The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 31 - April 22, 2009


Just 4 Fun - check this place out

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER Left to right, Alex Klotz, Petra and
Joe Praetor and Rhonda Sole are ready to show you some fun.

Wikipedia tells me fun is the "expenditure of time designed for therapeutic refreshment," quite a mouthful for what passes as having a good time on Anna Maria. Never the less, if you want to maximize your therapeutic refreshment, zip on over to Just 4 Fun in Holmes Beach, the new fun place on the Island.

After years of traveling to Anna Maria Island from Germany for vacation, Joe and Petra Praetor decided to make the Island their permanent home in April of last year. Although Joe Praetor loved the Island and its casual lifestyle, he felt that after a busy career in Europe running an electrical company and sailing the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, full retirement wasn’t for him. So last December the Praetor’s opened Just 4 Fun rentals and quickly discovered just how busy and fun retirement can be.

Just 4 Fun rents bikes, kayaks and boats with a sprinkling of other fun items, but within those categories, there’s a lot going on.

If you want to rent a bike you have a menu of choices starting with standard adult cruiser bikes, children’s bikes, tricycles, tandem and mountain bikes, hitch hikers for children, child carriers and infant seats. All bikes come with complimentary helmets and locks. Prices start at $10 per day and $40 per week for standard bikes. Free pickup and delivery service is available.

Single kayak rentals are $25 per day and double kayaks are $40 per day with weekly rates available. Free pickup and delivery service to your home or Robinson Preserve and life jackets are also provided.

Just 4 Fun has the only power boat rentals available on Anna Maria, with two currently in their inventory. A 17-foot fishing boat renting for $150 per day or $570 per week, and a 21-foot bow rider renting for $200 a day or $660 a week. Fuel and oil is additional. In order to rent one of Just 4 Fun’s boats you must be at least 21 years of age and pass muster with Captain Joe Praetor.

The inventory at Just 4 Fun is changing and expanding every day with its latest rental being an Italian Sun Bed renting for $10 a day, but the really big news is arriving shortly. Joe Praetor is putting the finishing touches on arranging for the rental of golf carts on the Island. His plan is to start with two renting for $250 per week and expand the service as needed.

The Praetors both work in the business, right alongside Rhonda Sole and Alex Klotz, who run the shop, with Joe Praetor making most of the deliveries. In addition to good service and quality rentals, the Praetors offer package rentals for visitors. Bikes, kayaks, power boats and soon golf carts can be rented as a package on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Everyone needs a little therapy now and then, and having a great time with a few belly laughs is one of the best ways to get it. Just 4 Fun is ready with the fun equipment. You provide the laughs; refreshments are optional.


5343 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
Cell: 941-447-1506
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Stock market declines of the past

Investment Corner

A client of mine dropped by the other day with a copy of the USA Today business section from Oct. 20, 1987. For those who may not remember that time, the stock market dropped over 22 percent in one day on Oct. 19, 1987, with that day becoming branded "Black Monday." It was the worst single day decline ever, and almost as bad as the 23 percent total two day drop on Oct. 28 and 29 of 1929.

I started my career as a stock broker in September 1987, so my experience in the business started in a very hot frying pan. Little did I suspect at that time that I and my clients, would endure two more major market declines in the next 21 years. The next was when the technology and bubble burst in 2000 to 2002 and the NASDAQ Composite Index dropped about 80 percent, followed by the recent nastiness from late 2007 until early 2009, which lopped about 50 percent off most major stock market averages.

What is striking about reading old new stories is how similar they are to today’s. In fact, if it wasn’t for the date on the paper and an advertisement for a clunky (by today’s standards) AT&T telephone system, you might mistake some of the comments and opinions as being written a few weeks ago as our stock market was breaking to new 52 week lows.

Back in 1987, the crash in the stock market was going to cause a recession of major proportions – of this everyone was certain. The problem was that they all assumed the Great Depression of the 1930s was caused by the stock market crash in 1929. There were many other factors contributing to the development of the Great Depression, and these other issues were far more important than the deflating stock values from very speculative levels.

The market decline in 1987 was also a deflation of overvalued stock prices caused by rising interest rates as the Federal Reserve battled building inflation pressures. A relatively new concept of program trading, which at the time had no limits or regulation (sound familiar?), exacerbated the sharp decline. But the real cause of the 1987 crash was the fact that you could earn 10 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury Bond and stocks were overvalued and yielding less than 3 percent. Ultimately, money flows where it will earn the highest return.

Particularly striking in reading the comments in the USA Today article from ’87 was the rendering of opinions by various prognosticators. Susan Grossman was quoted as a "well respected broker," saying "the market is going to 800." The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 1738 on Oct. 19 and she was predicting more than a 50 percent decline from that point. Of course, we now know that the market bounced around the 1700 level for a few months, but effectively the bottom was made on the day of the crash. So much for Grossman’s opinion.

Gold prices had been rising for about three years before the crash of ’87, and predictions galore had gold destined to move well above $500 an ounce in the uncertain climate. Gold did rise a little into 1988, but never exceeded $500 and then began a 12 year decline, falling to about $275 in 2000. Of course, gold was a great buy at $275, but who was running out to buy it? Investors were all too busy buying technology stocks.

I share these stories because we, as investors, need to fight the urge to react to events that have already unfolded, on the assumption they will continue for a very long time. I didn’t keep count, but I can tell you there were a lot of people who, upon hearing that I was a stockbroker and asking them to take advantage of the buying opportunity resulting from the 1987 market debacle, simply hung up the phone. Of course, we now know that was a great opportunity, probably similar to what we have today. Time will give us the answers, but part of being a successful investor is being willing to stay in a disciplined plan through the tougher times and perhaps even take a little more risk when it is most uncomfortable.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

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