The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 45 - August 24, 2011


Sea-renity Spa a peaceful place

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Amanda Escobio sits in her spa on
Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.

Napa Valley, Calif., is one of the country's most beautiful regions. It has rolling hills, vineyards, barrels of wine, but it doesn't have white sandy beaches and aquamarine water, the one thing Amanda Escobio missed the most.

Originally from Tampa, Amanda Escobio enjoyed Anna Maria's beaches frequently, something she never forgot during the 10 years she lived in California. Naturally, when it was time to move back to the East Coast she knew exactly where she was headed to establish her new massage therapy business.

Before relocating to California, Escobio attended the Florida School of Massage after receiving her bachelor of science in advertising and marketing from the University of Florida. She also has advanced training in deep tissue massage, pregnancy message and reflexology. In addition, the experience she gained from owning and operating a day spa with 10 therapists in historic Napa has now been imported to Anna Maria Island.

Escobio started on Anna Maria with the only beach massage on the Island in a private tiki hut across from the Silver Surf Resort in Bradenton Beach. She also extended her wellness program to yoga classes on the beach twice a week in Anna Maria on the beach near the Sandbar restaurant.

To compliment the beach massage and beach yoga, she has now opened a spa on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, which will also be offering esthetician services, pedicures and retail products, in addition to single and couples massage.

The pedicures will be a new process called Red Dragon utilizing steam, instead of soaking, which is more sanitary and environmental friendly. The self care products she is offering are all natural balms, liniments and cosmetics. Randy James Cosmetics, a natural mineral line of cosmetics created by Randy James LaBrecque will be available.

In December, Sarasota Magazine in its annual visitors edition, named Island Wellness's tiki hut massage as one of the 21 new things to do in the area. It came in number 10 on the list and was the only business on Anna Maria Island highlighted.

Escobio's concept for Island Wellness at Sea-renity Spa is to provide a soothing and peaceful place to promote health and wellness with a menu of services ranging from chair massage to full body wraps. The new spa will be able to accommodate spa parties of four to eight people, but if you just need a quick tune-up try the massaging recliner for an instant mini massage.

On Friday, Aug. 26, Island Wellness at Sea-renity Spa will have its official ribbon cutting at the Bridge Street location at 11:30 a.m. and an all day open house till 7:30 p.m. Stop in for a glass of wine and a snack, say hi to Escobio and her staff and check out the awesome decorative door purchased at the artsHOP auction.

Escobio is happy to be back on the beach and is ready to teach you the benefits of massage therapy and natural products that will enhance your life, as she says, "It's not just crystals and incense."

Island Wellness at Sea-renity Spa
112 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Daily and by appointment

Massage on the Beach at Silver Surf Resort
301 Gulf Drive
Bradenton Beach

Daily by appointment

MasterCard/Visa Accepted

Yoga classes on the beach across from Anna Maria City Hall near the Sandbar restaurant
8:30 a.m. Sunday and Wednesdays – offered by donation


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Don't let bouts of volatility change your plan

Investment Corner

After two years of positive, relatively calm results since the end of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, investors were once again reminded that uncertainty and fear can strike at any time. This time in the form of a 17 percent correction, which started quietly in May and culminated in a crazy and volatile first two weeks of August.

No one knows if the worst of this market correction is history. One sign, discussed in detail below, would seem to suggest that it is, but I believe the correct attitude for investors is to expect some additional volatility over the next month or two and be happy if it passes faster than that.

Some perspective on the recent correction seems to be in order. First, stock price corrections of 10 to 20 percent in up-trending markets tend to occur every couple years, so they should hardly be considered as rare or a surprise. In fact, we had a correction of very similar size in May and June 2010. Investors seem far more unnerved by the 2011 version, I suspect due to the very negative news environment dating back to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, the resulting worldwide economic slowdown in the second quarter, as well as the fiscal battles here and in Europe so far in the third quarter.

This unnerving may have already caused the market to hit its bottom or perhaps be close. One indicator you may hear about if you go against my advice and watch television news coverage of financial markets is the Volatility Index (aka the VIX). VIX measures variations in options prices as short-term speculators attempt to trade or hedge bets using options contracts on the major indexes like the S&P 500 Index. In short, when fear is high the VIX rises, and when investors are confident and complacent, the index falls. Of course, this indicator should be taken as contrarian in nature. It is best to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful – a quote from Warren Buffett.

The usual range for the VIX during what we would call normal market action is between 15 and 25; with the extreme lows around 10 and the highest numbers ever recorded at about 100 during the 1987 market crash and at 80 during the height of the 2008 financial crisis.

Don't worry; there won't be a test on this later. What I would like for you to take away is that there have been nine times when the volatility index hit levels in the mid 40' or above, with Monday, Aug. 8, the latest, reaching a level of 48. In seven of the eight previous times the index reached the mid-40s or higher, it occurred very close to the low point for that correction. Often, the market didn't start a major recovery right away, but the low point was close to being established. The exception was the case of the 2008 financial crisis where the market did end up moving lower for a few months, with the recovery beginning in the spring of 2009.

In summary, volatility extremes normally occur at the end of corrections, not at the beginning. Based on a historical perspective, there is some evidence that we may have seen the worst of the current correction.

Another lesson we are reminded of would be that short-term price swings are unpredictable and the only really effective way to shield your investments from these surprise events is through diversification, with a leaning toward high quality fixed income investments for those who desire lower short-term fluctuation.

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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