The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 18 - January 21, 2009


Dream come true at Thompson Pre School

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER Cindy Thompson, executive
director, Thompson Pre School and Kids Club.

No one can resist the charms of babies and young children, but there are few people in the world who love them as much as Cindy Thompson. For 10 years Thompson has worked in the child care industry, and in August her life long dream of opening her own child care center came true with the establishment of Thompson Pre School And Kids Club in Bradenton.

Her enthusiasm is absolutely infectious as she shows you around the 7,800 square foot building, which has been totally renovated and retrofitted for the highest level of use and child safety.

There are a variety of rooms and play areas where the children are rotated into during the course of the day, including a library, art room screened in play area and a fenced outside play area. Classrooms are converted into rest time space, with each child having his/her own nap time cot with his/her name. The infant room is away from the older children where it is quiet and soothing background music plays. All exits, play and common areas are monitored by a video surveillance camera, and the main entry door is locked and accessed via a coded key pad.

Currently there are 104 children enrolled in one of the many programs offered by the school. Eighteen professional staff members, many of whom have worked together as a team for two years, conduct ing classes, monitoring play and rest time and keeping peace. Cindy Thompson is the executive director and Desi Johnson is her director, and together they have designed a creative and fun environment for the children to thrive in. The curriculums being utilized are Beyond Centers and Circle Time and Beyond Cribs and Rattles.

Thompson Pre School has an assortment of programs to choose from accommodating children from infants to 10 years old. The Pre School Program is for infants through five years of age, the Kids Club is for ages kindergarten through fifth grade and includes an after school program with pick up at three elementary schools, and the Drop-In Childcare accommodates infants through five years old on an on-demand basis by calling ahead. All food and beverages are included in the cost of care.

On Saturdays and Sundays the school is available for birthday party rentals and for parents who need a night off, kids between two and 10 can be dropped off on Saturday nights between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Future plans include the possibility of adding a private kindergarten, something that many of Thompson’s clients have requested.

Cindy Thompson’s enthusiasm and energy has kept her involved in the Anna Maria community through her organization of the Friday Fests, Bayfest and her work with the Anna Maria Island Chamber. She thanks her husband, Doug Thompson, for helping her realize her dream and her mother, Jackie Estes, for being the greatest cheerleader and chef.

Thompson Pre School And Kids Club’s mission is to be a resource for families where they can be confident their children are well cared for and involved in stimulating activities. In Cindy Thompson’s world, children rule with the rest of us just along for the ride, and maybe that’s as it should be.

Thompson Pre School and Kids Club
2015 75th St. W., Bradenton
7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday
Phone: 941-794-1100
Fax: 941-794-1108
Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Common stocks as income vehicles

Investment Corner

For the last few decades, investors have tended to think of government bonds to produce income and provide safety of principal and stocks to provide growth of principal value. The recent explosion in bond prices and decline in stock prices has flipped this idea on its head, at least in some ways.

The fear-driven flood of money into U.S. Treasury bonds has driven yields down as low as just above 2 percent a few weeks ago. Recently, 10-year bond yields were back to about 2.5 percent, meaning an investor buying these bonds today would earn 2.5 percent annually until the bond matured.

Obviously not a great reward, but with the guarantee of return of principal at maturity backed by the U.S. Treasury, scared investors were, and still are, accepting safety as a higher priority than profits.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned here in the Sun that the decline in stock prices had caused the dividend yield on the S&P 500 Index to move over 3 percent, a significant premium over the recent 10-year bond yields cited above. Now, make no mistake, it is not my intent to imply that common stocks provide anywhere near the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds. I do believe, however, that it is time for investors to step back from the trees, so they can now see the forest. Blinded by fear in recent months, investors have sold more volatile investments, depressing prices, creating opportunity.

Coca Cola, the large soft drink and snack company, has been paying an uninterrupted stream of dividends since 1893 and has raised its dividend in each of the last 45 years. The stock presently yields about 3.3 percent. For longer term investment capital, you can earn a higher income stream, have the chance for an increase in that income if Coca Cola keeps raising the dividend and the chance for price appreciation of the shares, which we believe chance for price appreciation of the shares, which we believe is inevitable given enough time. By the way, this is not a recommendation to buy Coca Cola stock, unless it is part of a diversified plan of owning many quality companies.

Could something unforeseen go wrong at Coca Cola, causing it to reduce the dividend? Yes, that could happen. That is why I recommend a very diversified approach to investing in common stocks, even those which seem solid at the moment. Again, the concept of buying dividend-paying common stocks is not a replacement for a common sense allocation to bonds for safety of principal.

But there are also times when it seems to make sense to venture out of our fear and look at companies which are inexpensive compared to historical measures and which have weathered past hard times successfully. There can be no guarantees of the success of any one investment, but we believe a well thought out plan, owning companies that have succeeded over time, makes a lot of sense.

The other side of this analysis is the general belief that there is zero risk in a 10-year bond. As long as it is held to maturity and the issuer, the U.S. Treasury in my example, is in business, then there is little risk to principal. But between the purchase date and the maturity date, a 10-year bond could easily decline in value 20 to 30 percent if long-term interest rates go back to more normal levels. An investor forced to sell that bond well before maturity, for whatever reason, would find there can be risk in bonds when bought at very low levels of interest rates.

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.

AMISUN ~ The Island's Award-Winning Newspaper