Business - The Waynedale News Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:51:30 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb MELINDA'S BALLOONS & DECORATIONS melindas-decorationsThe Unique Flower, Balloon & Gift Shop
Located in the Center of Waynedale
Melinda's Balloons and Decorations is located on 6720 Old Trail Road. (260) 445-4273, Hours are Tuesday through Fridays 9:30am to 5:30pm and Saturday 9:30am to 3:00pm closed on Sunday and Monday.

For the month of August Melinda's offers 10% off of decorating for any parties or weddings. We provide fresh and silk flowers, plants, flowers for funerals, personalized casket sprays, all types of balloons, balloon arches, columns, centerpieces, gifts for any occasions, wedding items, and 25th and 50th anniversary items. Delivery is available for all orders with added cost. Each arrangement is specially made with love and care. Customer service is very important to us, our customers are our friends.

Decorating and creativity is a special part of our business. Melinda's specialize in decorating for weddings, receptions, funeral arrangements and any occasion.

We reach out to the community by inviting the community to be apart of Melinda's such as story time for children. I will read a short story and talk with them about safety and riding a school bus. We offer this program to daycares and preschools. I have a unique room called the balloon room where I will meet with the children show them the different styles and types of balloons, teach them what helium is, verses air. Because I was a school bus driver, and the love I have for children, I still want to have a connection with being a part of their life.  Many of our children will be starting school for the first time and now is the time to educate them even more on safety. After time with the children there is a treasure chest that each child will receive a token for a free balloon. Any childcare may call and schedule to bring their children during business hours. Melinda's also work with special needs students from some of the area high school.  We teach them many different skills needed for a job environment. They fill out an application and we teach them how to inventory, communicate with customers and also teach important life skills. For more information you may call the store.

JW signs in Waynedale is a trophy award business. The support and work that they have given us has truly blessed our business. This journey has required the love, support and help from the community, and all our family and friends. You are all awesome gifts from God. My husband and I thank you with all our hearts.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 01 Aug 2014 04:00:00 -0400
A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRT Dennis Rohrs, Human Resource Director at Fort Wayne Metals had a flawed idea a few holidays ago. In memory of his mom, Trudy, he had a local artisan create a Christmas tree skirt that included lots of family photos and memories of his Mom. His idea was to share the skirt with his five living siblings; sort of like a traveling trophy.

Like most mothers and grandmothers, Trudy's death five years ago left a huge hole in the family holiday celebration.

The Christmas celebration was always held at her house starting with a massive breakfast. Of course the family cookie tray included candy cane cookies, date bars and other magical delights.

So let's do the math on the Rohrs' traveling Christmas tree skirt. With six kids and one skirt, that meant that each person would be able to use the Christmas tree skirt every six years. Sounds like a lifetime. So, his sister Denise, ever the clever one, had five other skirts made last year. She didn't tell her brother Dennis that she was doing this. She wanted it to be a surprise for everyone. Voila! Now the entire family can enjoy Mom's memories.

Dennis Rohrs had an idea which grew into more. If you are interested in having something similar done for your family the local artisan is Keepsake Threads, a local sewing company, or call Deb at (260) 403-7200 to get your project started.


]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 22 Nov 2013 04:00:00 -0500
MUCH COMFORT IN COMFORT KEEPERS Julia & Matt Anders-Owners of Comfort Keepers for the past 12 years have learned many things working with seniors. Julia Anders says, "When we first started Comfort Keepers, I had magnets with Comfort Keeper advertising put on my car. It didn't take me very long to learn that seniors are very private. They don't necessarily want their neighbors to know their business". So, she took off the magnets and never brought them back!

Another thing they have learned is that transportation is a challenge not just for seniors but also many others who cannot drive for various reasons. "I cannot tell you the number of phone calls we have received over the years from people who only needed a ride whether it is to a doctor appointment, or to the beauty or barber shop, so we decided to start a transportation company for that very reason," says Matt Anders. So, Premier Comfort Transportation Services was created and they opened for business this month.

Premier Comfort Transportation Services while very comparable to a taxi in price, is the absolute opposite in every other way. Your trip will be customized according to each client's needs. Their driver/escorts will pick you up in a luxury sedan and drive you to your destination. They will make sure you are safely inside, and they can wait for you, or you can schedule a return pick-up for a later time. They also offer you the opportunity to bring a friend or family member along for no additional cost as long as you are being picked up and dropped off at the same location. "And, since privacy is so important to everyone, our cars will not have any advertising on them. So, you will not be on display for your trip," adds Julia Anders.

Matt adds, "It's important to know that our drivers undergo national criminal background checks and must have a spotless criminal record and an excellent driving record, as well." PCTS clients will set up an account with the company and the drivers will not carry cash. "This was important to us as well," says Julia Anders, "our drivers are not allowed to accept tips, and we accept all major credit cards. "

Premier Comfort Transportation Services drives people locally to appointments, or shopping, hospital visits, lunch with friends, even sporting events. But, PCTS can also drive anywhere in the United States. "Many of our clients have medical appointments in Indianapolis, or Cleveland, or may need transportation to an airport. We can take people to all the major airports, Indianapolis, Chicago, South Bend and Detroit." says Matt Anders. If you can think of it, they can probably drive you there. "I would also like people to know that we are going to be doing small group trips for 6 or so to locations like Shipshewana for shopping and lunch," Julia adds. Premier Comfort Transportation Services slogan is "Absolutely everything you desire in a ride...Comfortable, Reliable, Professional and Courteous." Owner, Matt Anders adds, "Once folks give us a try, they absolutely love it!"

For more information or to get a quote for your next trip, call 260-740-3030.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 22 Nov 2013 04:00:00 -0500
REVITALIZING LAMBRO’S - THE 19TH HOLE The 19th Hole Bar & Grill is now open for business. It was formerly known as Lambro's, which was owned and operated by the Eschoff family for nearly 41 years. New Owner Bob Jackson remodeled the old Lambro's and gave it a new name, the 19th Hole. Mr. Jackson plans to continue the type of atmosphere "where everyone knows your name" and where friends become family.

Located at 303 East Tillman Road, the 19th Hole is beside the Donald Ross 18 hole golf course. After a round of golf, let the 19th Hole be your last stop with a cold beer, fine wine or a good cocktail, with a entire menu of great food to choose from. Check out their website at
The 19th Hole Bar & Grill will be holding their Grand Opening Celebration on November 30th from 9p – midnight. They invite you to join them for live music featuring Ty Causey with W.R. Sanders, hores d'oeuvres, door prizes and more for only $5 at the door. If you can't make the event, be sure to stop by for daily drink & food specials.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 22 Nov 2013 04:00:00 -0500
GET HAPPIER, GET HEALTHIER Kaitlins-YogaAt a yoga studio in Waynedale, students breathe, bend, twist and stretch their way to a healthier, happier state. "No pain, no gain doesn't apply to this form of exercise," said Kaitlin Johnston Kochenderfer, 26, owner/instructor of Kaitlin's Yoga.

"It's not about being able to touch your toes long as you can breathe you are heading in the right direction."

As in some sports you want your muscles to cry "uncle", the opposite is true in yoga. Yoga should make you feel warm all over.

"Simply come as you are," stated Kaitlin. Even if you don't quite feel like coming. Check in! You'll be surprised. "It's about the journey... be yourself as you step on your mat. Feel the stretch. All the way down your arms. Inhaling. Exhaling," are the words of this Registered Yoga Teacher.

Every body is different, and yoga is about working your own individual body. It's good for you. One important thing to remember, this form of exercise is not about comparing yourself to the person next to you. It's about training your own self to feel wonderful, actively restoring your own energy.

As the class continued the atmosphere was relaxing, with mellow music flowing throughout the entire hour. With great attention to detail, Johnston's smooth voice assisted the students through their poses. For those just learning, a prop was provided. Like cushions, pillows and soft blocks. That way, if a student had not yet achieved the strength or flexibility necessary, the props could be used as learning aids. Props also allowed the student to hold poses for a longer period of time. Each student is encouraged to use props and work in whatever range of motion is safest and most effective for them.

Many people believe that yoga is about the physical positions, it is, somewhat. More importantly it is the breathing. "As we learn to slow down, we connect more with our breathing and feel what is happening with our body." With this, we are able to take that much needed break in our life and begin to alleviate the stress.

A favorite quote by Charles Einstein says it all, "Everything about you is related to everything else. You cannot change one thing without changing everything." If you work on one area of your life you will inevitably affect all of the other areas.

Several studies have linked yoga classes to a lower heart rate and blood pressure; helping relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia. Yoga also benefits menopausal women as it helps hot flashes and is good for prevention of osteoporosis by strengthening bones.

There are many types of this gentle gym, non-competitive form of exercise. There is Acro Yoga, Partner Yoga, Hatha Yoga, yoga for sports, football, soccer, runners. Kaitlin's focus is on Hatha Yoga, a traditional type of yoga that is very popular. Group or individual, this type of yoga can get your mind-body connection together. From balancing poses to heart opening poses, they each strengthen you inside and out.

During the hustle and bustle of the holidays, what better way to end a busy day, than to relax and get re-energized by attending one of Kaitlin's classes. Classes are open to the public for $5. Bring a friend to yoga and your class is free. Monday 6:30p, Thursday 7:45p and Saturday 10a. Location is at Dance LTD Studios, near the intersection of Lower Huntington and Old Trail Roads. Kaitlin's Yoga can also be found on facebook or email her at if you have questions.

]]> (Cindy Cornwell) Waynedale Business Fri, 22 Nov 2013 04:00:00 -0500
NEW TOOL & DIE COMPANY 101 Tool & Die, LLCWith nearly 60 years of combined experience, Fort Wayne entrepreneurs David Maberson and Gary Jackson have seen a lot of changes occur in the tool and die industry. They have observed the industry going full circle, with work that was originally completed by expert U.S. craftsmen being shipped overseas by companies wanting to take advantage of lower labor rates, and now returning to the U.S. due to quality issues and problems with proprietary infringement by the offshore businesses.

With this in mind, Maberson and Jackson felt the time was right to go back to the basics of quality production and customer service in establishing a new tool and die company, which they have named 101 Tool & Die, LLC to reflect their business philosophy. The plan is for 101 Tool & Die to operate as a multifunctional, progressive die company. The business will design and craft dies and stamp parts, build complete assemblies, and offer spare tooling services and problem tooling solutions while serving a variety of U.S. customers from the medical, automotive, aerospace, defense and manufacturing industry sectors.

To introduce the new business to Northeast Indiana, there was an open house Saturday, May 25, at the firm's headquarters, located at 4033 Transportation Drive, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46818, just off of Huguenard Road. The public was invited to tour the new facility and meet the owners while attending the event.

Maberson and Jackson say their business will focus on quality and consistency by merging the latest technology with the older, more traditional methods for tool and die making. While creating high-quality products, they plan to concentrate on exceptional service. "101 Tool & Die, LLC will treat all customers with unparalleled results in the industry regarding innovations, leadership, delivery and quality," according to Maberson.

Both owners bring a strong level of competency in the tool and die industry and have well-established relationships with business owners and engineers needing those types of services. Maberson and Jackson plan to work closely with sales and design engineers, cultivating relationships and helping bring their designs to fruition while keeping costs down. "By doing this, we hope to enhance the engineers' work performance so that we all succeed," Maberson said.

The entrepreneurs have been working with the Northeast ISBDC to start their business. Maberson first met with NE-ISBDC Regional Director Jane Rich around four years ago to gather information and lay the foundation for his business idea. In January 2013, he returned to the center with Jackson to refine the idea and carry it forward, receiving help with a business plan and financial projections and taking advantage of several key contacts in the community that Rich provided. They secured an SBA-guaranteed 7a business loan through Three Rivers Federal Credit Union to purchase equipment, positioning them to immediately offer a full range of tool and die services to their customers.

101 Tool's equipment includes a brand-new Sodick VZ 300L wire EDM, a CEDM, CNC milling and lathe equipment, surface-grinding equipment, as well as a fully-equipped tool shop. While the company currently employs just the two owners and one part-time employee, they anticipate hiring more workers as additional business is acquired. "Our goal is to eventually have 20 to 25 employees working out of a larger facility," Jackson said.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0400
NEW BUSINESS HELPS HOMEOWNERS RESTORE ORDER TO THEIR LIVES Organized 4U, LLCToday's throw-away society tends to leave people with a lot of "things" when possessions are not discarded, sold or given away after they no longer are needed. The result is that closets are cluttered, cupboards become unmanageable, countertops get buried, and garages don't have enough room for a car.

To alleviate the problems associated with having too many "things," a local entrepreneur has founded a new business to help homeowners restore order to their lives. Chris Renner became interested in professional organizing after helping his parents downsize their possessions so they could move from their house into a senior apartment. The experience inspired him to found Organized 4U, LLC, to help people de-clutter or downsize their homes and maintain an organized lifestyle.

Renner started his company after working for three decades in engineering and manufacturing, where he was responsible for organizing several electronic laboratories and improving the overall efficiency of workspaces.

"I have always felt a need to have everything in its place, so working as a Professional Organizer® comes natural to me," according to Renner. "I am a planner and very goal driven by nature. When others see a mess, I see the potential for organization and I envision just how to make it happen. I am constantly looking for ways to improve things," he said.

Organized 4U helps homeowners organize closets, basements, garages, attics, and living spaces, and specializes in assisting with downsizing and complete move management for senior citizens. Renner has observed that every situation is unique, and "I help homeowners find a workable solution that fits their lifestyle," he said. As a Professional Organizer®, he goes to his customers' homes and helps them establish a system of organization that works for them. "I help them sort through the clutter and find a home for everything in a way that allows them to find it again," he said.

Renner is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers® who worked with business advisors Wes Shie and Mary Popovich of the Northeast ISBDC to get his company up and running. "The NE-ISBDC helped with the initial setup and demographics as well as marketing ideas and brochure design. Also, they helped me write a business plan in order to secure financing," he said. While he currently serves as the firm's sole employee, Renner said he hopes to grow his business locally and become well known in the professional organizing industry and in senior move management.

For more information on Organized 4U, visit or call Renner at 260-557-7804. To learn more about the services of the Northeast ISBDC, visit or call 260-481-0500.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0400
ST. JOSEPH-ST. ELIZABETH NAMED FOUR STAR SCHOOL The Indiana Department of Education has recognized St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth Catholic School as a 2011-2012 Indiana Four Star School. The Indiana Department of Education recognizes the top 25th percentile of Indiana schools with combined passing percentages of English/Language Arts and Mathematics, as well as the percent of students passing both of these subjects in all grades tested. In addition to meeting these three criteria, the Four Star Schools must also meet the 95 percent student participation rate.

Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendant of Public Instruction, wrote in a letter to St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School Principal Lois Widner, "The fact that your school met these high expectations is evidence of the hard work demonstrated daily by your staff and students."

"We are so proud of our students!" said Principal Lois Widner. "They have worked diligently over the years to maintain outstanding scores. Our teachers and staff are dedicated to teaching the whole child and building on that foundation for a successful and faith-filled life."
St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School will receive an award certificate for being named an Indiana Four Star School from the Indiana Department of Education in mid-May.

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0400
AREA LEGAL PROFESSIONALS FORM SAINT THOMAS MORE SOCIETY Catholic leaders of northeast Indiana met to complete the formation of the Saint Thomas More Society of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a private association affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, serving under the oversight of Bishop Kevin Rhoades. After several months of planning, the society formally adopted its Constitution and Bylaws and elected its founding Governors and Officers. Very Rev. Mark A. Gurtner, J.C.L has been appointed Chaplain by Bishop Rhoades.

"The society is a wonderful opportunity to honor and emulate Saint Thomas More, the patron saint of attorneys, statesmen and politicians," said Rev. Gurtner. "Indeed, his steadfast conviction in the face of death is a reminder for legal professionals to not forsake their private conscious for their public duties." The Saint Thomas More Society is a Catholic professional association that promotes the mutual interaction of faith and culture in the realm of law and public policy. Any lawyer, member of the judiciary, canon lawyer, law professor or student at an ABA accredited law school residing, practicing, serving, or studying primarily in the greater Fort Wayne area is eligible to apply for membership.

The elected Officers are President – Hon. Craig J. Bobay, Magistrate Judge, Allen Circuit Court; Vice President – Liz Brown, Civil and Domestic Mediator; Treasurer – Tom Niezer, Barrett & McNagny LLP; and Hon. Michael J. Kramer, Noble Superior Court.

In addition to its continued role in preparing for and hosting the annual Red Mass, the society will arrange programs and activities related to the intellectual and religious growth of the members, as well as honor those professionals that represent the principles and ideals of St. Thomas More.

Founding Governors also include: Kathleen Anderson – Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Michael Barranda – Burt, Blee, Dixon, Sutton & Bloom, LLP; Hon. Thomas J. Felts – Judge, Allen Circuit Court; Scott Hall – Hall & Gooden, LLP; Hon. Kent W. Kiracofe – Judge, Wells Circuit Court; Chris Nancarrow – Chief Deputy, Allen County Clerk of Courts.
Professionals interested in membership opportunities may contact Membership Chair, Chris Nancarrow at

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 05 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0400
STUDY UP ON COLLEGE SAVINGS VEHICLES Shawn Wall, Edward JonesAnother school year is drawing to a close — so if you have young children, they're one year closer to the day when they head off to college. And both you and your children need to prepare for that day. Your kids can do so by developing good study habits. As for you, it's never too soon to start preparing for the high costs of higher education.

Just how costly is college? According to the College Board's figures for the 2012-13 academic year, the average cost for one year at an in-state four-year public school is $22,261; for a private school, the comparable expense is $43,289. And if college costs continue rising faster than the general inflation rate, these figures will increase substantially in the years ahead.

Of course, it's entirely possible that your kids will receive some scholarships or grants, which can significantly lower your out-of-pocket price tag. Nonetheless, it's probably a good idea not to count on your offspring getting a "full ride" to school — which means that you may want to start exploring college-savings vehicles.

Fortunately, you have some attractive options, one of which is a 529 plan.

When you contribute to a 529 plan, your earnings accumulate tax free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses. (Keep in mind, though, that 529 plan distributions not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal and state income tax and a 10% IRS penalty.) Furthermore, your 529 plan contributions may be deductible from your state taxes. However, 529 plans vary, so be sure to check with your tax advisor regarding deductibility.

A 529 plan offers other benefits, too. For one thing, the lifetime contribution limits for 529 plans are quite generous; while these limits vary by state, some plans allow contributions well in excess of $200,000. Plus, a 529 plan is flexible: if your child, grandchild or other beneficiary decides against college or vocational school, you can transfer the unused funds to another family member, tax and penalty free.

While a 529 plan may be a good choice for building resources for college, it's certainly not the only choice. For example, a Coverdell Education Savings Account, like a 529 plan, can generate tax-free earnings if the money is used for higher education expenses. However, you can typically only put in a maximum of $2,000 per year to a Coverdell account.

Another college-savings possibility is a custodial account, known as an UGMA or UTMA, which offers some tax benefits, no contribution limits, and may have an impact on financial aid. You might also consider investing in a zero-coupon bond that matures just when your child is ready for college. Unlike other bonds, you won't receive regular interest payments with a zero-coupon bond, but you purchase it at a deep discount, so you might find the affordability factor to be worth considering. (Be aware, though, that even though you don't actually receive the interest payments annually, you'll still be liable for the taxes on them, so before purchasing a zero coupon bond, consult with your tax advisor). Whichever college-savings vehicles you choose, try to put them to work as early as you can. Before you know it, today's first-graders will be tomorrow's college freshmen.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones) Waynedale Business Fri, 24 May 2013 00:00:00 -0400
NOURISH THE “ROOTS” OF YOUR INVESTMENT STRATEGY Shawn Wall, Edward JonesOn Arbor Day, which we celebrate this week, people across the country plant trees. Of course, trees provide us with many benefits, including beauty, fruit and oxygen, as well as protection against land erosion. But the act of planting and nurturing trees can also guide our behavior in other areas of life — such as investing.

First of all, consider the vision and patience exhibited by tree growers when they plant their saplings. As an investor, you, too, need this type of perseverance and long-term outlook. When you invest, you should be focused on the long term yet be prepared for the inevitable short-term market downturns. How long is "long term"? Many investors hold quality investments for decades. It's a long process, but the potential growth you seek will need this time.

What else can you, as an investor, learn from tree planters? For one thing, be aware of how they keep their orchards healthy. By providing proper irrigation and disease-prevention measures, they help their trees stay on the long path toward maturity. Similarly, you need to nurture your investment portfolio by continually providing it with the financial resources it needs to stay "healthy." During periods of market volatility, it can be tempting to take a "time out" from investing — but if you do, you'll miss out on the potential growth opportunities that may follow. Since no one can really predict the beginnings and endings of either "up" or "down" markets, you're better off by staying invested.

Also, just as horticulturalists take steps to keep their trees from being subject to disease, you can keep your portfolio in good shape by periodically "pruning" it of investments that no longer meet your needs.

Here's something else that tree planters can teach us: diversification. Consider an orchard that contains several different fruit trees; its commercial benefits may be greater than a comparable orchard that only grows apples. Plus, the presence of a variety of trees can prove beneficial if disease strikes one type. In some areas of the country, for example, Dutch Elm disease wiped out thousands of trees, leaving entire streets treeless. If some other species had also been planted, these streets would still have had the benefits provided by mature trees, even if the elms were gone. As an investor, you don't want to own just one type of financial asset, such as growth stocks, because if a downturn hits this segment, your entire portfolio could take a big hit. A better strategy would be to populate your "financial orchard" with a variety of investments — such as stocks, bonds and government securities — that are suitable for your situation. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification can help reduce the effects of volatility, it can't guarantee a profit or protect against loss.)

As an investor, you can learn some lessons from Arbor Day that could prove "tree-mendously" helpful to you as you chart your course for the future — and you won't even have to "go out on a limb" to put these strategies in place.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones) Waynedale Business Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0400
INVESTORS CAN LEARN FROM EARTH DAY LESSONS Next week, we observe Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day has grown into an international movement whose goal is to raise awareness of the need to take action to sustain a healthy, sustainable environment. You can do your part through recycling and other measures, but you can also apply some of the lessons of Earth Day to your financial situation — and, in particular, to your approach to investing.

Give these ideas some thought:

•Make the most of your existing resources. One of the most valuable lessons of Earth Day deals with the need to be responsible managers of the natural resources we have available. As an investor, it's important to maximize the benefits of the resources to which you have access. For example, are you contributing as much as you can afford to your 401(k)? At the very least, you should put in enough to earn your employer's match, if one is offered.

•Take advantage of a favorable environment. Underlying all Earth Day activities is the goal of creating a healthy environment in which to live. You may also benefit from a positive investment environment — and that's what we appear to be experiencing, at least in terms of low interest rates, low inflation and the financial market. So in this favorable atmosphere, look for those investment opportunities that are appropriate for your situation.

•Don't over-consume. Excess consumption has played a big role in causing some of the environmental issues we face. Consequently, many Earth Day programs teach us to get by with less, or at least to avoid acquiring more than we need. To translate this philosophy into your investment habits, take a close look at the number of trades you make. Are you constantly selling old investments and buying new ones in the hopes of capturing higher returns? This type of trading can result in significant fees and transaction costs — and possibly higher taxes, too. Perhaps just as importantly, this constant activity, with all its starts and stops, may detract from your ability to follow a long-term, consistent investment strategy.

•Avoid "toxic" investment moves. The motivation to create Earth Day developed, in part, by the growing awareness that industrial toxins were affecting our air and water. And you can find many toxic investment moves, too. To illustrate: Many people chase after "hot" stocks after hearing about them from friends or relatives, or seeing them touted by so-called experts in the media. But by the time these people acquire the hot stocks, the stocks may already have cooled off. Furthermore, these stocks may not have been appropriate for these investors in the first place. Another potentially "toxic" investment move is to try to time the market — that is, try to buy investments when prices are low and sell when they're high. In theory, this is a good way to invest; in practice, it's almost impossible to predict market highs and lows Instead, consider buying quality investments and holding them for the long term, or at least until your needs change.

By following these Earth Day-related suggestions, you can help yourself make progress toward a healthier — and possibly more productive — investment environment. And that's worth celebrating more than once a year.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones ) Waynedale Business Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0400
HELP YOURSELF REDUCE INVESTMENT STRESS Shawn Wall, Edward Jones You probably aren't too worried about it, but April is Stress Awareness Month. Each year, the Health Resource Network sponsors this "month" to inform people about the dangers of stress and to share successful coping strategies. Obviously, it's important to reduce stress in all walks of life — including your investment activities. How can you cut down on the various stresses associated with investing?

Here are a few possible "stress-busters":
•Know your risk tolerance. If you're constantly worrying about the value of your investments, your portfolio may simply be too volatile for your individual risk tolerance. Conversely, if you're always feeling that your investments will never provide you with the growth you need to achieve your long-term goals, you might be investing too conservatively.

•Know what to expect from your investments. Uncertainty is often a leading cause of stress. So when you purchase investments that are mysterious to you, you shouldn't be surprised if they perform in ways that raise your stress levels. Never invest in something unless you fully understand its characteristics and risk potential.

•Be prepared for market volatility. Over the long term, the financial markets have trended upward, though their past performance can't guarantee future results. Yet for periods of months, and even years, these same markets can sputter and decline. So when you invest, be aware of this volatility; if you're prepared for it, you won't be shocked when it happens, and you should be able to better keep stress at bay.

•Maintain realistic expectations. If you think your investments are going to earn a very high rate of return, year after year, you are more than likely going to be disappointed — and you could easily get "stressed out." You're much better off, from a stress standpoint, not to expect eye-popping results.

•Diversify your portfolio. If you were only to own one asset class, such as growth stocks, and that particular segment took a big hit during a market drop, your whole portfolio could suffer, and it could take years to recover — causing you no end of stress. But if you spread your investment dollars among a range of vehicles — stocks, bonds, government securities and so on — your portfolio has a better chance of weathering the ups and downs of the market. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification may help you reduce the effects of volatility, it can't prevent losses or guarantee profits.)

•Think long term. If you only measure your investment success by short-term results, you can feel frustrated and stressed. But when you stop to consider your objectives, you may find that the most important ones, such as a comfortable retirement, are all long-term in nature. Consequently, it makes more sense to measure the progress you're making with your investments in periods of years, or even decades, rather than days or months. Instead of fretting over your monthly investment statements, compare where you are today versus where you were 10 or 15 years ago. The results may well surprise and help "de-stress" you.

Stress Awareness Month will come and go. But by making the right moves, you can help take some of the stress out of investing for a long time to come.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones) Waynedale Business Fri, 29 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0400
TIME FOR GEN-XERS TO PUT IRAS TO WORK Shawn Wall, Edward Jones If you're a "Gen-Xer," born between 1965 and 1980, you've still got many years to go until you retire. At this stage of your life, what can you do to help build resources for the retirement lifestyle you've envisioned?

Besides having time on your side, you've got another key advantage in saving for retirement — specifically, you probably haven't reached your peak earning years. This helps you in at least two ways. First, of course, it means you should be able to increase your retirement savings in the future. And second, it might mean you're still eligible to contribute to one of the most effective retirement accounts available — the Roth IRA.

When you invest in a Roth IRA, your earnings are distributed tax free, provided you've had your account at least five years and you don't start taking withdrawals until you're at least 59½. For the 2013 tax year, you can put in up to $5,500 to a Roth IRA; when you reach 50, you'll also be able to make "catch-up" contributions. (Currently, the catch-up limit is $1,000.)

However, the ability to make Roth IRA contributions is limited by income. For 2013, you can make the full contribution to a Roth IRA if you are single and your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is less than $112,000. Above this amount, your contribution limit will be gradually reduced, and if your MAGI reaches $127,000, you won't be able to contribute at all. If you're married filing jointly, the lower limit is $178,000 and the cutoff amount is $188,000.

Of course, if you have to consider these income limits, you're making a reasonably good living, and you may well be on a career path that will take you to even greater earnings — which is why you should think about putting in as much as possible to a Roth IRA while you're eligible.

If your earnings are already over the limit for the Roth IRA, you can still contribute to a traditional IRA. Your contributions can grow tax deferred, which means your money can accumulate faster than it would on an account on which you paid taxes every single year. Taxes are due upon withdrawal, and withdrawals prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.

But what if your income level is such that you could contribute to either a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA? Which one should you choose?

There's no "right" answer for everyone. On the one hand, the Roth's tax-free distributions may be more attractive to you than the tax-deferred growth potential of a traditional IRA if you expect your tax rate to be higher in the future. However, depending on your income level and whether you have access to a 401(k) or other retirement plan at work, your traditional IRA contributions may be fully or partially tax-deductible. But these types of calculations are not easy, so before making the traditional-or-Roth choice, you'll need to consult with your tax advisor.

In any case, now is the time to capitalize on your Gen-X status and use the years ahead to invest consistently in an IRA and other tax-advantaged retirement accounts. As an investor, time is your greatest ally — so take advantage of it.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones ) Waynedale Business Fri, 15 Mar 2013 04:33:00 -0400
BE AWARE OF RISKS OF NOT INVESTING Shawn Wall, Edward Jones You've no doubt heard about the risks associated with investing. This investment carries this type of risk, while that investment carries another one. And it is certainly true that all investments do involve some form of risk. But what about not investing? Isn't there some risk associated with that, too?

In fact, by staying on the investment sidelines, or at least by avoiding long-term, growth-oriented investments, you may incur several risks. Here are some to consider:

•You might not keep up with inflation. If you put all your money under the proverbial "mattress," or, more realistically, you keep it all in "cash" instruments and very short-term investments, you might think you are "playing it safe." After all, you might reason, your principal is protected, so even if you don't really make any money, you're not losing it, either. But that's not strictly true, because if your money is in investment vehicles that don't even keep up with inflation, you can lose ground. In fact, even at a relatively mild three percent annual inflation rate, your purchasing power will decline by about half in just 25 years.

•You might outlive your money. For a 65-year-old couple, there's a 50 percent chance that one spouse will live past age 90, according to the Society of Actuaries. This statistic suggests that you may need your investments to help provide enough income to sustain you for two, or even three, decades in retirement.

•You might not be able to maintain your financial independence. Even if you don't totally run out of money, you could end up scrimping by — or, even worse you could become somewhat dependent on your grown children for financial assistance. For most people, this prospect is unacceptable. Consequently, you'll want to make appropriate financial decisions to help maintain your financial independence.

•You might not be able to retire on your terms. You would probably like to decide when you retire and how you'll retire — that is, what sort of lifestyle you'll pursue during retirement. But both these choices may be taken out of your hands if you haven't invested enough to retire on your own terms.

•You might not be able to leave the type of legacy you desire. Like most people, you would probably like to be able to leave something behind to your family and to those charitable organizations you support. You can help create this type of legacy through the appropriate legal vehicles — i.e., a will, a living trust and so on — but you'll still need to fund these mechanisms somehow. And that means you'll need to draw on all your financial assets, including your investments.

Work with your financial advisor to determine the mixture of growth and income investments you need during your working years and as you move toward retirement to help you meet your retirement goals. However you do it, get into the habit of investing, and never lose it — because the risks of not investing are just too great.

]]> (Shawn Wall, Edward Jones ) Waynedale Business Fri, 01 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0500
HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORMA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORMA!Norma Fisher of Yoder will celerate her 85th birthday on February 15th. She is a member of Calvary United Methodist Church in Waynedale.

Norma married Edward Fisher in 1947. Edward passed away in 1994. She has two children-Scott (Elaine) Fisher of New Haven and Kathy (Mike) Bowlby of Waynedale.

She also has two grandchildren-Kayleigh Fisher and Kristen Fisher.

Norma's family wishes her a very Happy Birthday!

]]> (The Waynedale News Staff) Waynedale Business Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0500