A Lower A.P.R. Over the Phone?

Charles Payne
Question: I bought shares of PetroChina (PTR) for my IRA account two years ago. Given the current price of $105+, should I let it ride, sell it all, or pare back my position? — Bill (Birmingham, AL)

Charles Payne: Hello, Bill (I'll be in Birmingham for Thanksgiving!). PTR is a great choice; the stock has waffled a bit lately, but the same drivers (an explosive economy in China, and future supply and demand shocks) should make this a solid long-term play. If you are losing your nerve, I would suggest a stop loss at $104, but we are long on the stock, too, and we are going to hold. At the very least, for peace of mind, if crude cracks $55 per barrel, then I would take profits on half.

Question: What do you think about Starbucks (SBUX)? — Fred (Boise, ID)

Charles Payne: SBUX continues to deliver. There will be bumps in the road, but the company has an incredible game plan for the next five years. Right now there is strong growth in China — currently, the company opens five new locations a day, and maybe one day they'll open a store in Italy, which would be apropos since that is where Howard Schultz got his inspiration! Near-term, there is resistance up to $40, but we think the stock could make double-digit gains on average for the next five years.

Question: What are your thoughts about the Dow for rest of 2006? — Kyle (Virginia)

Charles Payne: Kyle: I have been bullish all year long, and I'm not about to turn back. Just think of the market the last time the Dow was in this neighborhood. Valuations were significantly higher, and everyone was bullish in 2000. Now most folks are bearish (you should see the ratio of downgrades from Wall Street versus upgrades — these guys missed the boat, and now they're saying stocks are too expensive). The market may have to digest gains, but we think solid corporate earnings, lower interest rates and attractive valuations will power stocks in 2007.

Question: Is it true that, with a consistent payment history, I can call my credit card company and make a case to get my APR reduced? If so, what info should I be armed with? Cheryl (Philadelphia, PA)

Charles Payne: Hi, Cheryl. If you have been paying on time, you deserve a reduced APR. There are three reputed sources to obtain a copy of your credit report:

Experian 800.682.7654
Equifax 800.685.1111
Trans Union 800.888.4213

Your credit card company already knows you're a good customer; you just have to make noise, or take your business elsewhere.

Charles Payne is the founder and CEO of www.wstreet.com and appears regularly on FNC's Cost of Freedom Business Block.

Charles Payne is the host of Making Money with Charles Payne (weekdays 6-7 PM/ET).