The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 10 No. 14 - January 6, 2010


East meets West at Alchemy Acupuncture

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Dr. Lisa Grossman is an acupuncture physician,
psychotherapist and herbalist.

The human body is a mystery. Sometimes it responds predictably and sometimes it eludes traditional treatment. If you believe that the body is comprised of more than bone, tissue and fluids, then you may also believe in the ancient Chinese theory of Qi and be open to more non-traditional methods of healing.

Qi is the belief that the body has a natural energy flow that runs along meridians throughout the body. If one or more of these natural patterns of channels becomes blocked or unbalanced the result could manifest itself with a variety of physical symptom.

Lisa Grossman, DOM, AP, LCSW is a board certified acupuncture physician, psychotherapist and herbalist. Grossman started her medical career as a psychotherapist, graduating with a master's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She practiced for 25 years, 10 in Massachusetts, before earning her degree in oriental medicine from the East West College of Natural Medicine and establishing Alchemy Acupuncture. Dr. Grossman became interested in oriental medicine through personal experience and believes her diverse educational degrees compliment and balance each other providing her with unique skills.

When a patient initially visits Dr. Grossman she will compile a comprehensive physical history. A review of eating habits, lifestyle choices, activity and stress levels are addressed, and a recommend course of treatment suggested. She attempts to get to the root of the problem that is creating physical pain. In addition, she has a comprehensive herbal pharmacy where she can merge and design herbal blends based on individual needs.

And if you don’t like needles, Grossman promises that the ultra fine acupuncture needles do not hurt and in fact the treatment makes you feel more relaxed. Most patients feel better able to focus after a treatment and are calm and at peace.

Some of the common health problems that Alchemy Acupuncture can help you with are allergies, depression, gastro-intestinal, migraines, arthritis, pain management, infertility, weight loss and quitting smoking.

Her goal is to use her training and education to blend traditional Western medicine with Eastern principals in order to provide a high degree of health care for every member of the family. She says it’s not necessary to live in pain, and people should consider oriental medicine, not as a last resort, rather as another treatment choice.

Grossman says she feels honored doing this business every day and is personally gratified to be helping so many people who had previously given up. She is expanding her practice with the opening of a new location on Longboat Key this month in order to provide easier access to her Longboat Key and Sarasota patients.

Take the mystery out of what ails you, fine tune your psyche and open up the Qi flowing through the meridians of your body. Alchemy Acupuncture and Grossman will explain it all. Let her be your guide to a healthy new life.

Alchemy Acupuncture, Psychotherapy and Herbal Pharmacy

501 Village Green Parkway, Suite 4
Bradenton, FL. 34209

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Safety – At a price

Investment Corner

Investors and savers scour the landscape searching for the bank certificate of deposit that will pay them that extra one-fourth of 1 percent on their savings, while offering the peace of mind of the FDIC insurance guaranteeing them against the failure of the bank up to a limit of $250,000.

CDs, bank money market and savings accounts are always popular with savers who wish to place a portion of their funds in vehicles which are safe from market fluctuation and have a guarantee of return of principal value. When the financial markets go through one of their periods of extreme volatility, we typically see investors flee vehicles like corporate bonds and equities, which traditionally return more over time, but can go through periods of fluctuating principal value.

Presently, there is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 trillion parked in various bank savings vehicles and money market funds, earning yields in the 0 to 2 percent range depending on the type of vehicle and the institution. Many investors seem willing to accept these very low rates until their confidence returns, allowing them to venture back to investments which have higher potential. Others use these low yielding savings vehicles as their long-term investment plan, but are blind to the high cost of the safety they seek.

Sounds strange to refer to safety as a cost, but the facts are clear. A recent report prepared by Oppenheimer Funds summarized the last 26 years (1983 to 2008) of the “real return” on certificates of deposit when adjusting for federal tax on the interest income and the rate of inflation. The analysis used the top federal tax bracket, which averaged 38 percent over the time period in question, and the average rate of inflation was 3.1 percent.

The average CD yield over the 26-year period was 5.74 percent. Adjusting for the tax rates and inflation as described abov,e the average annual real return was 0.4 percent. Real return is the actual wealth accumulation in excess of the impact of taxes and inflation. I have always maintained that CDs don’t build real wealth at a significant pace, and this recent study bears that out.

That’s not to say CDs and money market funds don’t have their place in your financial plan. For monies which have a designated purpose in a relatively short period of time or for emergency cash reserves which may be needed at any time, these very safe vehicles fit the bill. Just don’t have a lot of illusion about how much wealth you are accumulating, especially if the funds are not in tax-sheltered accounts like IRAs. Obviously, for those tax-sheltered accounts and for those investors in lower tax brackets, the results are somewhat more favorable.

Here’s an idea to consider. Without even opening up the discussion to investing in stocks or real estate. How about owning a diversified portfolio of investment grade bonds? These bonds are issued by the government, government agencies, and credit worthy corporations. The bonds do fluctuate in value in a relatively minor way, but for this minor fluctuation, there has historically been a reward – higher returns.

If we look at the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index, an index representing a cross section of the entire U.S. investment grade (high quality) bond market for the same time period referenced above we find an average return of 8.4 percent per year, or almost 2.7 percent more average annual return than offered by CDs.

Applying the same real return analysis used in the CD example to the bond index would reveal an average annual real return of 2.1 percent, compared to the 0.4 percent from CDs. What about safety? Yes, these bonds do fluctuate in value, but there were only two years in the 26 examined where the Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index had a loss, and the largest of these was only -2.9 percent. So, for a moderate amount of fluctuation in principal value, a significant reward may be generated.

For sake of disclosure, investors cannot invest directly in an index. They are used to monitor the performance of certain market segments. However, there are mutual funds and exchange traded funds which copy or mimic indexes and offer a high level of diversification in one security. For most small investors, these funds are a great way to go. Of course, no one investment vehicle – bonds, CDs or stocks, makes up a complete investment plan, and investors are generally well served to use a diversified portfolio.

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.

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