The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 24 - March 27, 2013


Plan your adventure at AMI Outfitters

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

louise bolger | sun
Steve Traves will supply you with clothing and gear for
nearly any outdoor activity and can help you plan an travel adventure.

Americans love to be challenged, and with the baby boomers showing no signs of quietly retiring to a rocking chair, they’re looking for adventure in travel and everyday living. Gearing up for an adventure can be just as much of an adventure as the adventure, unless you know the right people.

Five months ago Steve Traves reinvented himself yet again when he opened AMI Outfitters on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. Traves first had a 30-year career in photography, specializing in science, medical and corporate photography. He then went on to developing educational softwear for children with a focus on the outdoors including Florida’s Everglades. But he always thought about one of his earlier jobs when he worked for an outdoor store and knew that’s what he should be doing.

Although a 27-year resident of Florida, Steve Traves came from southern California, where he was active in rock climbing, cross country skiing, hiking and just about any other outdoor activity you can imagine. He has taken his knowledge and love of the outdoors and created AMI Outfitters, the only men’s store in the city of Anna Maria and the first outfitter store ever on the Island. AMI Outfitters is also the only outfitter store between Tampa and Sarasota.

AMI Outfitters specializes in apparel and gear required for almost any outdoor activity. It carries a very large inventory of UPF 50 shirts, hats, pants, headwear and gloves for both men and women. One of its special items is bamboo clothing, which is a blend of bamboo and cotton, also UPF 50 rated. Bamboo is lightweight, odor resistant and is great for outdoor sports activities as well as exercising. It carries Patagonia and Exofficio exclusively, Olukai flip flops and shoes and Costa polarized sunglasses.

But AMI Outfitters is about much more than apparel. Traves can get you setup with kayaks and canoes including paddles, PFDs and accessories. He carries Jackson, Elie and Current Designs kayaks and We-No-Nah Canoes. He’ll even take you to the water for a test drive and make sure what you ordered is the proper watercraft for you.

The shop also has a collection of recycled tote bags, backpacks and beach blankets that fold up into small bags for travel. An array of fishing rods, reels and flies that are designed and tied locally specifically for our fishing grounds are on display in beautiful antique display cases, some 100 years old. You can also grab a hammock, dog products and Nordic walking poles in addition to a smattering of books about the outdoors, one about fishing specifically written for women.

Traves can put you in the right direction through his network of contacts in the business if you need assistance in planning adventure travel like a safari or Alaska fishing expeditions. He also has knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and can help you prepare for it. Ultimately his goal is to outfit people properly for the outdoors.

Traves is the president of Kayak Anglers of West Florida and works closely with a veterans group to help get them on the water. AMI Outfitters supports the green industry and is happy to be located in a Sears Cottage built in 1935 located within Anna Maria’s Green Village.

Stop by AMI Outfitters and meet Traves, a renaissance man who wants to help outfit you so you can do the adventure you want to. There’s no rocking chair in his future, and I can guarantee you won’t find one at AMI Outfitters either.


505 Pine Avenue
Anna Maria


9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Every day

All major credit cards accepted

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

The facts are the facts

Investment Corner

Recent interactions I've had with acquaintances, prospective clients and friends continue to show me that many are living in the past and may be stuck there until it ends up being too late, setting them up to make mistakes in their investment plan. It can be tough to separate the times when the financial markets are doing well from how our emotions tell us they should be doing.

I commonly hear arguments about how the economy won't be able to grow while President Obama is in office or questions about how the stock market can be going up when we are still in recession. The boom times aren't exactly back, but the facts are the facts. The recession caused by the financial crisis of 2008-2009 ended in the summer of 2009, and has been over for more than for 3 1/2 years.

I'm hardly the president's biggest fan, but the economy has grown in just about every quarter he's been in office, with the exception of the first one or two where, obviously, he was dealing with inherited problems. I would also not give the president very high marks for helping the economy recover. The recovery we've seen would have happened on its own, but at least he hasn't done anything to derail the recovery effort.

Since 2009, the economy has grown at an average annual rate in the range of 2 to 3 percent and inflation has remained moderate. In the '90s, we used to call these conditions a Goldilocks economy. So, despite the challenges we face, I don't think the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth is called for.

At some time in the future, we will experience economic weaknesses and as that time apporaches, I have no doubt we will see stock prices decline, perhaps substantially. But, rather than let our emotions or worries drive our decision process, perhaps relying on a process or factual data may help us overcome the frailties many humans exhibit when making investment decision.

One of these I've written about before is the Conference Board's Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). This quantitative measurement of factual conditions has traditionally been a harbinger of improving or weakening economic conditions, and major stock prices trends are usually tied to the direction of the economy and corporate profits, which, of course, greatly influence stock prices over periods of months and years.

The old rule for the LEI is that recessions do not normally occur without a year-over-year decline in the index. At latest check, we have seen a flattening in the LEI over the last year, but a bit of renewed strength in the last couple months. This bears watching, but there has not been a pronounced decline that is raising red flags at the moment. Recent improvement in the labor market and the residential real estate sector are also signs that the lull in economic growth over the last year may be behind us, and hopefully, growth will start to accelerate upward again. Time will tell.

We know that ups and downs in investment trends will occur frequently in our future, as they have in the past. That's not the point. The takeaway is to accept the facts when making investment decisions and not tie ourselves into our subjective opinions which are greatly influenced by past, experience and may retard the timing of our decision making process. Good luck and good 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. Visit

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