The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 36 - June 22, 2011


Insurance comes to Anna Maria

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Lisa Brakefield is the managing partner of
Advanced Insurance Brokerage in Anna Maria.

Do conversations about insurance make your eyes glaze over? You're not alone; most people would rather have a tooth pulled than review their insurance policies. If this sounds familiar, Advanced Insurance Brokerage is ready to change your perspective on one of life's less exciting but totally necessary aspects.

Two years ago Lisa Brakefield and her partners opened a branch office of their successful Brandon insurance brokerage firm in Anna Maria. Located on Gulf Drive in the Old Post Office Plaza, Advanced Insurance Brokerage looks more like a trendy boutique than an insurance brokerage office. The sleek bright office is enhanced by a full wall mural of the world cleverly painted by Connie Buckler-Gill.

After many years of owning their own business and working in business management and human resources, Brakefield and her husband moved to Holmes Beach looking for a less stressful, relaxed lifestyle. Their son-in-law, Eric McKinnon, and his partner, David Zamami, were interested in expanding their insurance brokerage firm and viewed Anna Maria Island as an opportunity to provide superior insurance service and a fresh perspective on the insurance industry. Although all partners are involved on a regular basis, Brakefield runs the day to day operation of the Anna Maria branch.

Advanced Insurance Brokerage is a general insurance agency offering all types of insurance. They are members of the SAN Group, Satellite Agency Network of Florida, an alliance of independent insurance agencies which gives them the ability to offer a wide range of insurance products. AIB writes homeowners insurance with Citizens Insurance and flood policies, and is always on the lookout for new insurance carriers who are writing for beachfront communities.

Health insurance is, of course, of national importance and AIB can assist when purchasing individual and group policies as well as Medicare supplements, long term care and dental policies. Automobile, life, renters insurance and marine policies are all available at AIB. They have clients both on and off the Island, and can quote insurance for condominium associations.

Brakefield's goal is to take the mystery out of insurance and bring it down to a friendly local level. Either she or Lynne Cullinan, who is a licensed customer service representative, are always in the office and when you call you get a real person on the other end. Brakefield understands the importance of being available and the importance of service and will help clients wade through the intricacies of insurance. She emphasizes how important it is to revisit your insurance policies frequently adjusting for changes in your family, property and vehicle values as well as national and world wide events. She will prepare a complimentary insurance analysis for anyone and continually reviews policies for existing clients.

In order to provide the best possible service to the residents of Anna Maria, Brakefield will be doing a series of seminars at the Village Café in Anna Maria. The first one on homeowners and hurricane preparedness will be on July 8 at 6 p.m., and on July 20 at 6 p.m. she will discuss medical insurance. She plans on doing seminars on an ongoing basis and if you're looking for information on hurricane preparedness, AIB has some information at the Community Center.

Advanced Insurance Brokerage is offering hands-on hometown insurance services in a casual beachy business environment guaranteed to lift the glaze off your eyes. Brakefield and her partners invite you to stop in if only to say hello and view the great wall mural of the world.

Who said insurance isn't exciting?

Advanced Insurance Brokerage

9908 Gulf Drive
Suite B – Old Post Office Plaza
Anna Maria

Toll Free: 877-622-7830
Mobile: 941-799-1766
Fax: 941-896-4801

Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Walk-Ins Welcomed
Complimentary Insurance Analysis


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Summer stock market rally – truth or tall tale

Investment Corner

The idea of a "summer rally" for stock price has been around for a long time. Perhaps too long as it turns out. Best as we can tell, the origin of the idea that stocks rally during the summer comes from an unusual period way back in the Great Depression. In the Summer of 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average almost tripled in price over the summer season. Of course, that tripling came after the drubbing of a lifetime which saw the index down about 80 percent during the previous three years.

I'll leverage some research from Mark Hulbert, editor of the Hulbert Financial Digest and a writer for MarketWatch, an online investment information service, to share some perspective on the fable of the summer rally. As it turns out, a better label for this concept would be "a rally for all seasons." Let's take a look.

Mr. Hulbert's research revealed that, in fact, over the last 115 years of the existence of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, there was an average gain of 5.3 percent from the end of May to the highest point the index achieved over the next three months. Initially this sounds impressive, and some might even point to the fact it represents an annualized rate of return over 20 percent for that short period of time.

However, the market also experiences rallies (and of course, declines) during other periods of the year as well. Mr. Hulbert went on to check the average gain from the end of the other 11 months of the year to the highest close for the Dow during the next three months. The answer – 5.2 percent, a gain almost indistinguishable from the fabled summer rally.

Perhaps most importantly when examining statistical evidence, is to look for anomalies that can skew the results. The aforementioned huge gain for the Dow Industrial Average back in 1932 is an example of this. In fact, from 1940 through 2010, the average summer rally was only 4 percent from the end of May to the high point of the summer. Seven of the other 11 months of the year sported higher returns to the high points of rallies in the three-month measuring period.

These results shouldn't be too surprising when you consider another Wall Street saying that I've written about before.

"Sell in May and go away" references the below average returns offered to investors during the summer season when the market's activity is viewed as an average of many years of data. There will likely be a summer rally, but obviously there are summer declines as well, just like there are rallies and declines in every season.

Investment decisions based purely on short-term historical trends repeating themselves can be hazardous to your financial health. Stick with strategies that have the evidence of working well over time to give yourself the best chance of success.

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. Visit


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