August Events for 2013 at Your Chamber of Commerce

August Events for 2013 at Your Chamber of CommerceAmelia Island, FL – Here is what is coming up in August at the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce:

Island Council
8:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 7
The Mustard Seed Cafe, 833 TJ Courson Road, Fernandina Beach

Grow your business by making and strengthening your connections with Amelia Island-based businesses at the Island Council, which meets at 8:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month.

Admission is free for AIFBY Chamber members; $25 for non-members. Optional breakfast is available. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

YBiz
8-9 am Friday, August 9
Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce
961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G, Amelia Island.

Young Business Leaders of Nassau offers professional development and community engagement for entrepreneurs and professionals under 40.

Focus in August will be on “Networking to Advance Your Career” with Butch Beard of Send out Cards and John Genovese of Merrill Lynch. Attendees will receive two passes to the AIFBY Chamber’s August Business After Hours at Sheffield’s at The Palace to put their networking skills to use.

Online registration and payment required. Cost, including breakfast, is $12 for AIFBY Chamber members and $25 for non-members through August 6; $5 additional afterwards and at the door. Cancellations must be received 48 hours in advance or all charges will apply. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

Register at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx.

HR Council
Noon-1:30 p.m. Monday, August 12
The Surf Restaurant & Bar, 3199 S. Fletcher Ave., Fernandina Beach

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce’s new HR Council is designed to keep Chamber members who handle human resources abreast of best practices, the latest requirements and newest trends in this ever-changing field.

Topic in August is “Creating Social Media Guidelines for Employees” with attorney Lori K. Mans of Constangy, Brooks & Smith.

Online registration and payment required. Admission, including lunch, is $20 for Chamber members, $30 for non-members through Wednesday, August 7; $5 additional afterwards and at the door. Cancellations must be received 48 hours in advance or all charges will apply. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

Register at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx.

Yulee Area Council
8:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 13
Chick-fil-A, 464004 State Road 200, Yulee

The Yulee Area Council meets at 8:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month to network and discuss issues of interest to the Yulee business community.

Admission is free for AIFBY Chamber members; $25 for non-members. Optional breakfast is available. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

Business After Hours
5-7 p.m., Thursday, August 15
Sheffield’s at The Palace, 117 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach

Network with up to 150 Chamber members at Business After Hours, Nassau County’s biggest monthly business gathering, sponsored in August by Sheffield’s at the Palace.

Business After Hours is a great way to meet other local business people and make contacts that will help you get referrals. There is always great food, drinks and door prizes.

The newly renovated Sheffield’s at The Palace is open 3:30-10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday serving fine premium spirits, craft cocktails and beer and more. Sheffield’s also is available for private events.

Admission to Business After Hours is $5 for Chamber members, $25 for nonmembers. Cash or check only at the door. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

Small Business Orientation
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 19
AIFBY Chamber, 961687 Gateway Blvd Suite 101G, Amelia Island

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Jacksonville Women’s Business Center, the Small Business Administration and SCORE Jacksonville to present a Small Business Orientation on Amelia Island.

Sponsored by First Coast Community Bank, the Small Business Orientation is free of charge and designed to give you a terrific overview of services available to you as an aspiring or current entrepreneur.

The orientation runs from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Information about the AIFBY Chamber and business connection opportunities will also be provided.

Stay after the orientation for the break-out programs which are also free and take place from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Existing small business owners who have been in business for at least six months or more (and have realized some dollar revenue), will be able to meet separately with someone from the SBA, Jacksonville Women’s Business Center or SCORE. Individuals who have not yet started their business will remain for the Entrepreneurial Assessment which is also free.

All sessions are open to the public. Space is limited, so reservations are required. Register at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx.

Make Your Membership Work for You
8:30 a.m. Tuesday, August 20
Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q, 2742 S. Eighth St. Fernandina Beach

Find out how to get the most out of your Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce membership at the Make Your Membership Work for You breakfast.

Get an overview of your benefits and enjoy speed networking during this fun and informative breakfast. Make Your Membership Work for You is an ideal introduction to the Chamber for new members and great way for existing members to get up-to-date.

Admission is free for AIFBY Chamber members. Space is limited; reservations are required. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending. Register at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx.

The 10-Minute Business Check-Up
8 a.m. Friday, August 23
AIFBY Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G, Amelia Island

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce’s Build a Better Business education series continues with “The 10-Minute Business Check-Up” presented by Mark Dennis of A1A Wealth Management.

Are your business assets growing, slowing or I-don’t-knowing? Discover how to spend as little as 10 minutes each month to check up on the financial vitals of your company and quickly take steps to make it more profitable, more efficient and even more attractive to potential buyers.

Admission is free for AIFBY Chamber members; $25 for non-members. Space is limited to 25 and reservations are required. Register at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx.

Health Care Council
8 a.m. Tuesday, August 27
AIFBY Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G, Amelia Island

The Chamber’s Health Care Council is designed to raise awareness of health care services in Nassau County and develop professional contacts among local health-related organizations and professionals.

August’s presentation is by Marsha Morrell with Century Ambulance Service, which provides emergency and non-emergency ambulance transportation to Nassau County.

Admission is free to Chamber members, $25 for non-members. Prospective Chamber members should contact Wendi Groden-Thomas at (904) 261-3248 ext. 107 for information about attending.

Government Affairs Committee
8:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 28
AIFBY Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G, Amelia Island

The Government Affairs Committee works to increase awareness of regulatory and legislative issues affecting AIFBY Chamber members by encouraging input and participation in local committees and boards.

The GAC meets the last Wednesday of the month to discuss issues and to recommend formal policy stances for adoption by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. For more information, contact Chamber President Regina Duncan at (904) 261-3248.

To register for AIFBY Chamber events, go to the Chamber events calendar at www.islandchamber.com/events.aspx. Click on the event you want to attend, and the click on the registration link in the event listing. For more information about any of these events, contact the Chamber at (904) 261-3248.

Mission Statement
The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based association of Nassau County businesses, professional leaders and individuals working together to provide leadership which will aggressively promote and defend responsible economic growth, employment opportunities, government and excellence in education and quality of life.

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2013 NSFA Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo

2013 NSFA Fernandina Beach Fishing RodeoIt is time for the 2013 NSFA Fernandina Beach Fishing Rodeo on Amelia Island! August 2 – 3, 2013 will show off the hard work the Rodeo Committee has been doing to put on this annual event.

Registration closes at 8:00 PM, August 2nd, so you still have time to participate. The mandatory Captain’s Meeting is Friday night at the Fernandina Harbor beginning at 7:00 PM.

The rules are simple:
No lines in the water until 6:30 am Saturday morning.
All fish must be weighed at the Fernandina Harbor.
No contact with other boats or both will be disqualified.

Fishing Rodeo Prizes (Redfish, Wahoo, Dolphin, Sea Trout, Flounder, Cobia, Sheepshead, and Sea Bass)
-1st Place per Species- $750
-2nd Place per Species- $450
-3rd Place per Species- $300

Kingfish Division Prizes (formerly Tournament of Champions)
-1st Place Overall – $10,000
-2nd Place Overall – $3,500
-3rd Place Overall – $2,500
-4th Place Overall – $2,000
-5th Place Overall – $1,500
-6th Place Overall – $1,000
-7th Place Overall – $850
-8th Place Overall – $750
-9th Place Overall – $600
-10th Place Overall – $500

Special prizes will also be awarded to Lady Angler, Youth Angler and Redfish with the Most Spots.

-Small Boat Class: 1st Prize- $1,300; 2nd Prize- $450
-Youth Angler: 1st Prize- $1,200; 2nd Prize- $400
-Lady Angler: 1st Prize- $1,100; 2nd Prize- $350

This is a SKA sanctioned event!

Here is the schedule of events:
Friday, August 2, 2013
5:00 pm – Registration Opens
5:00-8:00 pm – Public Barbeque
7:00 pm – Captain’s Meeting & Boat Number Prize Drawing
6:00-8:00 pm – Sounds on Centre
8:00 pm – Registration Closes

Saturday, August 3, 2013
6:30 am – Fishing Opens
2:00 pm – Weigh-in Opens
5:00 pm – Weigh-in Line Closes
5:00 pm – Public Barbeque with Live Entertainment by Flashback
7:30 pm – Awards and Raffles

New this year is a catch-photo-release option for Kayaking anglers!

For more information please visit the Nassau Sport Fishing Association’s website at fishnsfa.com.

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Local Hypnotherapist Helps PGA Athletes

Local Hypnotherapist Helps PGA AthletesIn only six events of the 2013 PGA season, Cameron Beckman placed 2nd on the tour mid-July at the rainy Sanderson Farms Championship that included an exciting ending. Beckman got in seven holes during the opening round Thursday before the rains stopped play. Back in 2001, Beckman won this tournament, the Southern Farm Bureau Classic, and he has made the cut each of the 12 times he has played there. By Friday afternoon he was two shots off the lead at 8 under to end his second round.

Having only two top 25 finishes in 2012, of 26 events played, it is obvious Beckman is using a secret weapon for 2013! Is it his new TaylorMade cap? Does he have a magic driver, perhaps a putter with a built in scope? No, what this PGA golfer has that has helped improve his game is Dawn Grant, a mental trainer and hypnotherapist who is currently working with him to Master the Zone.

Check out this 16 foot putt for birdie on the par-5, 18th hole:

Dawn has worked with over 20 PGA and LPGA athletes successfully helping them improve sport performance and her client list has expanded into Olympic Athletes as well as the 2013 US Open Sporting Clays Champion, Wendall Cherry.

Beckman began working with Grant in 2007 when they were introduced through Reflexologist Jim Weathers. Dawn starts her elite, athletic clients with some personalized affirmations, and then she introduces them to her popular program, 20 Minute Hypnosis for Transformations, before moving on to individualized sessions. PGA golfers average a 219% increase in earnings after just five sessions with Mental Trainer Dawn Grant!

Whether you are playing to make the cut, aiming at a target or dealing with the stress of everyday life, she knows how to get you calm, relaxed and focused.

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August 2 to 4th is Florida’s 2013 Tax Free Holiday

August 2 to 4th is Florida's 2013 Tax Free HolidayAs a parent, one of America’s fastest growing holiday is Tax Free Shopping Days! In 2013, Florida shoppers will be celebrating this money saving occassion August 2nd through August 4th.

This weekend no sales tax will be collected in Florida on sales of footwear, clothing and certain accessories for $75.00 or less per item. Other school related items such as computers and related accessories, up to $750 or less per item, and used for personal use only will be tax free, too.

The exemption does not apply to any item of clothing selling for more than $75, to any school supply item selling for more than $15, or to any personal computer or related accessory selling for more than $750.

Of course certain restrictions apply such as:
Clothing sold at theme parks, hotels or airports will NOT be tax free.

Some items within a category will be exempt, while others won’t such as:
Ponytail holders, scarves and ties are exempt, but handkerchiefs, jewelry and watches are NOT.

You can read the full pamphlet, including an item by item breakdown, by clicking HERE.

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Caring for Animals When Evacuating

Bentley We are in the midst of hurricane season, and with a new puppy in the home, I wanted to know what I should do in case I need to evacuate my Amelia Island home.

Our dog, Bentley (the brown puppy in the picture), like many other pets and their owners, are important members of your family, and yes, they are also affected by emergencies and natural disasters.

If you want your pet to survive a fire, flood, terrorist attack, hurricane or other tragedy, it largely depends on your emergency preparedness planning. There are things you can do today, such as include additional supplies for your pet in your hurricane kit, to be better prepared should the unthinkable occur.

Considering where you will stay during an emergency is directly impacted if you have pets. Many emergency shelters DO NOT allow pets in the facility!

You should NEVER leave your pets behind, so you need to plan now for their care should you evacuate.
-Have a pet carrier large enough for your pet.
-Pack prescriptions, foods, litter, plastic waste bags, cleaning supplies and extra water to travel with your pet.
-Plan for someone else, outside of your area, to care for your pet if you will be unable to do so.
-Relatives or friends you planned to stay with before you had a pet, may not be so willing to help you AND your pet.
-Have a back-up plan should you be away from your home when an emergency strikes.
-Find a neighbor, friend or relative willing to take your pet with them when they evacuate.
-Make sure they know where your Pet Evacuation Kit is kept.
-Have medical records and proof of shots with you.
-Your pet should wear ID tags in case you become separated.
-You keep recent pictures of your children, keep one of your pet with you, too.
-Familiar items will help keep your pets calm, such as their favorite toy, bedding or treats.
-Always have a first-aid kit for pets handy.

Even if you plan to “ride it out” during an emergency, you will need to prepare for your pet, too. Power, water and phones don’t work. Stores will likely be closed and streets impassable, so shop now so you are prepared with at least an additional three days worth of supplies for each of your pets.

Hopefully, you will be prepared and never have to use these tips to care for your animals should you need to evacuate. For additional information, please contact the Humane Society of the United States.

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Farmers Market Hosts Celebration of Veterans

Farmers Market Hosts Celebration of VeteransThe Fernandina Beach Market Place, in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach is excited to be hosting a “Celebration of Veterans” on July 27, 2013, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on N. 7th Street, Amelia Island.

In addition to a wide variety of traditional farmers’ market booths, The Veterans Photo Wall of Honor will be on display. The wall was started to recognize veterans from Nassau County, Florida and Charlton County in Georgia. There is no cost to add Veterans to the wall. All that is needed is an original image with the name, branch of service, unit number and place of service. All veterans are encouraged to take their proper place on the Wall, not just combat veterans. The local VFW and a Disabled American Veterans Representative will also be on site to answer your questions.

Short presentations will be held throughout the day on topics such as how to sign up for VA Healthcare Services, Post-Traumatic Stress and its impact on Veterans, Women Veterans Healthcare, and much more.

You are invited to display your red, white and blue and join us at this very special Market Place, as well as every Saturday at the friendliest farmers market in NE Florida, rain or shine. Where your well behaved, leashed pets are welcome, too.

For more information visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, find them on facebook or call (904) 557-8229.

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Fernandina Beach Arts Market to Open Sunday

Fernandina Beach Arts Market to Open SundayAfter postponing the original date of the new Fernandina Beach Arts Market’s Grand Opening Celebration, due to a slight threat from an unpredictable tropical storm named Chantel, the new farmers market that features arts and crafts booths, too, will be opening Sunday, July 28, 2013.

Open every other Sunday, each market will highlight special entertainment and seasonal attractions. This new arts, crafts and farmers’ market gives local artisans a place to show off their hand crafted talents and homemade specialty items. Farmers and bakers will bring fresh grown produce, homemade delicacies and tasty baked goods, too.

You are invited to meet Joel from Fernandina Beach Tie Dyed Threads, or Ms. Wiggins who is bringing her homemade cakes and cupcakes. There will be stained glass stepping stones, Appalachian bread knives, head-wear, purses, apparel, jewelry, ornaments, garden starts arranged in vases, all natural soap, leather products, and many other unique items.

Boatright Farms will provide a fresh selection of seasonal produce and herbs. Enjoy a fresh squeezed limeade, or sample a taste of floral Florida honeys. There will be skin care products and all natural dog treats from Taylor’s Treats; and a recognized name around Amelia Island’s farmers’ markets, Blue Planet, will be there, too.

Open year ’round, the Arts Market will be held every other Sunday, from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM and is located at the corner of 14th and Lime Streets in Fernandina Beach. (Near the movie theater on Amelia Island in the lot that sells seasonal pumpkins and Christmas trees in the fall.)

The Fernandina Beach Arts Market is continuing to accept vendor applications. For more information, please call (904) 557-8229, visit the website, or find them on facebook.

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Rotary Learns About Patient Community Advocate Program

Rotary Learns About Patient Community Advocate ProgramAmelia Island, FL – Rotarians in the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise were treated to a presentation by Jim Tippins, Senior Chaplin at Baptist Medical Center Nassau about the Patient Community Advocacy (PCA) Committee for the hospital. The committee is comprised of former patients, patients’ families, community volunteers, the BMCN Auxiliary, and hospital staff, all reporting to hospital president Stephen Lee, and the committee exists to create a culture of excellence based upon patient insight and they work to identify issues that impact a patient’s experience during a hospital visit or stay. Rotarians learned about ways this committee works proactively to facilitate communications between patients, staff, and the community!

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please contact president, Mark Dennis, at mark@A1Awealthmanagement.com or go to www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Stuff a Bag to Benefit House for Homeless Women

Stuff a Bag to Benefit House for Homeless WomenFernandina Beach, FL – Fifi’s Fine Resale of Amelia Island, Florida, is having a Stuff a Bag Sale to benefit Cedar Haven Transition House for Homeless Women on Saturday, August 3, 2013.

Specially marked items throughout the shop can be stuffed into a plastic shopping bag for $20. This charity event coincides with the Florida Sales Tax Free holiday weekend and prime back to school shopping.

Cedar Haven is a Transitional House for Homeless Women in the Fernandina Beach Community. It is a Non-Profit organization dedicated to serving women by offering transitional housing and education to improve the quality of life for homeless women without children. Cedar Haven is a project of Women of Power Inc. and LaVerne Mitchell Ministries Inc. Cedar Haven opened in March 2011 and provides a 180-day transitional program. In addition to providing housing, classes are offered that will assist residents in becoming self sufficient; improving the quality of their lives as they make a transition back into society. For More Information call 904-699-7477 or visit our facebook page, “Cedar-Haven-Transition-House-for-Homeless-Women.”

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is a nationally recognized resale store that offers quality merchandise at great prices with exceptional service to the local community. Fifi’s Fine Resale is celebrating being a part of this community for 25 years, and supports several non-profit organizations including: Gerri’s Corner, Hope House/Salvation Army, Micah’s Place, and Barnabas’ New to You. In addition, we are members of the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce, Women in Nassau helping Women in Need (WIN WIN), and the National Association of Resale Professionals (NARTS).

For information about resale shopping or guidelines on consignment, please contact Jessica Miller, Owner, at (904) 277-4430 or fifis.amelia@gmail.com.

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Taste of Camden, Cruise Through Camden

Taste of Camden, Cruise Through CamdenSt. Marys, Ga – After celebrating 8 delectable years of tickling the appetites of attendees, Taste of Camden is gearing up to bring together the counties best restaurants and businesses for a day of fun and cuisine on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the Kings Bay Village Shopping Center.

This year’s theme is “Cruise Through Camden”. Awards will be given for Best Overall Booth, Best Themed Booth, Tastiest Entrée, Tastiest Appetizer, and Tastiest Dessert. Voting will be completed by Mystery Judges or “Cruise Directors”.

Vendors at this year’s Taste of Camden will receive an 8 foot by 8 foot space, 6 foot table, two chairs and two “boarding passes” for admittance to The Taste of Camden. Larger spaces are available and electricity is provided if requested at the time of registration.

Each year the Chamber strives to make the Taste of Camden better for both the participants and vendors. This year, attendees may purchase tickets with or without wine tasting. Wine tasting tickets are an additional $5 and includes a commemorative wine glass to sample a variety of wines as they stroll among the booths. Exhibitors may offer wine tasting as an added attraction. All vendors pouring wine will receive 2 additional boarding passes.

Set-up must be conducted on Wednesday, October 16th between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on October 17th between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Exhibitors that sign up by August 16th are eligible for early bird rates of $150 and $275 for members and non-members respectively. Early registration will be accepted at a reduced rate until August 16th. Business booths are $150 for members and $275 for non-members. Regular registration prices are $175 for members and $325 for non-members through September 13th. After September 13th, prices increase to $225 for members and $375 for non-members. Special pricing available for food vendors.

Hungry for more information? Contact the Chamber for more information at (912) 729-5840.

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Is Gold a New Asset Class?

Gold is a safe nest egg if diversified properly

Gold can be a very safe nest egg if diversified properly.

Should gold be considered as a new asset class or as an instrument of financial speculation? Down from its 2011 high of $1,920.30, Gold sits at $1,333 per ounce today, a $60 jump from $1,277.80 an ounce two Friday’s ago. Many investors view gold these days as an essential part of their portfolio. And a trending obsession for this metal has brought new ideas as well as challenges to the financial planning table. While some advisors refuse to enter the conversation, others are beginning to engage their clients.

With so many opinions on the matter, what is a serious investor to do? Steve Forbes, publishing magnate and chief executive officer of Forbes Magazine said, “The fact that gold is now seen as an investment vehicle reflects the poor state of the U.S. global economy.” He added that only jewelers and gold miners should be buying gold. “When [gold] has to be bought as an asset class it tells you that the politicians are making a hash of things, central bankers are making a mess,” he said.

Wondering if this statement is fueled by political aspirations, one should question if Mr. Forbes stands alone in this belief? Turns out that he is not. For the last decade investors have participated in one of the biggest “buy-ups” in recent history. Mostly prompted by fear, this action has driven up prices and handed some a nice return. The question remains, is it sustainable, and if so, for how long? I’m not sure that anyone can reasonably answer that question so I would approach Gold like any other investment, with much consideration.  One consideration is this. Even though heralded as Gold’s all-time high, the September 2011 high was not its true peak. Adjusted for inflation, Jan. 21, 1980, remains gold’s highest level. At one point in trading on the New York Commodity Exchange, gold touched an intraday level of $875 per ounce, which would be the equivalent of $2,438 in 2012 dollars.

When it comes to the markets, there are some principal strategies that have proven favorable for the investor. First, you should talk to your advisor about your goals. Next, examine your time horizon. In other words, how long do you need this money to work for you? Then you should talk about suitability.  Ask him or her, “Does this investment really make sense for me?” Some advisors are even proponents of Asset Allocation. And by all means, diversify. A reasonable percentage of your portfolio in precious metals is a hedge against long term inflation risks.

Whatever your choice of strategy, understand, there are no guarantees. And as a general rule, when everyone is running in one direction, caution would tell you to consider the other direction.

¹ www.Forbes.com July 12, 2013 -“Steve Forbes Talks Gold on Kitco News” by Neils Christensen and Daniela Cambone of Kitco News
By Ronnie Stoots
Ronnie Stoots is the President of Amelia Wealth Management.

You’d Better Get to Know Me Soon

when you're rich, you have lots of friends.

When I'm rich I will have lots of friends...so hurry

You had better get to know me now, because I’m about to become super rich, and will be the most popular person in this city, yea, even this state, and perhaps…anyway, you get the idea. And I’m going first class with everything, the best iPad, the best car and home…Nothing is going to stop me now, thanks to this strange quirk of luck. And to think that this morning I was just a normal, average poor person.

It happened when I opened my email even before brushing my teeth and got a special and urgent note from Ahil Mujsein. I immediately knew that it was from overseas when I read the greeting: “Assalamu ‘Alaikum.” What could be more authentic than that? That’s some kind of greeting for “hello.” I knew it was special when it said it was just for me (It had my name on it.)

The story in a nutshell. It seems that there was a banker who died at his desk, and he happened to have my same name (Imagine that!!). This kind person was contacting me to show how I could call the bank using his name (which is also my own) and the bank will give me millions of dollars that they had officially given to the banker before he died.

At first I decided not to read the rest of the email in case it was a hoax, but my heart caught the writer’s pain when he explained to me that his mother was very sick and I needed to get the money before she took a turn for the worse. To make matters even ‘badder’, his brother had been run over by a truck and his father had just lost all of his money in Las Vegas, and so he was about to be kicked out of his home.

Eventually I got up the nerve to ask a question in a return email: “Didn’t your brother see the truck coming at him? ” Of course not.” the writer answered, “If he had, he wouldn’t have gotten run over.” That made sense to me, so now I am busy putting all my personal information on an email that I will send to my new found benefactor, including bank accounts, social security and driver’s license numbers, which he needs to turn over to the bank so that they will release the money to me. And Mother of All That is Fair: all he is asking for all this trouble is 60% of any monies that I collect.

I’m going to be rich!

And talk about unbelievable luck, someone just rang my doorbell, and lo and behold, it was the Publisher’s Clearing House telling me that if I signed up for 3 magazines immediately, I would be put on a list and probably receive millions of dollars delivered by their truck, just like they show on TV.

I feel so lucky I’m going to send Oprah a request to be a member of her audience for “Her Favorite Things.” You had better get to know me now, because I’m about to get a lot of money and become real famous.

They Wept, I Wept, We All Wept Together

Playing Guitar at the Homeless Gravesite

Playing Guitar at the Homeless Gravesite

My friend Dave Morris – aka Mr. Skin lives the best of both worlds. In the wintertime he plays with his band or solo on the Caribbean Island of St.Martin and as soon as the summer temperatures start moving tropical storms towards the Caribbean, he jumps over to the French Riviera and the Provence and plays some more. A bit of a francophile Brit from Birmingham (and a soccer fanatic) much like our own Fernandina’s Karl Davis is a francophile American.

A couple of days ago Dave put a story on his Facebook page I would like to share with you; simply because it made me laugh out loud, and not much does that any more these days.

Here is Dave in his own words:

As a guitarist, I play many gigs. Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the back country. As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my guitar and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothin’ like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Apparently, I’m still lost…

Tips to Stay Cooler this Summer

Tips to Stay Cooler this SummerIt is summer in Florida and it can be hot outside! Extreme heat can cause many health issues including heat stroke and even death.

These health emergencies are preventable and here are a few tips to help you:

-If your home is not air conditioned spend a few hours in an air cooled space if possible. Go to a public library, a shelter or a shopping mall.
-Drink plenty of fluids, but stay away from alcohol.
-Wear loose clothing that is lightweight and light in color, especially if you are outdoors.
-Keep an eye on those susceptible to heat-related illness including the elderly, young children and others with physical or mental illnesses.
-Cut back on exercise during the heat of the day or hold your workout indoors.

Following these simple tips will help you have a cooler, and hopefully safer, summer!

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Consignment Crawl Raffle Winners

Consignment Crawl Raffle WinnersAmelia Island, FL – In honor of International Resale Day, 14 local area resalers participated in a summer Consignment Crawl. The event highlighted a variety of local area resale, consignment, thrift, & antique shops specializing in women’s, children’s, vintage, home décor & furniture. Each host provided refreshments throughout the day at shops located in Nassau County with one common goal in mind – to heighten awareness of the resale industry.

49 people completed the crawl by visiting all fourteen participating shops, having their cards punched, and were eligible to win the Grand Prize Raffle Drawing: one night stay at the Amelia Hotel at the Beach, and gift certificates from the Crab Trap Restaurant, Retail Therapy Consignment, and Fifi’s Fine Resale. Kathy Crosby and her daughters Kayla and Braylin were the winners of the Grand Prize drawing.

“It was such a fun and exciting day!” Exclaimed Jessica Miller, owner of Fifi’s. “So many entire families were out together completing the Consignment Crawl. The response from both participants and shopkeepers has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are planning to offer another Consignment Crawl this fall,” Miller continued.

Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel is a nationally recognized resale store that offers quality merchandise at great prices with exceptional service. At Fifi’s, you can buy, sell, and trade. Fifi’s will pay you cash on the spot, offer store credit for trade, or consign your items for you.

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