Subliminal Perception – How it Works

What is subliminal perception? Does it really affect your mind and behavior? Subliminal CDs and programs are one of the most recent tools in the self-development field that offers the promise of helping people make dramatic life changes conveniently, inexpensively and with little effort. But, to what degree does subliminal programming work?

Subliminal Perception, A Natural Process …

Perception is the natural, normal way you receive impressions from your environment. Subliminal refers to information that is perceived below the level of conscious awareness. Normally, you pay conscious attention to a very small percentage of information that you experience through our sense and your mind. Try this test: take a moment to focus your attention on the sounds around you and you will discover there are many background noises you normally completely ignore … consciously that is. These sounds probably include traffic noise, machinery, conversations, birds, insects, etc. Nevertheless you are aware of this constant bombardment of stimuli, even though it is perceived below your conscious awareness by your extremely receptive and sensitive subconscious mind.

Interest in subliminal communication first developed shortly after Freud presented his revolutionary idea that we all have a hidden, unconscious mind. One of Freud's contemporaries, Dr. O. Poetzle, developed and tested theories related to the effect of subliminal stimulation on dream content. In 1917, Poetzle was the first scientist to demonstrate the close relationship between subliminal stimuli and posthypnotic suggestion. His discovery, called the Poetzle Effect, indicates that subliminal perceptions evoke dreams and actions days or weeks after the original perception.

In the last 50 years, many hundreds of carefully controlled scientific studies have been conducted on subliminal perception. An abundance of scientific data resulting from decades of research indicates that subliminal perception does occur and information perceived subliminally does affect the unconscious or subconscious mind. And most importantly, subliminal programming has been shown to be an effective tool for influencing and changing behavior. Controversy over subliminal stimuli arises precisely because it does influence people's behavior without their conscious awareness.

Subliminal Messages Used in Stores to Reduce Shoplifting

It was discovered that subliminal messages could be masked in music or other audio programs. An article in TIME magazine in 1979, titled, 'Secret Voices,' reported that nearly 50 department stores in the US and Canada were using subliminal messages in the music systems to reduce shoplifting and employee theft. One East Coast chain was reported to have reduced theft by 37%, amounting to the phenomenal savings of $ 600,000 over a nine-month period.

A similar story in the WALL STREET JOURNAL in 1980 stated the installation of a subliminal message system in a New Orleans supermarket accounted for a drop in pilferage loss from almost $ 50,000 per six months to 'the astounding figure of less than $ 13,000' – an all time Low Shoes! Cashier shortages dropped from $ 125 per week to less than $ 10 per week. Subliminal messages found to be effective were statements like, "I take a great deal of pride in being honest. I will not steal. I am honest."

Scientific Evidence: Subliminal Messages Influence Behavior

Extensive Documentation of Subliminal Perception

In his scholarly work titled "Preconscious Processing," Dr. Norman Dixon, a psychologist at University College in London, England, summarizes 748 scholarly research studies on subliminal perception.

Included in Dixon's authoritative work is a research study by Zuckerman (1960), that revealed a subliminal stimulus can by-pass conscious intent, and that it makes it unlikely a person would resist instructions which are not consciously experienced. Zuckerman required his subjects to write stories around Thematic Apperception Test cards. Superimposed on the ambiguous pictures on the cards were either the subliminal message, "Write More" or "Do not Write." As long as the instructions were subliminal, these messages had the desired effect. However, as soon as they were able to be perceived consciously, the messages had no consistent effect.

Behavioral Improvements Result from Subliminal Messages …

Dr. Lloyd H. Silverman, a psychologist at New York University, has been at the forefront of subliminal testing for 20 years. His work, with over 40 groups of subjects, has shown significant improvements in behavior after exposure to selected subliminal messages. IN a 1980 study, Silverman incorporated a subliminal message into a treatment of half of a group of smokers trying to quit smoking using behavior modification therapy. One month after treatment ended, 66% of the group exposed to the activating subliminal stimulus were still non-smokers, compared with 13% of the control group. Silverman says the positive effect of subliminal messages has been observed in assertiveness training classes, adolescents receiving psychotherapy, college students in group therapy, alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous counseling, and in people undergoing behavior modification for insect phobias and overeating.

Subliminal Messages Improve Academic Performance …

An article in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, Volume 29, 1982, reports on a study by Dr. Kenneth Parker, a psychologist at Queens College in New York. Dr. Parker's research project was designed to see if subliminal messages can improve academic performance. Sixty students received visual subliminal messages using a light-flashing device called a tachistoscope. Three times a week, before class, the students looked through the eyepiece of the tachistoscope and saw a fast flash of bright light, nothing more. In the four millisecond flash was embedded a single sentence. The class was divided into three groups, each receiving a different message. Two messages were designed to enhance academic performance; the third was a control.

Careful statistical analysis of the results of the subliminal stimulation revealed significant improvement in academic performance. Groups one and two, receiving activating subliminal messages achieved average grades in the range of a high B to low A. Group three, the control, received an average grade in the low B range. In addition, those who received subliminal messaged had higher retention of the learned material after one month than the control group had.

Medical Clinic Uses Subliminal Tapes to Reduce Fainting , Smoking, and Temper Flare Ups …

In 1951, Dr. Hal Becker, a behavioral scientist and former member of the Tulane University Medical Staff, began investigating subliminal processes. Dr. Becker has published dozens of research articles which support the effectiveness of subliminal stimulation. One of Dr. Becker's investigations, presented in a scientific paper to the Ninth Annual Conference of Computer Medicine in Atlanta in 1979, involved the use of subliminal stress reduction messages incorporated into the sound system at the McDonagh Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri. A seven-month trial produced dramatic results. Fainting caused by needle pain dropped to nearly zero, smoking in the staff lounge was cut as much as 79%, and the temper flare-ups in the crowded patient waiting room were reduced by nearly 60%. When the subliminal messages were stopped, these problems returned to former levels.

Subliminal Tapes Influence Dramatic Weight Loss …

Becker's research has shown that the use of subliminal messages can influence weight-loss with astounding results. In Metairie, Louisiana, at Dr. Becker's weight loss clinic, patients were exposed to videotape and audio cassette subliminal messages as part of a behavior-modification diet plan. One woman lost 100 pounds in one year's time. In a follow-up study, Becker found that 50% of the patients maintained at lease half their weight loss for up to two years after leaving the subliminal program, while 23% maintained 75% to 100% of their loss. This is a significantly better record than that of diet programs not accompanied by subliminal messages.

Another subliminal stimulation weight-loss study involved two experiments conducted by Silverman, Martin, Ungaro and Mendelsohn (1978) with two groups of overweight women. In addition to traditional diet therapy, half of the subjects received subliminal affirmations and half received neutral subliminal message stimulation. In both experiments, the groups receiving the positive subliminal messages lost more weight than the control groups. The group receiving subliminal affirmations continued to lose weight even after the experiment concluded.

Positive Proof Mind Absorbs Subliminal Information …

In another of Dr. Becker's controlled tests of subliminal perception, experimental and control groups were asked to guess a three-digit number. The experimental group was exposed to the number subliminally embedded in a hissing sound known as 'pink noise.' In three separate experiments, an average of 77% of those exposed to the subliminal numbers guessed correctly, compared to only 10% of those in the control group (who were not exposed to the numbers). This confirms that subliminal messages are perceived at a non-conscious level.

HOW YOU CAN USE SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION FOR SELF -IMPROVEMENT

Research indicates that subliminal perception takes place when the subconscious portion of the mind is exposed to messages below the level of conscious awareness. Subliminal audio and video recordings are proving to be a safe and effective, easy and convenient, inexpensive and enjoyable way people can bring about profound personal change in their lives.

Programming the Subconscious Mind to Create Your Reality

Did you know that your mind creates your reality? It's true. The functioning of the mind can be readily understood when considered in terms of the widely accepted view that the mind has both conscious and subconscious portions. The conscious portion of your mind is rational, logical and analytical. It questions and modifies incoming information from your sense before the information is stored in your subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is non-analytical and houses the motivating forces that direct your conscious actions, thoughts, and habits. It affects your attitudes, how you feel, and what you do. The beliefs and thoughts you hold in your subconscious mind build and shape every aspect of your life.

In other words, your subconscious is what actually creates your life. This is why it is important to discover how to access the subconscious to remove negative, self-limiting beliefs and replace them with positive, life-enhancing beliefs.

The Secret of Subliminal Recordings

The secret of why subliminal recordings are so effective is simple: the positive messages on the tape directly access the subconscious mind. Other widely used self-improvement techniques work only on a conscious level. Unlike those methods, subliminal recordings permit you to work directly with that portion of your mind which actually maintains ongoing control of your life. You must effect change at a subconscious level if you want to make lasting improvements in your life.

Another reason subliminal programs and CD's are so effective is that they permit positive messages to reach the subconscious without interference or modification from the conscious mind. This is important because often your conscious mind will question or reject certain statements that it knows are not presently true. For example, if you are using positive affirmations such as, "I am successful," yet you know that success is not presently a part of your life, your conscious mind can negate the positive effect of the statement by rejecting it. Because subliminal messages bypass the conscious mind, the conscious mind can not question or reject them.

Within your subconscious mind is the raw material that will automatically from your life tomorrow. Subliminal tapes and CD's provide you with a powerful tool to imprint on your subconscious the positive images that you select as the basis for creating the kind of life you want. The information your subconscious mind accepts through subliminal perception becomes the new mental programming that changes your life and propels you toward your goals.

A Word of Caution: Not all Subliminal Tapes & CD's are Equal …

Subliminal stimulation has been scientifically validated as a means to bring about desired behavioral change. However, not all subliminal tapes and CD's are equal; their effectiveness depends on tow key factors: the content of the subliminal messages and the quality of production-including the engineering and electronic mixing of the sound recordings.

Certain production methods used by some companies claiming to contain 100,000 or more subliminal affirmations are of very questionable at best. In order to produce recordings with this number of affirmations per hour, the voice track must be speeded up until it becomes an unintelligible high-pitched squeal and or / multi-layered many, many times until there is only a garbled confusion of sounds.

While 100,000 affirmations per hour may make attractive advertising copy, there is no documented evidence that the squeal of a high – speed sound track or the garbled confusion of many multi-layered tracks can be understood by the subconscious mind. In fact, the vast majority of scientific experiments that have been done on subliminal programs were done with surprisingly few affirmative statements. In fact, in the study referenced earlier by Dr. Parker, the students were only exposed to a very few subliminal statements at each session, and yet because the statements were carefully constructed, the results were dramatically positive.

There exists NO scientific proof that the subconscious makes meaningful responses to any input that is unintelligible. In fact, the overwhelming consensus from both professionals and the literature suggests that a subliminal verbal communication should be delivered slowly and methodically.

The importance of the content of the messages used on subliminal tapes and CD's can not be overemphasized. It is critical that the affirmations be positive since certain negative or aversive subliminal statements may not only decrease the effectiveness of the tape or CD, they may even be counterproductive. It is wise for anyone using subliminal programs to be aware of not only how the tapes and CD's are made, but what messages are on them. Having a script of the exact statements on a subliminal program is invaluable. It will serve not only to inform you of the nature and content of the subliminal messages that will be programming your subconscious mind, but it can also serve as resource for conscious reinforcement.

WHO USES SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS & CD'S

Clinics, Hospitals, & Medical Professionals …
There is a rapidly increasing professional awareness of the effectiveness of subliminal programming in the fields of medicine and behavioral therapy. An increasing number of medical professionals and clinics are using our subliminals as a powerful supplement to conventional treatment programs. Subliminals are effectively used to create a relaxed, harmonious atmosphere, to promote healing and more rapid recovery. Although subliminals are not intended to replace or substitute for expert medical advice or treatments, they are being used in addition to other therapies to help facilitate improvement.

Schools & Universities …
Educators are recognizing the value of subliminals to help students build positive self-esteem, increase concentration, improve memory, and achieve higher test scores. A number of schools and universities are using subliminals in classrooms to promote peak learning and accelerate student performance.

US Government Agencies & Corporations …
Business executives, companies, governmental agencies and professional organizations are using subliminals to become more organized, increase productivity, efficiency. Creativity, and reduce stress.

Sales Organizations …
Sales organizations and sales people are using our subliminal programs to develop self-confidence, enthusiasm and motivation, to overcome procrastination and promote increased sales volume and income.

Athletes & Students Involved in Sports …
Athletes, from professionals to elementary schools students, are using subliminal programs to increase motivation, will power, speed, coordination, strength, endurance and overall performance.

Individuals for Self Improvements …
Our subliminal programs enable you to directly access your subconscious mind to create a positive self-image, increase self confidence and eliminate negative emotions.

Interpersonal relationships can be significantly improved using the subliminal programs specifically designed to promote a loving, friendly, affectionate attitude that radiates to everyone around you.
Many people use our subliminal programs to develop an enthusiastic, positive outlook on a prosperity consciousness to attract success and abundance.

You can design your own personal self-improvement program by choosing titles from the expanding selection of subliminal programs we produce. You can improved any area of ​​your life you decide to work on. By stimulating your subconscious mind with the positive messages on the programs you select, you will be able to rid yourself of negative beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are inhibiting your enjoyment and success in life. You can discover hidden abilities, inner strengths, and a prosperous, fulfilling life you may have never dreamed possible.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ON SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS

Question: How do you use subliminal programs ?
Answer: Subliminal mental programming is a passive process, relying on the natural ability of the subconscious mind to absorb information below the normal range of your conscious awareness. No active involvement, concentration, or relaxation is necessary for subliminal programs to work successfully.

Subliminal programs can be used anytime your like, day or night. Simply play the program in the background as you go about your daily activities. The programs do not have to be played at high volume. As long as you can hear the music or environmental sounds, your subconscious mind will pick up the subliminal suggestions in the program. They can be played as a soft, soothing background all day or night, even while listening to other music or TV. You can also soften the effect even further by adjusting the tone controls on your player.

Subliminal programs can be listened to anytime day or night while you are doing virtually any activity-relaxing, reading, studying, eating, talking on the phone, at the office, while you are exercising.

QUESTION: DO YOU SUGGEST USING MORE THAN ONE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAM AT A TIME?
ANSWER: The effectiveness of our subliminal programs can be compounded by using a compatible assortment of titles. However, in order to avoid overloading yourself, we recommend not working on more than 2 or 3 behavioral changes at a time. Programs not having to do with addictions or major life changes can be used together very effectively and will often work together to positively reinforce one another.

QUESTION: HOW OFTEN SHOULD I LISTEN TO THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS?
ANSWER: You can not really overdo listening to positive programs. The more often you listen, the faster you will begin to see results. It is recommended that you play your subliminal programs at least once a day and more often if possible. If you want to strengthen the effect of the programs and get results more quickly, listen to them several times each day and night.

QUESTION: HOW SOON CAN I EXPECT RESULTS FROM USING THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAMS?
ANSWER: For many people there are immediate , observable, and in some cases, dramatic results after listening to our subliminal programs only a few times. However, because each person is unique, results will vary from person to person. Remember, it has taken years to create the life you have today. The results of listening to subliminal messages are cumulative, so the desired changes will occur provided sufficient repetitions and time are allowed for all levels of your consciousness to absorb the new positive programming. Almost everybody will be able to see positive improvement in 60 days or less.

QUESTION: ONCE I HAVE ACHIEVED RESULTS, DO I NEED TO CONTINUE LISTENING TO THE SUBLIMINAL PROGRAM?
ANSWER: If you are using a subliminal program to help you reach a specific goal, such as losing twenty pounds or quitting smoking, once you have achieved the goal, you may have no need to continue using the tape. However, many people find it helpful to continue playing the subliminal programs from time to time for positive reinforcement. If you feel a desire to return to an old habit such as smoking or eating foods that cause you to gain weight, we suggest you use the subliminal programs again regularly until the desire passes. You may wish to use some of our subliminal programs on an ongoing basis whenever you feel the need. This applies particularly to such titles as Stress Reduction, Start the Day Great, Stop Procrastination, and our many spiritual titles. The main principle is to use the programs as long as or as often as you feel you want or need their benefits.
Subliminal programs provide you with an effective and pleasant way to bring about lasting personal change. We combine the most advanced electronic technology with the latest scientific knowledge of how the mind works and how behaviors are determined to provide you with state-of-the-art subliminal programming. Many thousands have found that using our subliminal programs helped them improve their lives and achieve positive results that seem almost miraculous!

References

Becker, HC, "Subliminal Communication Advances in Audiovisual Engineering Applications for Behavior Therapy and Education." Proceedings of the 1978 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 3 Conference.
Becker, HC, "Subliminal Communication and Hypnosis," Presentation to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, 25th Annual Scientific Meeting, Denver, Colorado, October 24-30, 1976.
Becker, HC, & McDonagh, EW, "Subliminal Communication (Subliminal Psychodynamic Activation) in Rehabilitative and Preventive Medicine," Proceedings of the 1978 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Region 3 Conference. April 10-12, 1978, Atlanta.
Bower, Bruce. "Subliminal Messages: Changes for the Better?" Science News, Vol. 129, March 8, 1986
Budzynski, Thomas. "Tuning in on the Twilight Zone," Psychology Today., Vol. 11, August 1977, pp. 38-44.
Dixon, NF, "Preconscious Processing," New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1981.
Dixon, NF, "Subliminal Perception: The Nature of a Controversy." London: McGraw Hill, 1971.
Maxwell, Neil, "Words Whispered to Subconscious Supposedly Deter Thefts, Fainting." Wall Street Journal, November 25, 1980.
Parker, Kenneth A., "Effects of Subliminal Symbolic Stimulation on Academic Performance." Journal of Counseling Psychology, Vol. 29 (1), 1982.
Silverman, LH, Martin, A., Ungaro, R., & Mendelsohn, E., "Effect of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Fantasies on Behavior Modification Treatment of Obesity." Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, pp. 46.432 to 441.1978.
"Subliminal Communication Technology," Hearing before the Committee on Science and Technology, US House of Representatives, Ninety-eighth Congress, Second Session, No. 105, August 6, 198

Children's Toys And Hobbies Today Are Much Different Than Those Of 80's And 90's Kids

The world that children are growing up in today is far different from what I remember as a kid growing up. I was born in the 1980s, which was not long ago at all. However, with the speed at which technology evolves in the present time, a lot of changes have occurred.

When I was in elementary school, I played with action figures, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Disney characters. There was also the Pogs craze and of course, Ty Beanie Babies. I can remember our first computer, it ran on MS-DOS, and the games we played were on floppy disks. I can also remember a time without the Internet. And also a time when AOL was the most popular Internet service provider.

The majority of my free time as a child was spent outdoors, weather permitting. I played with chalk, rode my bike and participated in outdoor games with neighbor kids. My friends and I went for walks and found alternate ways to occupy our time that did not involve an electronic device.

My friends and I made three-way calls on cordless phones that were twice the size of phones made in the present time. Further, my first cell phone, which was before even flip phones had been manufactured, had a grayish-green screen with black font and a four-inch retractable antenna.

Kids growing up in the world today have been exposed to a much different world. They have always lived in a world with the Internet, computers and other devices that are used on a daily basis. Their hobbies are also different and include playing video games, surfing the Internet and watching YouTube. Kids are even given smartphones, sometimes as early as elementary school.

Sure there are still many similarities, like playing with dolls, Legos and cars, but there are also many differences. While I believe technological advancements have been great for the economy and for improving the efficiency of our lives along with the world we live in, I do see some disadvantages as well. I think some important things are missing from children's lives today, including exposure to different forms of art and music. I also think that communicating electronically so frequently hinders social skills. But, regardless of my opinion, this is our world and after only living on it for 25 years, I can already see huge advancements in society. It will be interesting to see what children growing up now think about this topic when they reach 25.

An Introduction to Selfie Sticks

In case you've visited a tourist spot just recently, you may have noticed an individual or a group of friends posing in front of a camera attached to the tip of a telescopic pole.

This type of device, known as the selfie stick, was frequently used by extreme sports fanatics. However, in the last years it has become more popular among people in Southeast and East Asia. Nowadays, it seems that selfie sticks are going worldwide, mostly due to their reasonably-priced components and the never-ending desire to take self-portraits from a somewhat farther distance than what the arm could reach.

If ever you do not like the idea of ​​using a selfie stick or doing a selfie, you can stop reading this article. However, if you want to learn more about this latest craze or perhaps you are interested to buy one, continue reading.

What are these so-called selfie sticks?

These are the cheap counterparts of a monopod, which is a tripod without two legs. Professional photographers use the monopod to hold their cameras in a steady position. On the other hand, selfie sticks are meant to be grasped at the length of the arm so that the photographer can fit into the frame. Some products include a mechanism that allows the photographer to trigger the shutter from a distance.

What is the best one to buy?

The three basic kinds are as follows:

  • Bluetooth-enabled Sticks

You can pair these sticks with either your iPhone or Android phone. It has a button on the handle that you can press to take a picture.

  • Sticks plugged to the smartphone's headphone jack

This, too, has a button on the handle that you can press to take a photo.

  • Sticks without remote triggering function

Some are sold with a Bluetooth remote (keychain-sized) as part of a package deal.

I advise you to forget about triggerless selfie sticks since you still need to use your camera app's timer or a remote trigger, which can easily get lost and is hard to use when you are holding the stick.

The best choice are the Bluetooth-enabled sticks, particularly, if you like to take your picture from a farther distance without holding the stick, for example letting it lean against a wall. However, it can be fussy to pair your phone with a Bluetooth device, which is a common complaint among Amazon reviewers. Moreover, you should not forget to fully charge the stick's battery using a USB cable.

I would go for the selfie sticks that come with a headphone cable, since there are no issues when it comes to pairing or charging. The electricity coming from the headphone jack allows the user to operate the button. Though this solution is low-tech, it is efficient and will not let you get arrested in South Korea. Besides, these selfie sticks happen to be cheaper than their Bluetooth counterparts.

Where Do Computer Viruses Come From?

Computer viruses become a threat for most computer users. But have you ever asked yourself "where do computer viruses come from"? Perhaps with this knowledge you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of your PC without becoming a virus victim.

Behind every virus is a computer programmer. They create viruses for a variety of reasons. It may be to demonstrate skill. It may be eager students seeking admiration from their fellows. But more often than not viruses are created by cyber-criminals. They are designed to steal or copy your personal data for financial gain. It may be to gain access to passwords or credit card details. It may be to use your internet connection without your knowledge for illegal purposes. Or it may just be to bombard you with spam and bogus advertisements.

So viruses can be simply annoying or they can lead to financial ruin. Either way they are something we all need to steer clear of and we can do that by knowing a little more about them.

The most common source of virus infection is of course the Internet, this will not be a surprise and it does not mean that you have to stop accessing the Internet either. Most of the people who do unknowingly catch viruses from the net do so because they are click-happy. By this I mean they will click around and download anything on offer without knowing whether or not they can trust the source.

Here's a simple tip: Before you click on a link, check your status bar (usually bottom left) and see where it points to. Also make sure you do not install any programs unless you are confident you know what they are and where they have come from.

Email and email attachments are the second most common tool used to spread computer viruses. Email attachments must be handled with a lot of caution and you must not open any attachments that come with an email from an unknown sender. If you have a good anti virus package then you will be able to scan attachments before you view them. Make sure you do this even if it's from a friend. They may have unknowingly forwarded a virus to you.

Another very common way in which the virus spreads is as part of a bundle with cracks and key generators. Generally these are offered on peer-to-peer networks that have illegal file-sharing programs. The victim would be lured with downloads for free software only to find they were installing a virus on their own system.

The main thing is not just having a good antivirus on your computer, it is to keep it up to date because new viruses are created all the time. Again, a good anti virus suit will update itself regularly.

Hopefully this has answered that burning question "where do computer viruses come from"? Just good anti virus software and a bit of common computer sense is all you really need to stay safe from computer viruses.

What Drives Information Technology

Information technology generally refers to all forms of technology used in the creation, storage, exchange and utilization of data, conversation and all multi-media forms of communication. With computer technology constantly changing and improving, businesses are being driven with the need for the right system that is based on the requirements and goals of their enterprise. They are considered business allies in an information-based economy.

What drives information technology is competition within the business environment and the progression of computer technology that it is a part of. The systems of technology involve varied shapes of many state of the art devices that help in the transmission of information to managers translating such information to their decisions in the organization's operations.

There are many forms of information technology like computers, sensors, robots and decision support systems. The newest one being used in the market today are handhelds to help managers and subordinates to support their daily operations in the office. Due to the emergence of varied accounting system technology, Electronic Data Process Auditing now also known as Information Technology Auditing was launched to also cater to the need for technology control and as a response to utilize computers' capacity for attestation services.

Information technology has revolutionized business operations. In shaping the structure and functions of work organizations, plants, and office, modern information technology is considered one of prime movers among many industries. When one talks about technology, it brings up a whole exciting world of computers and the Internet. It also prompts terms like server, intranet, security, firewall and network. Other terms in its jargon are Ethernet, VoIP and more.

Information technology has not always alluded to computers, but referred to the oldest information processor, which is the brain. Technology is perhaps man's scientific attempt to imitate the brain's efficiency in functions of communication and information storage. Thus it is essentially the communication, storage and processing of information that would suit the purposes of users.

Through the use of high technology in the form of state of the art computers and software systems, communication is well managed. Some companies refer to its Information Technology Department as MIS or Management Information Services. Large companies have bigger requirements for the Information technology departments with bigger responsibilities in information storage, information protection, information processing, information transmission, and even information retrieval. IT contributes to the success of these businesses as it works along side its human resources in accomplishing the organization's tasks while reducing costs and opening new possibilities that have never been tried before by the company.

When the best of both science and technology is combined, what results is as powerful as today's advancements in technology. So powerful it is that it is not only a part of man's life – it dominates it. It makes him realize every second of his existence

Impeller Logs and Compasses

Sailing and navigation … Measuring Direction and Distance

For Measuring distance at sea, the old type of log that gave us the knot as unit of speed has long since given way to more sophisticated mechanical and electronic devices.

Walker logs

One of the oldest is the Walker log. This uses a torpedo-shaped spinner a few inches long towed behind the boat on a length of braided line. As it moves through the water, spiral fins on the torpedo make it spin, twisting the line. The on-board end of the line is hooked on to the back of the log instrument, where it turns a shaft connected to a reduction gear box. This in turn moves the hands on a series of dials, rather like those of an old fashioned gas meter, to give Direct reading of the distance the spinner has moved through the water.

Advantages of the Walker log are its rugged simplicity and the ease with which weed or debris can be cleared from the pinner. Its disadvantages are that its display has to be mounted right at the back of the boat; that the log line (usually 30 or 60 feet in length) has to be streamed before the log can be used, and recovered before entering harbour; it tends to under-read at very low speeds; and at speeds over about ten knots the spinner is inclined to jump out of the water and skitter along the surface. There are definite techniques for streaming and recovering a mechanical trailing log, intended to reduce the risk of the line tangling. To stream the log, first attach the on-board end to the hook on the back of the display unit. Then, keeping the spinner in hand, feed out all the line to form a long U-shaped loop astern before dropping the spinner overboard, well off to one side of the loop. Some owners like to hold on to the line just astern of the display unit for a few seconds, just to absorb the snatch as the load comes on to the line.

When recovering the log, speed is essential, especially if the boat is moving fast. Unclip the inboard end from the hook on the back of the display, and drop it overboard, allowing it to trail out astern while you pull in the log line. Then holding the spinner, gather in the line, coiling it as you go. Trailing the line astern like this allows any kinks to unravel.

Electrical trailing logs

The electrical trailing log is superficially similar to a Walker log, inasmuch as it uses a spinner towed astern of the boat on a long line. In this case, however, the spinner is in two parts, and the 'log line' is an electrical cable. The front part of the spinner is attached to the cable and only the rear part is free to rotate. As it does so, an electronic sensor in the front part makes and breaks an electrical circuit, so the on-board display unit receives a short pulse of electricity each time the spinner rotates. These pulses are counted electronically and are presented as a digital display of speed and distance run.

The advantages and disadvantages of this type of log are much the same as for the mechanical Walker log except that it is dependent on electrical power from internal dry batteries, which in return allows the display unit to be mounted almost anywhere on board, and that because the line itself is not twisting, it is rather easier to stream and recover.

Hull-mounted impeller logs

On cruising boats, hull-mounted logs are by far the most popular type, though in principle they are much the same as the electrical trailing log: a rotating impeller sends a stream of electrical impulses to a display unit mounted in the cockpit or near the chart table.

The impeller – which can be either a miniature version of the trailing log's spinner, or a paddle wheel an inch or so in diameter – is mounted in a fitting called a transducer, which either protrudes through the bottom of the boat or hangs down below the transom.

The disadvantages of this system are that an impeller so close to the hull can be affected by the water flow around the hull itself, and that it is difficult and potentially dangerous to withdraw the transducer to clear weed or debris from it at sea. The reason in-hull logs are so popular is primarily the convenience of not having to stream and recover 30 feet or more of log line at the beginning and end of each passage.

Other logs

At the top of the scale of price and sophistication are several alternative methods of measuring speed through the water:

Electromagnetic logs are based on the same principle as generators and electric motors: that electricity is created if you move a magnetic field past an electrical conductor. In this case the conductor is sea water and the magnetic field is created by the transducer. As the transducer moves through the water a small electric current is set up, measured by sensors on the transducer.

Sonic logs use accurate measurements of the speed of sound between two transducers mounted one ahead of the other. Each transducer emits a continuous stream of clicks, inaudible to the human ear, while listening for clicks transmitted from the other. When the boat is moving, the movement of the water past the hull slows down the clicks travelling forward whilst speeding up those travelling aft. The instrument accurately measures the time taken for each click to make the trip, compares them, converts the results into a display of speed through the water, and from this calculates the distance run.

Another type of sonic log uses sophisticated echo sounder technology to measure the rate at which plankton and debris are moving past its transducer.

The big advantages of all three types are that they are much less susceptible to fouling than ordinary in-hull logs and that they can go on working at very high speeds or in rough sea conditions, when turbulence or air bubbles make impeller logs unreliable.

Calibrating logs

No log can be relied upon to be 100 per cent accurate. This is particularly true of hull mounted logs because – quite apart from any inherent inaccuracies in the instrument itself – the gradual build-up of fouling as the season progresses means that the boat is dragging an ever-thickening layer of water along with it, so the water flow past the impeller will be slower than the boat speed through the water. Conversely, around some parts of the hull, such as alongside a sailing boat's keel or near the propellers of a motor boat, the water flow may actually be accelerated, making the log over-read.

Errors can always be allowed for if you know about them, and most electronic logs have a calibration facility that allows them to be adjusted to take account of these variations. Finding, and if necessary, correcting, log error is known as calibration. In principle it involves measuring the time taken to cover a known distance, using this to calculate true speed, and comparing this with the speed indicated by the log. Any accurately-known distance can be used, though the best are undoubtedly the measured distances' set up specially for the purpose. They consist of two (or sometimes three) pairs of transit posts, marking the start and finish of a precisely-measured distance, and shown on the appropriate chart. The course to steer to cover the Measured distance is also shown.

Settle the boat on course and at a steady speed before crossing the first transit line; note the time at which you cross the start ine and hold that course and speed without making any allowance for wind or tide until you cross the finish line, and note the time taken. Note the actual log reading at intervals of, say, 15 seconds so that you can work out the average log speed for the whole run.

As perfectly still water is rare, it is important to repeat the process in the opposite direction. Having found the speed over the ground in both directions, the speed through the water can be calculated by taking the average, by adding the two speeds together and dividing by two.

A more accurate result can be obtained by making four or six runs, but this can be a very
time-consuming process, especially as log errors are not necessarily the same at all speeds, so the calibration runs need to be carried out at a range of different speeds, and repeated as a double check after the log has been adjusted.

A common mistake is to work out the average time taken and divide the distance by this. The result invariably understates the boat's speed, because it must have been travelling in the 'slow' direction longer than in the 'fast' direction.

Some large scale charts (harbour plans) have a clearly marked scale of distance – rather like the one you might find on a road atlas – usually printed somewhere near the bottom edge. But this is not always the case, and on the smaller scale charts used for coastal and offshore navigation it would be impractical to provide such a scale because the scale of the chart varies slightly from top to bottom. One sea mile, however, is by definition one minute of latitude, so the latitude scales on each side of the chart constitute a scale of distance.

The slight difference between a sea mile and an international nautical mile is so small that for normal navigation it can be ignored: what is important, on small scale charts, is the distortion caused by the Mercator projection, which means that distance has to be measured at the latitude at which it is to be used. The longitude scale on the top and bottom edges of the chart is useless as a scale of distance.

It is relatively rare to find ourselves faced with the job of measuring distance in an exactly north-south line, so we need some means of transferring the distance between any two points on the chart to the latitude scale. Dividers are the tool for the job. For classroom navigation the kind of dividers used in technical drawing are perfectly adequate, and their sharp needle points give a reassuring sense of precision, but for practical navigation, traditional bow dividers have the big advantage that they can be opened and closed with one hand, by squeezing the bow to open them, and squeezing the legs to close them.

Sometimes it is necessary to draw arcs of measured radius on the chart, for which it is useful to have a drawing compass. Again, the type intended for technical drawing can be used so long as it is big enough, but it is generally better to use the larger and less sophisticated versions intended for marine navigation.

Compasses and Measuring direction at sea

Direction at sea is measured using a compass – essentially an instrument which points north, and goes on pointing north regardless of the movement of the boat around it. In practice most yachts carry at least two compasses. One, steering compasses are relatively large, fixed to the boat, and used to measure heading. The other is usually smaller, portable and is used to measure the direction of distant objects, so it is called a hand bearing compass. Sometimes one compass can do both jobs: on many ships and a few large yachts an attachment called a pelorus allows the steering compass to be used for taking bearings, while on very small craft, a hand bearing compass clipped into a bracket can serve as a steering compass.

There are many ways of making an instrument that will stay pointing in one Direction, including gyroscopes, and what are called 'ring laser gyros', but although these have their advantages, they are much too sophisticated, and therefore expensive, to be of practical interest for yachts. The Overwhelming majority of yacht compasses Depend on magnetism, and in that respect can be seen as direct developments from instruments that were probably in use several thousand years ago. Compasses make use of the fact that the earth has a magnetic field, which is very much as though a huge bar magnet were embedded in its core and aligned with its North-South axis.

Any magnet that is free to swing tends to line itself up with the earth's magnetic field. This effect is particularly obvious in the small, flat compasses used for orienteering and rambling on land, in which a single straight needle-like magnet gives a direct Indication of north. In marine compasses, several such magnets, or a single magnet in the shape of a ring, are mounted underneath a circular 'card', with a scale of degrees or compass points marked on it. The whole thing is suspended in a bowl filled with a mixture of water and alcohol, which slows Down the movement of the card, to reduce the swinging that would otherwise be caused by the pitching and rolling of the boat.

Compasses intended for fast motor boats are much more heavily damped than those intended for sailing craft; the rapid slamming of a planing boat can be enough to make the card of a sailboat compass rotate continuously.

Steering compasses

On a steering compass the fore-and-aft line of the boat is marked by a line or pointer on the compass bowl, called the lubber line, against which the boat's current heading can be read from the card, so it is obviously important for the compass to be installed so that the lubber line is accurately aligned with, or parallel to, the centre line of the boat. Many compasses have supplementary lubber lines offset by 45 ° and 90 ° on each side, intended mainly for use in situations such as tiller-steered boats where the helmsman is likely to be looking at the compass from one side or the other.

Of course, there are variations intended to suit particular applications. On many small and medium sized sailing yachts, where cockpit space is at a premium, the compass is set into the aft bulkhead of the superstructure, so that the rear edge of the card is visible, rather than its upper surface. A compass intended for this type of mounting has an aft lubber line and a scale of degrees marked on the down-turned rim of the card. An even more extreme variation is occasionally found in compasses intended for steel craft, whose structure effectively masks the compass from the earth's magnetic field. This problem can be reduced by mounting the compass as high above the hull as possible, so compasses have been produced that can be mounted on the wheelhouse roof, with mirrors or prisms arranged so that the helmsman effectively looks upwards at the bottom of the compass card .

Grid compasses

Grid compasses, intended primarily for aircraft navigation, enjoyed a surge of popularity after the Second World War, when many boats were fitted out from Army surplus stores! The claim that they were easier to steer by maintained their popularity for at least 20 years and several marinized versions were produced. A grid compass has a card with a particularly prominent north set in a flat-topped bowl. On top of the bowl is a transparent cover, marked with a grid of parallel lines and with a scale of degrees es around its edge. The required course is set by rotating the cover, and the helmsman then steers so as to keep the -. mark on the card lined up with the grid.

Hand bearing compasses

A hand bearing compass is basically a small, portable version of a steering compass, fitted with some form of sighting arrangement that allows it to be accurately lined up on a distant object. They can be subdivided into two groups: those intended to be used at arm's length, which are usually fitted with a handle; and those intended to be held close to the eye, which are usually supplied with a neck strap. Which kind is best is very much a matter of personal preference, but anyone who uses spectacles or a hearing aid is well advised to go for an arm's-length compass because even small pieces of ferrous metal such as the hinges of spectacles can cause compass errors if they are only inches away.

Sighting arrangements vary. The classic Sestrel Radiant, for instance, has a prism mounted above the bowl, with a V-shaped notch on top. When the compass is held up at arm's length and eye level the lubber line and compass card can be seen in the prism. To take a bearing of a distant object, you line up the 'target' with the notch, rotate the compass until the lubber line appears in the prism immediately below the target, and then read off the bearing. Another common arrangement has two sights on top of the bowl, like the fore sight and back sight of a gun, and an edge-reading compass card. Close-to-the-eye compasses do not have such obvious sighting arrangements: instead they have a small prism mounted on top, whose optics are arranged in such a way that when you look at a landmark across the top of the compass, its bearing appears in the prism immediately below.

Fluxgate compasses

A new type of compass is rapidly gaining in popularity. Unlike a conventional 'swinging card' compass, a fluxgate compass has no moving parts, but instead uses electronics to detect the earth's magnetic field and present that information on some kind of display. A fluxgate depends on the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction – as used in transformers and the ignition coil of a petrol engine. If you pass an electric current through a coil of wire wound around a suitable metal core, the core becomes a magnet. Which end is the north pole, and which the south, depends on the direction of the current flow in the wire, so if you apply an alternating current to the wire, the north and south poles of the core change places each time the current reverses . If you have a second coil of wire wound around this whole assembly the constantly-reversing magnetic field induces an electric current in the secondary winding.

In a fluxgate there are two cores side by side, with their primary windings receiving alternating current from the same source, but wound in opposite directions. This means that in a magnetically 'clean' environment (with no external magnetic influences) the induced magnetism in the two cores would be equal and opposite, so they would cancel each other out and produce no current at all in the secondary winding that surrounds both of them. The presence of an external magnetic field upsets the balance, causing a short surge of electricity in the secondary winding each time the primary current reverses. This effect is most pronounced if the two cores are parallel to the external magnetic field. In a practical fluxgate compass, several fluxgates are arranged in a circle. By comparing the voltages induced in the various secondary windings it is possible to deduce where north is relative to the ring of flux-gates.

At present, the most common use of this technology is to provide heading information for other electronic equipment such as autopilots or radars, but it can also be used to provide a steering display for the helmsman or as the heart of an electronic hand bearing compass. Apart from the ease with which fluxgate compasses can be connected to other navigational electronics, their big advantages are that they can be fitted with an automatic correction facility, and that because the sensor and display are usually separate from each other, the sensor can be mounted anywhere on board and well away from distorting magnetic Influences. Fluxgate hand bearing compasses also have the facility to 'store' headings, to save the navigator having to memorize them.

Their main disadvantage is that very large errors can occur if the fluxgate ring is not kept perfectly horizontal. There are electronic solutions to this problem, but the fact remains that the compass without moving parts actually requires more sophisticated gimbal arrangements than its swinging card counterparts.

Cyber ​​Crime – Can Locard's Exchange Principle Be Applied to Cyber ​​Crime?

Cyber ​​Crime is replacing drug trafficking. Recent government findings indicate that cyber crime has pushed aside the illicit drug trade as one of the top sources for hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains the world over. In its infancy, the Internet seemed like something that could develop into a useable tool for scientific research. If we had only known back then what potential it held, perhaps more thought would have gone into its protection.

Today the newswires are filled with reports of massive thefts of personal information as well as depleted bank accounts-all due to the criminal element that, for a small investment in a computer and an Internet connection, is changing the landscape of criminal investigation. One highly regarded research survey stated that 8.1 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2010. Losses were in the hundreds of millions.

The Locard Exchange Principle (LEP)

Dr. Edmond Locard (1877-1966), known to many as the French "Sherlock Holmes," was a pioneer in forensic evidence investigation. Locard formulated the basic principle of forensic science, "Every contact leaves a trace," Of course Locard's theory dealt with the physical contact made by the perpetrator to items in the crime scene. But today's crime scene may not involve a physical structure-more than likely the crime scene is located out there in cyberspace.

So the question evolves, "Does Locard's Exchange Principle apply to an electromagnet passing over a spinning disk?" Some digital detectives believe that it does. For example, a hacker gains access to a computer system that may or may not be secure. Is any computer completely secure? Granted, security software is effective against many such invasions, but a secure system will only take the hacker a little longer to get into it. Now, the question is, does the exchange principle apply?

Cyber crimes leave no physical evidence

On the surface, the infiltrator would leave no physical trace of his having been there. But other electronic trace evidence may be present. If the computer's file access logs were accessible, it's possible that a record will be available showing that the file was, in fact, accessed, and even that a network transmission followed. Also a possibility is that a side-channel analysis of any activity on the hard drive will uncover network operations. As a last resort, the examiner may check the access logs of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to uncover surreptitious entry. This step will not necessarily divulge what specific data was removed, but it will indicate that data was, in fact, lifted from the line.

Industrial espionage is becoming commonplace

Personal information and cash are not the only targets of this spreading menace. Online industrial espionage is a growing threat to the US economy as well as our national security. US intelligence agencies recently warned elected officials that China and Russia are engaged in cyber-espionage. "Trade secrets developed over thousands of working hours by our brightest minds are stolen in a split second and transferred to our competitors," said one counterintelligence executive. These foreign governments deny this claim.

The Cyber Exchange Principle

Perhaps when relating to cyber crime, the "Cyber Exchange Principle" applies. Forensic examination of a computer or server will uncover artifacts of invasion. The investigator is then, faced with a situation that the crime scene is not limited to a single computer and may involve another computer half the world away.

The hacker will not be leaving latent fingerprints, foot prints, or traces of physiological fluids in the wake of his intrusion. But electronic activity in this case can be far more valuable in the bits and bytes this activity leaves behind. The principle that Locard espoused so long ago must be forefront in the minds of our digital detectives as they seek what clues an invaded computer holds as well as what traces are awaiting discovery out there in cyberspace.

The Symptoms of a Hormone Imbalance and What You Can Do About It

Many women feel that painful periods, irritability, bloating, breast swelling and tenderness are all a normal part of menstruation. Whilst these symptoms are extremely common among women, they are not normal. A healthy menstrual cycle should ideally be pain and symptom free. Unfortunately, in today's society, hormonal imbalance and premenstrual tension are commonplace and more serious problems such as infertility and hormone related conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and cancers such as uterine, breast and cervical cancer are all on the increase.

Other typical symptoms associated with hormonal imbalance may include depression, teariness, anxiety, cravings, headaches, cold or flu like symptoms, skin outbreaks, low energy, digestive complaints (constipation or diarrhoea), hot flushes and insomnia. These symptoms typically occur 7 to 14 days prior to menstruation and for some women may be extremely debilitating.

Let's explore some of the factors contributing to this epidemic of hormonal disorders.
• Poor diet & nutrition: increased incidence of pre-packaged foods, takeaways and cold storage of fresh foods means most are devoid of essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, there has been a significant increase in the level of fat consumption in our diet. The type of fat has also changed from relatively unsaturated vegetable fat to saturated animal fat, causing a significant shift in the hormones that promote or modulate inflammation in the body called prostaglandins. An excess of inflammatory prostaglandins causes painful periods, breast pain and even headaches.
• Pollution: we live in large cities with high amounts of air and water pollution. Unfortunately, our water supply is contaminated with a variety of harmful substances such as pesticides, fungicides, and heavy metals. These pesticides can attach to the hormonal receptors on our cells and provide an estrogenic effect contributing to the symptoms mentioned above.
• Toxicity: increased exposure to poisonous chemicals contained in cosmetics, cleaning products, deodorants, pesticides in the food supply, plastics, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, hair dyes, drugs (both recreational and pharmaceutical), anaesthetics, etc. As mentioned above chemicals such as pesticides are able to attach to our estrogen receptors and cause unfavourable effects. Every chemical we ingest or absorb through our skin must be detoxified by our liver. The more chemicals we consume the more stress we place on our liver. If our liver is stressed, our body's ability to detoxify and remove chemicals is reduced. Hormone breakdown may be affected so that hormones such as aldosterone required for fluid balance accumulate and lead to sodium and water retention resulting in bloating. In addition, estrogen may not be broken down and excreted from the body leading to symptoms of estrogen dominance, including breast swelling and tenderness, pain, bloating, etc.
• Electromagnetic radiation in the form of x-rays, electricity and transmission towers, mobile phones, cordless phones, electronic appliances, microwaves and any form of wireless appliance may have negative effects on our immune system and consequently our ability to produce hormones.
• Genito-urinary infections, particularly gonorrhoea, chlamydia and pelvic inflammatory disease may lead to irreversible damage to the reproductive organs and consequently reduce our fertility.
• Stress and lifestyle habits (physical and emotional stresses, overwork, cigarettes, alcohol, excessive exercise or lack or exercise, etc.). Stress is a well-known hormonal disruptor. Exposure to stressful situations will induce the hypothalamic pituitary axis (HPA) located in the brain. The HPA sends messages to our thyroid, and ovaries to produce various hormones to keep our body in balance. An excess of stress may alter ovarian and thyroid function and result in imbalances in estrogen and progesterone levels which may manifest in premenstrual symptoms or altered menstrual cycles. In addition, stress also negatively impacts digestion and immune responses.

Having established some of the factors which may adversely affect our hormones, let us now explore what we can do improve our hormonal health and reduce some of the unfavourable symptoms associated with hormonal imbalances.

• Avoid toxin exposure: Where possible try to avoid exposure to chemicals and toxins by drinking filtered water; eating organic foods or washing all fruits and vegetables thoroughly to remove chemical residues; buying organic eggs free of antibiotics and pasture fed hormone free meat; using organic, sulphate free shampoos and natural cleaning products and cosmetics; avoiding excessive amounts of heavy metals: lead, cadmium (active / passive smoking), mercury (dental amalgams, fish, vaccines), aluminium (cookware, antiperspirants, antacids), copper (intra uterine devices, oral contraceptive pills), paints, glues , solvents, household cleaning products (especially bleach based products), insecticides, industrial products, hair dyes, perfumes; and minimising electromagnetic radiation exposure, including, microwaves ovens, wireless networks and broadband, cordless phones, transmitters, electric blankets, water beds, and clock radios.
• Avoid excessive amounts of saturated fats such as red meat, butter and dairy products as these are pro-inflammatory and aggravate hormonal imbalances and premenstrual symptoms. Remember grass or pasture fed meat is not only lower is pesticides but contains more omega 3 fats which are anti-inflammatory. Also avoid excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white bread, cakes, biscuits, pasta and potatoes. Instead eat a balanced diet with an emphasis on fresh fruit and vegetables (aim for 5 serves per day), nuts and seeds, healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil, deep sea fish, organic eggs and lean red meat and chicken. Also drink at least 2 litres of filtered or spring water per day.
• Reduce social toxins such as caffeine and alcohol. Not only do these substances place extra stress on our liver, they have also been shown to exacerbate hormonal imbalance and reduce fertility.
• Take a good multivitamin or mineral supplement. In particular, B vitamins are required for healthy energy and nervous system function, as well as to support our liver detoxification pathways. B6 taken in the week prior to menstruation may reduce premenstrual tension (PMT), bloating and breast tenderness. Magnesium is very beneficial for those suffering with headaches, period pain and PMT and is often deficient in our diets. Essential fatty acids such as evening primrose oil and fish oil are also often deficient in the Western diet and may reduce bloating, headaches, breast swelling and tenderness and improve mood.
• Detoxification programs: since many environmental toxins have been shown to have a direct effect on hormonal pathways and foetal development, a detoxification program may be useful excrete harmful chemicals and heavy metals from the body and improve liver function. This is of particular importance for those having difficulty conceiving or suffering from disorders such as fibroids and endometriosis. Detoxification programs are best conducted under the supervision of a naturopath or herbalist.
• Herbal medicines are extremely effective in alleviating premenstrual and menopausal symptoms, balancing hormones, improving uterine tone and enhancing fertility. Chaste Tree is a herbal remedy used to alleviate premenstrual symptoms and regulate periods. Black Cohosh is traditionally used to reduce hot flushes, night sweats and menopausal symptoms. Other herbs which may be effective in treating hormonal imbalances include Dong Quai, Shatavari, Wild Yam and Peony. Often a combination of herbs works best so it is best to consult a professional herbalist or naturopath for an individualised prescription.
• Stress Management Practices. With our increasingly hectic schedules it is becoming more and more difficult to find time to exercise and relax. Since stress has a direct effect on our hormones, it is essential that we find time to incorporate practices such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and "down time" into our schedules. This will not only improve our feel good chemical or "endorphins" but also increases our immune system function. Exercise is also extremely beneficial for our overall health. As well as increasing our endorphins, it also improves our bone density and cardiovascular function. Aim for 40 to 60 minutes of exercise 4 to 5 times per week.

Remember that balance and moderation are the keys to a healthy life. Finding the time to eat well, exercise, relax and avoid harmful toxins and chemicals is an essential prescription for healthy hormones and a healthy life.

Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid – What RE Investors Should Know

There are 3 major drugstore chains in the US: Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. Below are some key statistics about the 3 major drugstore chains as of 2012:

1. Walgreens ranks first with market cap of $ 28.51 Billion, $ 72.2 Billion in 2011 total revenue ($ 45.1B from prescription revenues), and an S & P rating of A. According to Walgreens, 75% of the US population lives within 3 miles from its stores . In April 2010, it acquired 258 Duane Reade drug stores in New York Metropolitan area which brings a total of 7841 drug stores Walgreens operates as of February 2012, including 137 hospital on-site pharmacies.

2. CVS ranks second with market cap of $ 56.56 Billion, $ 107.1 Billion in revenue ($ 40.5 Billion from CVS prescription revenues and $ 16.1B from its Caremark prescription mail order revenue), and an S & P rating of BBB +. As of December 31, 2011, CVS operates 7404 drug stores.

3. Rite Aid ranks third (fourth, behind Walmart in terms of prescription revenues) with market cap of $ 1.49 Billion, $ 26.1 Billion in revenue ($ 17.1B from prescription revenues), operates 4714 drug stores as of February 2011 and has an S & P rating of B-.

Investors purchase properties occupied by these drugstore chains for the following reasons:

1. The drugstore business is very recession-insensitive. People need medicine when they are sick, regardless of the state of the economy. Both rich and poor people in the US have access to medicine. Some even argue that low-income people use more medicine due to free or low-cost drugs offered by government-assisted programs. So the tenants should do well during tough time and have money to pay rent to landlords.

2. The drugstore business has a good prospect in the US:

· People are living longer and need more medicine to sustain longevity, eg Actonel for osteoporosis, Aricept for Alzheimer's symptoms. Older people tend to use more medicine than younger ones as they often have more medical problems. As the 78 million baby boomers are getting closer to retiring age starting from 2008, the drugstore chains anticipate the demand for medicine to increase in next 20 years.

· The drug market continues to expand as the US population continues to grow. More and more Americans suffer from various diseases. The number of Americans suffers from seasonal allergies doubled in the last 15 years to 37 million people per Fortune magazine. They spent $ 5.4 Billion in 2009 for allergy drugs. As their waist lines balloon (75% of Americans are forecasted to be either overweight or obese by 2020), more Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, along with high cholesterol at younger and younger ages. In addition, doctors also recommend treating various diseases sooner than later due to better understanding about the diseases. For example, doctors now prescribe antiretroviral drugs for patients soon after infected with HIV virus instead of waiting for the infection to become AIDS. More doctors combine insulin with oral medicines to treat type-2 Diabetes instead of just oral medicines alone. All these factors increase the size of the drug market.

· Advance in genetic engineering has introduced various new genetic DNA testing kits which allow the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherited diseases and disorders. Genetic testing is currently the highest growth segment in the diagnostics industry. Some of these genetic tests will probably transform into direct-to-consumer testing kits available in drug stores in the near future.Upon FDA approval, these new products will potentially bring in additional revenue for drug stores.

· Using a new method of tailoring molecules called structure-based design; drug companies come up with new medicines that they might not have discovered otherwise, eg Xalkori by Pfizer to treat lung cancer.

· The passage of Health Care Reform Bill on March 23, 2010 provides insurance coverage to an estimated 33 million more American. This is a great present to the drugstore industry.

· There are new drugs to treat previously untreatable illnesses, and new diseases, eg Viagra for men's unhappiness, Avastin for colon cancer, Herceptin for breast cancer ,. The new medicines are very expensive, eg a year's supply of Avastin costs about $ 55,000. Eli Lilly has sold about $ 4.8 billion of Zyprexa in 2007 for schizophrenia and yet most people have never heard of this medicine.

· There are existing drugs now approved to treat new illnesses and thus increase their sales revenue. For example, Lyrica was originally intended to treat pain caused by nerve damagein people with diabetes. It is now approved by FDA to treat Fibromyalgia which affects 5.8 million Americans per WebMD.

· Big advances in genetics, biology and stem cells research are expected to produce a new class of drugs to treat diabetes, Parkinson's and various rare genetic disorders. For example the new drug Ilaris from Novartis targets genetic causes of an inherited disorder that there are only 7000 known cases worldwide. However, Novartis hopes to gradually broaden its drugs to a blockbuster drug to more common disorders caused by similar genetics.

· Technology and modern life introduce and require new products, eg pregnancy test kits, Lamisil for stronger clearer toe nails, Latisse for longer & thicker eyelashes, Propecia for male hair loss, Premarin for menopausal symptoms, diabetic monitors, electronic toothbrushes, contact lenses, lenses cleaners, diet pills, vitamins, birth-control pills, IUDs, nutrition supplements and Cholesterol-lowering pills (Americans spent nearly $ 26B in 2006 on Cholesterol medications alone per IMS Health, a Connecticut-based consulting company that monitors pharmaceutical sales.)

· Before the customers can get to the medicine aisles or pharmacy counters, they have to pass by chocolates, sodas, digital cameras, watches, toys, dolls, beers and wines, cosmetics, video games, flowers, fragrances, and greeting cards. Drug stores hope you use the one-hour photos services there. The stores also carry seasonal items, eg Halloween costumes, and "As Seen on TV" merchandise, eg Shamwow. As a result, customers buy more than their prescriptions and medicine in these drugstores. CVS reported that non-pharmacy sales represented 30% of the company's total sales in January of 2007. The figure for Walgreens is 34% and 37% for Rite Aid. Many pharmacy locations are in effect convenience stores especially ones that are in residential or rural areas. And so Walgreens hopes that customers also pick up WD-40, and screwdrivers at its stores instead of at Home Depot; Thai Jasmine rice, and fish sauce to avoid a trip to Safeway or Kroger Supermarkets. During the recession, sales of these non-drug items are down as customers buy what they need and not what they want. Walgreens tries to reduce the number of items by 4000. It also introduces its own private label which has higher profit margins.

· There are more and more generic medications on the market as a number of enormously popular brand-name blockbusters lose their 20-year long patents, eg Lipitor (best selling drug in the world to lower cholesterol) in 2010, Viagra (you know what it's for) in 2012. Drugstores prefer to sell generic drugs to customers due to higher profit margins than the brand-name medications.

· Many people are addicted to pain killers, eg Hydrocodone / Oxycodone. Per the DEA in 2012, there are 1.5 million American addicted to cocaine but 7 million addicted to prescription drugs.

· This author estimates that at least 10% of the dispensed prescription drugs are not used at all and sit idle in the medicine cabinets. They are eventually expired and thrown away.

3. These companies sign very long-term NNN leases, guaranteed by their corporate assets. This makes the investment in the underlying property fairly low risk, especially for Walgreens with a S & P "A" rating. In fact, these properties are sometimes referred to as investment-grade properties. Once the drugstore chains sign the lease, they pay the rent promptly and timely. This author is not aware of any properties leased by one of these drugstore chains in which the tenants failed to pay rents. Even when the stores are closed due to weak sales (Walgreens closed 119 stores in 2007), these companies may sublease the properties to other companies, eg Advance Auto Parts and continue to pay rents on the master leases.

· A typical Walgreens lease consists of 20-25 year primary term plus 8-10 five-year options. During primary term and options, there will be no rent increases in most of the leases. This is the main disadvantage of investing in Walgreens drugstores.

· A typical CVS lease consists of 20-25 year primary term plus 4-5 five-year options. The rent is normally flat during the primary term and then there is a 2.5% -10% rent increase in each 5-year option.

· A typical Rite Aid lease consists of 20-25 year primary term plus 4-8 five-year options. The lease often has a rent increase every 5-10 years.

Investment Risks

Although the pharmacy business in general is recession-insensitive, there are risks involved in your investment:

1) The main downside about investing in pharmacies is there is little or no rent bump for a long time, eg 20-50 years, especially for Walgreens. So the rent is effectively reduced after inflation is factored in. This is one of the main reasons these properties do not appeal to younger investors, especially when the cap rate is low.

2) The 3 drugstore chains now have a new formidable competitor, Walmart. Walmart sells prescription drugs in more than 4000 Walmart, Sam's Club and Neighborhood Market stores in 49 states. As of 2012, Walmart is the third largest drug retailer with $ 17.4B in prescription sales, just ahead of Rite Aid with $ 17.1B in prescription sales. The retail giant is known for launching in 2006 a highly-publicized $ 4 generic prescription drug program which now sells 350 generic medications for a 30-day supply. The actual number of medications is less as the medications with different strengths are counted as different medications. For example, Metformin 500 mg, 850 mg, and 1000 mg are counted as 3 medications. Walmart probably makes very little profits on these medications if any. However, the marketing campaign – created by Bill Simon, the President and CEO of Walmart US, generates a lot of publicity for Walmart. Walmart hopes to draw customers to its stores with other prescriptions where it has higher profit margins. In an unscientific survey with just one brand-name prescription of Lyrica, this author finds the lowest price at Costco, the highest price at Walgreens and Walmart at the middle. Other drug chains try to counter Walmart in different ways. Target now offers the same 350 generic medications for $ 4 for a 30-day supply. Walgreens has a Prescription drugs club with membership fee which offers 1400 generic medications for as little as $ 1 / week. CVS says it will match any offers from its competitors.

3) Chief Business Correspondent Rick Newman from US World & News Report predicted that Rite Aid might not survive in 2009. Rite Aid is still around in 2012. The prediction seems to go away in 2012 as Rite Aid as it was able to refinance the long terms debts and sales revenue has increased.

4) Drugs are also sold in thousands of supermarkets, Target stores, and Costco warehouses. However, there are no drive-through windows at these stores or Walmart to conveniently drop off the prescriptions and pick up medicines. Customers will not be able to pick up their prescriptions during lunch hour or after 7PM at Target stores or supermarkets. They need to have membership to buy medicines at Costco. Others may not fill their prescriptions at Walmart because they do not want to mingle with typical Walmart customers who are in lower income brackets. And some baby boomers do not want their prescriptions filled at Target or Walmart because there are no comfortable chairs for them to sit down and wait for their medicines.

5) Drugs retail business to some degree is controlled by the Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs). Customers normally get prescription coverage from their health insurance companies, eg Blue Cross. These PBM manage prescription benefits on behalf of the insurance companies. In 2012 Walgreens lost a contract valued at over $ 5 Billion with Express Scripts, a major PBM. Walgreen revenue was immediately fallen in the first quarter of 2012 as Express Scripts customers can not fill their prescriptions at Walgreens. The PBMs are also in the drugs retail business via mail orders which do not require leasing expensive retail spaces. The prescription mail orders currently capture over 20% market share of the total prescription revenue. Should customers change their prescription purchase habits to mail orders (there is no such evidence in 2012), it could have negative impact to the business of drugstore chains.

6) Many leases in areas with hurricanes and tornadoes are NNN leases with the exception of roof and structure. So if the roof is damaged, you will have to pay for the expenses.

7) The tenant may move to a new location down the road or across the street when the lease expires. This risk is high when the property is located in small town where there is low barrier for entry, ie lots of vacant & developable land.

8) The tenant may ask for rent concession to improve its bottom line during tough times. The possibility is higher if the tenant is Rite Aid and if the store has low sales revenue and / or higher than market rent.

9) More Americans are walking away from their prescriptions, especially the most expensive brand-name medicines. This may have negative impact on the sales revenue and profits of drug stores and consequently may cause drug store closures. According to Wolters Kluwer Pharma Solution, a health-care data company, nearly 1 in 10 new prescriptions for brand-name drugs were abandoned by people with commercial health plans in 2010. This is up 88% compared to 4 years ago just before the recession began. This trend is driven in part by higher and higher co-pays for brand name drugs as employers are shifting more insurance costs to their employees.

Among 3 drugstore chains, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies in general have the best locations-at major intersections while Rite Aid has less than premium locations. Walgreens tends to hire only the top graduates from pharmacy schools while Rite Aid settles with bottom graduates to save costs. When possible, all drugstore chains try to fill the prescriptions with generic medications which have higher profit margins.

1) Walgreens: the company was founded in 1901 by Charles Walgreen, Sr. in Chicago. While the company has existed for more than 100 years, most stores are only 5-10 years old. This is the best managed company among the three drugstore chains and also among the most admired public companies in the US. The company has been run by executives with proven track records and hires the top graduates from universities. Due to its superior financial strength – S & P A rating– and premium irreplaceable locations, properties with leases from Walgreens get the highest price per square foot and / or the lowest cap rate among the 3 drugstore chains. In addition, Walgreens gets flat rent or very low rent increases for 20 to 60 years. The cap rate is often in the low 5% to 6.5% range in 2012. Investors who buy Walgreens tend to be more mature, ie closer to retirement age. They are looking for a safe investment where it's more important to get the rent check than to get appreciation. They often compare the returns on their Walgreens investment with the lower returns from US treasury bonds or Certificate of Deposits from banks. Walgreens opened many new stores in 2008 and 2009 and thus you see many new Walgreens stores for sale. It will slow down this expansion in 2010 and beyond and focus on renovation of existing stores instead.

2) CVS Pharmacy: CVS Corporation was founded in 1963 in Lowell, MA by Stanley Goldstein, Sidney Goldstein, and Ralph Hoagland. The name CVS stands for "Consumer Value Stores". As of 2009, CVS has about 6300 stores in the US, mostly through acquisitions. In 2004, CVS bought 1,200 Eckerd Drugstores mostly in Texas and Florida. In 2006, CVS bought 700 Savon and Osco drugstores mostly in Southern California. And in 2008 CVS acquired 521 Longs Drugs stores in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona for $ 2.9B dollars. The acquisition of Long Drugs appears to be a good one as it CVS did not have any stores in Northern CA and Arizona. Besides, the price also included real estate. It is also bought Caremark, one of the largest PBMs and changed the corporation name to CVS Caremark. When CVS bought 1,200 Eckerd stores, it formed a single-entity LLC (Limited Liability Company) to own each Eckerd store. Each LLC signs the lease with the property owner. In the event of a default, the owner can only legally go after the assets of the LLC and not from any other CVS-owned assets. Although the owner loses the guaranty security from CVS corporate assets, this author is not aware of any incident where CVS closes a store and does not pay rent.

3) Rite-Aid: Rite Aid was founded by Alex Grass (he just passed away on Aug 27, 2009 at the age of 82) and opened its first store in 1962 as "Thrif D Discount Center" in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It officially incorporated as Rite Aid Corporation and went public in 1968. By the time Alex Grassstepped down as the company's chairman and chief executive officer in 1995, Rite Aid was the nation's largest drugstore chain in terms of total stores and No. 2 in terms of revenue. His son, Martin Grass, took over but was ousted in 1999 for overstatement of Rite Aid's earnings in the late 1990s. Rite Aid is now the weakest financially among the 3 drugstore chains. In 2007, Rite-Aid acquired about 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd drugstores, mostly along the East coast to catch up with Walgreens and CVS. In the process, it added a huge long term debt and is the most leveraged drugstore chain based on its market value. The integration of Brooks and Eckerd did not seem to go well. Revenue from some of these stores went down as much as 20% after they change the sign to Rite Aid. In 2009, Rite-Aid had over 4900 stores and over $ 26 Billion in revenues. The figures went down in 2010 to 4780 stores and $ 25.53 billion in revenue. On January 21, 2009 Moody's Investor Services downgraded Rite Aid from "Caa1" to "Caa2", eight notches below investment grade. Both ratings are "junk" which indicate very high credit risk. Rite Aid contacted a number of its landlords in 2009 trying to get rent concession to improve the bottom line. In June 2009, Rite Aid successfully completed refinancing $ 1.9 Billion of its debts. In 2012, Rite Aid benefits from Walgreens contract problem with Express Scripts. Same store sales increased 2.2%, 3.2%, and 3.6% for January, February and March of 2012, respectively. Rite Aid is still losing money in fiscal year 2012 which ended in March 3, 2012. However, it is losing less, $ 0.43 per share in 2012 versus $ 0.64 per share in fiscal year 2011. The company expects better outlook in fiscal year 2013.

Things to consider when invested in a pharmacy

If you are interested in investing in a property leased by drugstore chains, here are a few things to consider:

1. If you want a low risk investment, go with Walgreens. In stable or growing areas, the degree of safety is the same whether the property is in California where you get a 5.5% cap or Texas where you may get a 6.5% cap. So, there is no significant advantage to invest in properties in California as the property value is based primarily on the cap rate. In 2012, the offered cap rate for Walgreens seems to come down from 7.5% -8.4% in 2009 to 5.5% -6.5% for new stores.

2. If you are willing to take more risk, then go with Rite-Aid. Some properties outside of California may offer up to 9% cap rate in 2012. However, among the 3 drug chains, Rite Aid has 10.5% chance of going under in 2010. Should it declare bankruptcy, Rite Aid has the option to pick and choose which locations to keep open and which locations to terminate the lease. To minimize the risk that the store is shuttered, choose a location with strong sales and low rent to revenue ratio.

3. Financing should be an important consideration. While the cap rate is lower for Walgreens than Rite Aid, you will be able to get the best rates and terms for Walgreens.

4. If you are not a conservative investor or risk taker, you may want to consider a CVS pharmacy. It has BBB + S & P credit rating. Its cap rate is higher than Walgreens but lower than Rite Aid. Some leases may offer better rent bumps. On the other hand, some CVS leases, especially for properties in hurricane areas, eg Florida are not truly NNN leases where landlords are responsible for the roof and structure. So make sure you adjust the cap rate down accordingly. Some of the CVS locations have onsite Minuteclinic staffed by registered nurses. Since this clinic idea was introduced recently, it's not clear having a clinic inside CVS is a plus or minus to the bottom line of the store.

5. All 3 drugstore chains have similar requirements. They all want highly visible, standalone, rectangular property around 10,000 – 14,500 SF on a 1.5 – 2 acre lot, preferably at a corner with about 75 – 80 parking spaces in a growing and high traffic location. They all require the property to have a drive-through. Hence, you should avoid purchasing an inline property, ie not standalone and property with no drive-through windows. There is a chance that these drugstores may not want to renew the lease unless the property is located in a densely-populated area with no vacant land nearby. In addition, if you acquire a property that does not meet the new requirements, for example a drive-through, you may have a problem getting financing as lenders are aware of these requirements.

6. If the pharmacy is opened 24 hours a day, it is in a better location. Drugstore chains do not open the store 24 hours day unless the location draws customers.

7. Many properties may have a percentage lease, ie the landlord can get additional rent when the store's annual revenue exceeds a certain figure, eg $ 5M. However, the revenue used to compute percentage rent often excludes a page-long list of items, eg wine and sodas, tobacco products, items sold after 10 PM, drugs paid by governmental programs. The excluded sales revenue could account for as much as 70% of store's gross revenue. As a result, this author has seen only 2 stores in which the landlord is able to collect additional percentage rent. The store with a percentage rent is required to report its annual sales to the landlord. As an investors, you want to invest in a store with strong gross sales, eg over $ 500 per square foot a year. In addition, you also want to check the rent to revenue ratio. If the figure is in the 2-4% range, the store is likely to be very profitable so the chance the store is shut down is low.

8. It does not matter how good the tenants are, avoid investing in declining, eg Detroit and / or low-income areas or small towns with less than 30,000 residents within 5 miles ring. In a small town, it may be the only drug store in town and captures most of the market share. However, if a competitor opens a new location in the area, revenue may be severely affected. In addition, the tenant can always moves to a new location down the road when the lease expires since there is low barrier to entry in a small town. These properties are easy to buy now and hard to sell later. When the credit market is tight, you may have problems finding a lender to finance these properties.

9. Many properties have an existing loan that the buyer must assume. If you have a 1031 exchange, think twice about buying this property. You should clearly understand loan assumption requirements of the lenders before moving forward. Should you fail to assume the existing loan (assuming an existing loan is a lot more difficult than getting a new loan), you may run out of time for a 1031 exchange and may be liable to pay capital gain.

10. With few exceptions, drugstore chains do not own the stores they occupy for several reasons. Here are just a couple of them:

– They know the pharmacy business but do not know real estate. Stock investors also do not want Walgreens to become a real estate investment company.

– Owning the real estate will require them to carry lots of long term debts which is not a brilliant idea for a publicly-traded company.

11. About 10% of the drugstore properties for sale and typically CVS pharmacies require very small amount of equity to acquire, eg 10% of the purchase price. However, you are required to assume an existing fully-amortized loan with zero cash flow. That is, all of the rent paid by the tenant must be used to pay down the loan. The cap rate may be in the 7-9% range, and the interest rate on the loan could be attractive in the 5.5% to 6% range. Hence, the investor pays off the loan in 10 to 20 years. However, you have no positive cash flow. This requires you to come up with outside cash to pay income tax on the rental profits (the difference between the rent and mortgage interest). The longer you own the property, the more outside cash you will need to pay income taxes as the mortgage interest will get less and less toward the end. So who would buy this kind of property?

– The investors who have substantial losses from other investment properties. By acquiring this zero cash flow property, they may offset the income from the drugstore tenant against the losses from other investment properties. For example, a property has $ 105,000 of rental profits a year, and the investor also has losses of $ 100,000 from other properties. As a result, the combined taxable profits are only $ 5,000.

– The uninformed investors who fail to consider that they have to raise additional cash to pay income taxes.

Out of the Box Thinking

If you put too much weight on the S & P rating of the tenants, you may end up either taking a lot of risks or passing up good opportunities.

  1. A Good location should be the key in your decision on which drug store to invest in. It's often said a lousy business should do well at a great location while the best tenant will fail at a lousy location. A Walgreens store that is closed down later on (yes, Walgreens closed 119 stores in 2007) is still a bad investment even though Walgreens continues paying rent on time. So you do not want to blindly invest in a drug store simply because it has a Walgreens sign on the building.
  2. No company is crazy enough to close a profitable location. It does not take rocket science to understand that a financially-weak company like Rite Aid will make every effort to keep a profitable location open. On the other hand, a financially-strong Walgreens will need justifications to keep an unprofitable location open. So how do you determine if a drug store location is profitable or not if the tenant is not required to disclose its profit & loss statement? The answer is you can not. However, you can make an educated guess based on the store's annual gross revenue which is often reported to the landlord as required by the percentage clause in the lease. With the gross revenue, you can determine the rent to income ratio. The lower the ratio, the more likely the store is profitable. For example, if the annual base rent is $ 250,000 while the store's gross revenue is $ 5M then the rent to income ratio is 5%. As a rule of thumb, it's hard to make a profit if this ratio is more than 8%. So if you see a Rite Aid with 3% rent to income ratio then you know it's likely a very profitable location. In the event Rite Aid declares bankruptcy, it will keep this location open and continue paying rent. If you see a Rite Aid drug store with 3% rent to income ratio offering 10% cap, chances are it's a low risk investment with good returns and the tenant will most likely to renew the lease. The weakness of corporate guaranty from Rite Aid is probably not as critical and the risk of having Rite Aid as a tenant is not really that significant.
  3. Drug stores with new 25 years leases tend to sell at lower cap, eg 6-7% cap on new stores versus 8.0-8.5% cap on established locations with 5-10 years remaining on the lease. This is because investors are afraid that the tenants may not renew the leases. Unfortunately, lenders also have the same fear! As a result, many lenders will not finance drug stores with 2-3 years left on the leases. The fact that drugstores with new leases have a premium on the price means they have potential of 20% depreciation (buying new at 6% cap and selling at 7.5% cap when the leases have 8 year left). Some investors will not consider investing in drug stores with 5-10 years left on the lease. They might simply ignore the fact that the established stores may be at irreplaceable locations with very strong sales. Tenants simply have no other choices other than renewing the lease.

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