winthrop Smith, son of the founder of Merrill Lynch has written a riveting account of the rise and the sad demise of America’s leading brokerage firm. Although nearly 600 pages long it could have been broken down into 3 books. The first charting the beginning with Charlie Merrill born 1885 through the WW1, the Great Depression and meeting Win Smith and ending this phase in 1940. The second covers the very successful partnership of the two men from 1940 -1997. The final part covers the period 1997 to 2008 and the sale of Merrill Lynch to the Bank of America. I’m glad they published it as one book though it certainly deserves to be brought to the television or cinema screens.

The following were the guiding principles of Merrill Lynch
Client focus
Respect for the Individual
Teamwork
Responsible Citizenship
Integrity

Smith believes that adhering to these principles helped to make them the exceptionally successful brokerage firm, however they did not have a system to recognise staff who did not believe in the wisdom of the ‘principles’. This failing contributed to their ultimate failure.

There are so many instances in history where the ‘old guard’ of successful ventures and enterprises are ruined by the ‘new guard’. Perhaps it is in human nature that we become complacent when we have a system or enterprise that is working successfully that we don’t appreciate how it came into being and what made it successful.

Writing this book was a valuable experience for Smith and an invaluable lesson for anyone in business.


35MM Wide Classic X-Shape Braces Suspenders with Extra Strong Clips
35MM Wide Classic X-Shape Braces Suspenders with Extra Strong Clips
Offered by GoodStore4u
Price: £3.90

5.0 out of 5 stars A touch of class, 15 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These X-shaped braces have a touch of class about them. At 35 mm width they are designed for stylish dressing up, and are sufficiently narrow not to be too obtrusive. if you want the hilly-billy style then go for a wider 45 to 50 mm width. The advantage of the greater width is that they do not cut into your shoulders so much. However, these 35 mm width straps are comfortable enough. The straps are made of a good quality elasticated material which stretches easily, but is pleasantly supportive. They stretch and bounce with the movement of your body which is a helpful design feature. The straps adjust fairly easily via silver-coloured chrome buckles with a set of teeth which do not slip. There is a limited amount of adjustment possible and if you are well over 6 feet tall then you may find the straps do not adjust and lengthen sufficiently for your larger size. The spring clips are also chrome plated and spring open readily to clip onto the trouser material, again with a set of plastic insert teeth which grip well without damaging the fabric material. Overall: well made, good quality materials, excellent price.


Hewlett Packard 90gsm A4 White Printing Copier Paper - 1 Box Containing 5 Reams of 500 Sheets
Hewlett Packard 90gsm A4 White Printing Copier Paper - 1 Box Containing 5 Reams of 500 Sheets
Price: £21.78

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended laser printing paper., 15 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This HP printing paper is an excellent product, of exceptional value, and arrives by fast delivery. Having tried several different makes and thicknesses of printing paper, I have found this one to be the perfect laser printing paper. It feels very high quality to the touch. Unsolicited, several customers remarked how surprised and delighted they were to receive such a fine quality paper upon which the text was written. That really surprised me, because people normally do not comment on the quality of the paper, but do of course comment on the text. I began to realize that people'a appreciation of the text is affected by their perception and experience of the quality of the paper upon which it is written. It probably shouldn't be, but it is.

Hewlett Packard are not the actual maker of the paper, they license a company called International Paper SA, in Vienne, France to make it for them. It is manufactured by an elemental chlorine-free bleaching process using wood from sustainable forests. It is PEFC certified to come from sustainable managed and controlled forests in Europe. It bears the EU Ecolabel for ecological quality of production. The paper incorporates ColorLok technology, which means that the colours are 25% brighter and the inks dry 2 and a half times faster than on comparable papers. Black ink also appears 16% bolder. From experience I have found no problems with ink drying, and the stand-out boldness of the print quality is excellent. It is a high-tech paper and well as an aesthetically pleasing one.

There are many different suppliers marketing and selling this paper, and their prices vary enormously. Some are obviously profiteering from the papers high reputation as well as from the HP label... so don't over-pay for it. Buying a single ream of 500 sheets is not the most economical way to buy and you will be paying a premium. This 5 ream box offered by Amazon is very attractively priced. I don't think anyone else can beat it.


NatureWise Vitamin D3 5,000 IU, 360 Easy-To-Swallow Softgels, 1-Year Supply
NatureWise Vitamin D3 5,000 IU, 360 Easy-To-Swallow Softgels, 1-Year Supply
Offered by Health to You
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended product, 15 Aug. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
NatureWise is an American Company operating from Ashland, Oregon, USA.

This is an excellent product, of good value, and arrives by fast delivery. There are several different types of Vitamin D3 available on the market, but this is the only one which is completely free from additives. It contains no artificial colours and no preservatives. The vitamin D3 is incorporated in extra virgin Organic Olive Oil as a base, and contained in soft-gel capsules made from pure gelatin, glycerin and water only. Other manufacturers frequently colour the gelatin of the capsules with a dye or chemical colour, but these NatureWise capsules are of natural gelatin only without any form of artificial colouration. Similarly, other manufacturers add a preservative, often a phenol type chemical, to the cheaper types of oil they use, such as Palm Oil, to prevent it going rancid, but this is completely unnecessary and a health hazard. I have used these NatureWise Vitamin D3 capsules for over a year and they have never gone rancid. They taste the same as when I first opened the bottle. Looking at the use-by-date on the bottle, I see they last for 2 years without problems, therefore adding a preservative is completely unnecessary. Only NatureWise seems to understand this.

There are 360 capsules in the bottle (which is a brown plastic light-excluding type). Each capsule contains 5000 IU (international units) of vitamin D3, which is the most biologically active form of vitamin D, and the same form that is produced naturally by the body. Only one capsule per day is taken, swallowed easily because it is relatively soft. 5000 IU may seem a high dosage, since the EU and many health service professionals recommend taking 1500 IU per day, but NatureWise's own medical professionals, formulating the product, think this is the correct dosage, although if you believe it to be too high then consult your own doctor. My own NHS doctor thought the 5000 IU dosage to be acceptable and perfectly OK. Too high a dosage my increase the amount of calcium in the blood, but then as that is what you may be suffering from and the reason you are taking Vitamin D3 supplements, then this is usually not a problem.

Overall: This is the most natural, the best, safest, purest, and cost effective form of vitamin D3 available. Recommended.


Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking
Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking
by Brett King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.30

4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent overview of the challenges facing the banks., 10 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although this book is written primarily for the banking industry as a lay person I found it very enlightening. I have been alarmed by headlines regarding bank closures and the banking crisis. I have been mystified by mobile banking, peer to peer lending, bitcoin etc. it has been difficult to put it into context. Now I can.

In each chapter Brett King does an excellent job outlining the key issues, interviewing top executives in the field and including the transcripts of the interviews. I found this particularly interesting to read the actual answers given to Brett’s questions. He concludes each chapter with ‘the key lessons’.

It is a relief to read that the title of Breaking Banks is more about breakthroughs and breaking the cycle of traditional thinking than destroying the old, traditional banking system. However any change is difficult and we tend to do everything avoid it. The Gen-X (baby boomer generation) can be quite lost with these changes. I have seen more in the media warning us of the scams and fraud with on-line banking and on-line transactions. All to the good to be aware of this and to know what safeguards to put into place but I now realize that we need to be aware of many more positive exciting changes too.

This is a thought provoking book providing us with an excellent overview of the challenges facing the banks, their competitors and the choices Joe and Joanna Public has at his and her disposal, as well as the many new innovations that might/will be coming in the near future.


Tradermind: Get a Mindful Edge in the Markets (Wiley Trading)
Tradermind: Get a Mindful Edge in the Markets (Wiley Trading)
by Steve Ward
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Just the book to help you develop the trader mind set., 10 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Just the book I was looking for to help me develop ‘the trader mind set’. I had heard of mindfulness but had not tried it and did not know that it could be applied to trading.

Steve Ward is to be congratulated in covering most if not all the psychological aspects of trading as well as giving us the mindfulness techniques to enable us to understand and work through them.

To change any bad habits we as traders may have developed over the years is very hard, it usually takes at least 21 days, so the 8 week course included at the end of the book is ideal to develop a new mind set. I am keen to follow it so that I can become a conscious trader and not the loss averse, impulsive trader I had become.

To get the most out of this approach one has to commit to doing the exercises, so it’s not a book to skim through.

Excellent, I would recommend this book to all new traders as we often think that carrying out the right strategies will bring us the sought after results and we underestimate the effect of our psychological reactions when we have the inevitable losses. ‘TraderMind’ helps us to reach our unconscious reactions by using mindfulness techniques on the feelings we experience at the times we do not follow our trading plan, chasing the market, taking profits early, etc. I look forward to completing the course and becoming calmer, focused and a better conscious trader.


Heroes and Villains of Finance
Heroes and Villains of Finance
by A Baldwin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 10 Aug. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
In Baldwin’s choice of ‘The 50 Most’ he gives us very, very short intriguing highlights of the heroes and failings of the villains. Few of them have more than a page and a half of text to outline their area of expertise or failing, wealth or loss realization. If our interest is piqued then we need to research more elsewhere.

Throughout the book we have attention grabbing quotes in large font covering half or even a full page. This 200 page book has the content of less than a half of this size. Very disappointing, more of a format for a small pocket book.

I disagree with one of the reviewer who states ‘Anyone trying to understand where finance is now, how it got there and where it might go should read this book.’ Don’t you will be none the wiser.


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