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Posts published in “Day: January 18, 2007

Do you know where your investments are?

You can lose your gloves. You can lose your keys. But you’d never lose track of your investments, would you?
Actually, you might be surprised at just how many people do forget about investments, or leave them behind when they move. Every state maintains unclaimed-property offices to deal with millions of dollars worth of stocks, bonds, bank accounts, un-cashed checks, pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs.
To avoid losing track of your financial assets, follow these suggestions:

*Keep records of all bank accounts and investments. It would probably take just a few minutes for you to write up a list of all your bank accounts and investments. And you don’t have to go into great detail, either – just include the type of account and where it’s currently held. Make sure you share this list with a family member.
*Inform banks and brokers when you move or change names. Notify your bank, broker, 401(k) administrator, insurance company and any other financial service agency you work with when you move or if you change your name due to marriage or divorce.
*Cash checks promptly. Whenever you receive stock dividends or distributions from a retirement plan, cash the checks promptly. The longer you leave these checks lying around, the greater the likelihood that you’ll forget about them. Of course, in the case of dividends, if you don’t need the income you are probably better off by automatically reinvesting them, as this builds the number of shares you own, but if you’re going to accept the checks, take care of them right away.
*Don’t give up. Even if you do lose track of investments or bank accounts, it doesn’t mean they are gone forever. Try to “retrace your steps” back to where you think you might have held your accounts. Most financial services providers will do what they can to help you. As an alternative, you might want to visit the web site of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators ( There are no guarantees, but this organization can at least help get you started in the process of finding your missing assets.
Consolidate Your Accounts
Apart from the suggestions listed above, there’s one more step you can take that can potentially help you keep close tabs on your financial assets. Specifically, you might want to consider consolidating as many of your accounts as possible at one financial services institution. A full-service company can offer you access to investments, banking services, mortgages, credit cards – virtually any financial vehicle you might need. With all your account and tax statements coming from the same place, you should find it relatively easy to keep track of all your holdings.
Furthermore, by consolidating your assets at a single financial institution and working with a single financial professional who knows your needs and goals, you may actually end up improving your overall financial strategy . Why? Because if you maintain several accounts without a central focus or unifying philosophy, you could end up with redundant or inappropriate investments – a costly mistake. At the same time, you could end up paying more than what you need for a variety of services spread out among several providers.
So, keep track of your investments, stay organized and consider consolidating your accounts. You work too hard to build your financial assets to let them slip away.

Preventative maintenance

The eagle screamed so back to writing Two Cent Worth if you savvy.
We always used that term aboard ship in the Coast Guard come pay day. All the mates lined up with the highest ranking first in line. Everybody was paid in cash as others waited in line to collect on their gambling debts. Not me because I was always too tight to play cards or shoot dice with the mates.

Had this one First Class Boson Mate that always wanted to borrow a few bucks but he was very hard to collect from plus he didn’t want to pay anything to boot. Only he taught me a lesson the first go round because after that I wouldn’t loan him a nickel.
What’s that old saying, shame on you first time but shame on me second time?
There were some guys that would pay out their entire pay check after a 30 day pay period to pay their gambling debt.
Some of the nicer guys would let them keep ten bucks or so to buy deodorant, soap and toothpaste. Smokes were a buck a carton back then and free of all taxes.
Many miles have been traveled since that time, be it nautical, air or flying low in a vehicle. Having past the golden age plus another ten years the old gold (not a cigarette) has started to rust. WD-40 is not doing the job.
Being a believer in preventive maintenance, and after putting it off for ten years, this ole mate finally had his colon checked.
Although there is a permanent frown on my face from building up to it, the procedure was not all that bad compared a few bottles of barium consumed prior to being x-rayed a few years back.
Had to drink a full gallon of this nasty stuff that is suppose to clean you out. I guarantee it!
This being done in a hospital with you being knocked out makes all the difference in the world and again the worse part is the quantity of the cocktail to give you a case of the turkey trots.
Then they take you to the recovery area which should be renamed to the gas chamber area as the air is expelled from the photographed procedure.
Didn’t win a checkered flag or anything but sure was glad to get home and eat a bite or two. Jell-O and broth don’t do much for a shy fat boy.
My phobia is gone now since the procedure is done. My second dad, father-in-law passed by what started out as colon cancer. He was in his 70’s and a fit man indeed.
He told me after all said and done, “Charlie, if I had it to do all over again, I’d let it kill me.”
Come on Old Man Winter, get on down the road, I got a garden to till and onions ready to go in the ground.

Palais Royal to open in Crosby

CROSBY— A rumor floating around the Crosby area for more than a year is coming into fruition.
The Palais Royal department store chain is bringing a store to Crosby. The new store will be located in the former Wal-Mart building on FM 2100 and is scheduled to open March 22, 2007, according to Palais Royal, Melissa Busby, District Manager.

Renovations of the building are currently underway. This will provide the store with its needed floor space and interior design. The building has been empty since Wal-Mart vacated it several months ago to relocate to its current location.
Busby said the building contains 18,000 sq. ft. 15,000 of which will be used for sales. The firm plans to have 15-20 employees at the new store and “will over hire initially” to get things started.
“Interviewing for the new positions will begin in February,” she continued. “We are looking forward to our move to Crosby.” Busby said the store manager has not been named but they are considering a woman who is currently employed out of state and wants to return to Texas. The selection will be announced when confirmed.
Speaking for the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce, President Steve Coon said the Palais Royal move to Crosby is “awesome.” “It will be a positive business move for the Crosby area to have a department store of that stature located here. We are in a growing area and should embrace this as part of that growth. This should pave the way for additional stores of this type to open businesses here.”
The addition of Palais Royal at the new location will fill a large vacancy in the business located along 2100.
Rumors about Palais Royal have been the talk of the town for several months and increased over the past few weeks when the firm made positive commitments to area representatives.
According to Busby the new store will carry men, women’s and children’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and fragrances. It is expected to be an attractive business addition to the Crosby area inasmuch as there are a limited number of stores in Crosby with this type merchandise.
“Initially, we will stock the stores with merchandise similar to that stocked in the Liberty store.”
Palais Royal is owned by Stage Stores, which also owns stores under the name of Bealls, Peebles, and Stage. Its home office is in Houston.
Currently the closest Palais Royal stores are in Baytown, one on Garth Road and another in the San Jacinto Mall. Another is located in Liberty. The closest Houston stores are located on Uvalde Road and Federal Road.

NPOAN faces transition in ’07

CROSBY—The New Property Owners Association of Newport (NPOAN) continues a period of transition as they adapt to a new management company and slight change in the makeup of the board of directors.
Last week, over 150 homeowners attended the annual meeting of the NPOAN. The purpose of the meeting was three-fold: to give homeowners a overview of the past 12 months and what to expect in the future, present the 2007 budget and elect directors.
New management

Board President Dan Kasprzak began the meeting by relating the circumstances that led to the change in management companies from C.I.A. Services to Houston Community Management Services (HCMS).
During the second quarter of 2006, Kasprzak said, the NPOAN was notified by Harris County that they were not receiving payment for constable patrol services from the association. They later learned from Crosby State Bank that C.I.A. Services, which collected monthly dues from property owners, were not sending the checks to them.
The Board ordered an audit of C.I.A., which revealed that while there was no fraud evident C.I.A. had been paying bills late. During the audit, he added, $54,000 in checks were found sitting on a vice president’s desk waiting to be deposited.
After learning how much it would cost them to rectify the account, C.I.A. Services resigned on Oct. 31, 2006.
Over the next two months, Kasprzak said, the NPOAN Board of Directors interviewed five or six management companies. In the end, the board chose to go with Houston Community Management Services, Inc., which was the first group they interviewed.
While the transition between the two management companies has not been seamless, Kasprzak said he was confident that in the end HCMS would provide a better service to the homeowners.
2007 Budget
“The state of the financial situation is good,” NPOAN Treasurer Walt Thomas said. At the close of 2006, the NPOAN’s finances were $57,000 better than they were the year before or 21 percent. In the 2007 budget, he said, an increase in income from various sources including investments will allow the association to double the amount of money it spent on repair and maintenance in 2006. Among the projects are tennis court repairs and maintenance, which were not in the 2006 budget, and twice as much funds allocated to lake and river repairs and improvement.
Directors election
With a 10-member board of directors serving, elections for three spots are held every year on a rotating basis. The 10th spot goes to a director who is appointed by developer Rampart Capital Corporation. When Rampart purchased the package of lots and amenities for $850,000 following the bankruptcy of former Newport development DDI, Rampart CE) Jim Carpenter required one seat on the board until such time as 90 percent of Newport is developed or Rampart owns five or less lots or 15 acres.
In the election eeven candidates faced off for three seats. Reelected to the board were Sam Gonzalez with 572 votes and Walt Thomas with 546. Dennis Pilkington replaces Shannon Ezell on the board with 528 votes.
Also collecting votes were Bruce Linday with 151, Arthur Tertyshny with 133, Ezell received 70 and Don Marshall got 53 votes.