The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 2 - October 26, 2011


Surf the menu at Feeling Swell

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

John Ganfield and Vicki Adema invite you to come
in and sample from their extensive menu.

Does this sound familiar; seven miles of beach, quaint cottages surrounded by sand, tropical colors on all of the buildings and hip little bistros. Well, of course, it's Anna Maria, but this description also fits any number of islands in the Bahamas or the Caribbean with one difference, you don't need a passport to come here.

John Ganfield was surfing the internet from his home in Michigan in March of 2010 and found a small restaurant for sale on Anna Maria Island. The recently retired banker never visited Anna Maria, but was sufficiently intrigued by what he read to make him get in his convertible and start driving south.

What he found when he arrived was an island he describes as the closest thing to Grand Cayman he ever saw, and just to make things even more perfect was the cutest little restaurant this side of, well Grand Cayman.

Ganfield reset his professional life in May of 2010 when he became the new owner of Feeling Swell in the city of Anna Maria. He also reset his personal life when he met Vicki Adema who has lived on Anna Maria for six years. She became his creative and social director a perfect fit since her career has been in the entertainment field. Since then he has made menu changes and has focused on adding entertainment six days a week, including a karaoke night.

Felling Swell's menu has something for every appetite and price range. You can have an appetizer ranging from Buffalo shrimp and gator bites to mac and cheese bites and wings. Based on customer requests, the menu now has more grilled and less fried food and more salads like a Black n' Bleu and Feeling Swell Ceasar with chicken, steak, fish or crab cake.

The burgers are the largest on the Island at affordable prices in addition to sandwiches, hot dogs and grouper fingers. Feeling Swell's newest additions are shrimp po boys and beer batter fish and chips at $10.95. There is also a Lil' Surfers menu for the little folks.

A variety of wine including house wines are available, four different beers are on tap and there is an assortment of other beers including dark, malt beverage drinks and soft drinks. Happy hour is Monday through Friday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. where you can get $1.50 domestic drafts.

But the shinning glory of Feeling Swell has to be its original Key Lime Dream Bars imported from Key West. Think key lime pie dipped in chocolate and frozen on a stick.

Feeling Swell has a pet friendly deck with cooling misters for the summer and soon to be added heaters in the winter. The deck is the perfect complement to the funky blue and orange building with the gecko logo and interior walls of orange and green, a sunset mural and mermaid wall hanging. The TVs are always on over the bar especially in soccer season.

Ganfield is grateful to Adema and the friendliest staff on the Island for helping him achieve his goal of creating a casual bistro for both locals and visitors.

Ganfield took a leap of faith the day he climbed into his convertible. All you have to do is take a short drive to Feeling Swell Beach Patio Grub & Pub to feel swell. Besides, key lime pie on a stick without a passport sounds pretty darn good.

Feeling Swell Beach Patio Grub & Pub

9903 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria

Sunday – Thursday
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday
11 a.m. – 12 midnight

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
Free Wi-fi


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Kernels of optimism in a sea of negativity

Investment Corner

In my article two weeks ago, I highlighted a reason for optimism for the stock market related to the very high levels of insider buying by corporate executives since the start of the recent correction. For those who didn't read that article, the implication of high levels of insider buying is generally higher prices in the future. Obviously, these insiders wouldn't be buying a lot of additional stock if they thought that prices were going to continue much lower or that their company's survival was in question.

Recently, another potential reason for equity investors not to lose hope came to light, with this one being based on a more subjective opinion, but nonetheless based on a very long-term historical view. Professor Richard Sylla, a financial historian at New York University, accurately predicted the last decade of sub-par results for stock prices in the year 2000, but now says the next decade will be much better for those with patience to put up with the current volatility, which may last a while longer.

Sylla has studied financial market patterns back to 1790 – over 220 years of history. The focus of his work is not to predict market movements over any short period of time, but rather what type of returns investors should expect over the next decade.

In the year 2000, after the heady, way above average returns of the 1990s Sylla's analysis revealed very poor prospects for the returns to be realized by investors in stocks over the next 10 years. We all know how right he was with the benefit of hindsight and having lived through a decade where two major bear markets took place, each of which resulted in declines in excess of 40 percent for the S&P 500 Index.

We now call 2000-2010 the "Dead Decade" for stocks, one of the infrequent 10-year periods where returns for investors in stocks were essentially zero. The good news, despite the very low opinion of equity investing by the average investor, is that in the big picture of historical mega-trends, the very low periods of performance give way to better days (and vice versa).

Now, for the good news. Sylla's analysis shows that the remainder of the decade between now and 2020 should provide average annual returns for stock indexes close to the normal long-term average of about 6 to 7 percent inflation adjusted or about 9 to 10 percent before inflation. Returns of this level would take the Dow Jones industrial Average to over 20,000, an 80+ percent increase. He also believes the S&P 500 Index could grow to a level of 2300 from the current level of about 1150 – a doubling for that benchmark.

Sylla is the first one to caution that his work is not intended to predict market action of the next few months or the next year. In fact, he thinks the market could possible go lower in the near-term future as politicians in the U.S. and Europe struggle with solutions to fiscal and debt issues. His emphasis is to help investors have confidence in a long-term investment view and plan, but, of course, short-term news events will come and go over the next nine years and a lot of ups and downs will occur. Still, a sensible long-term forecast couched in an analysis of more than 220 years of the human fear and greed cycle may be worth paying attention.

To read an article highlighting additional details, I suggest performing a Google or other search engine search using the following key words: "Yahoo Long-term Case for stocks." The first link that comes up should take you to the article.

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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