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Lewes, Delaware
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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, December 11 - December 17, 1998. 43 BUSINES:i; &amp; REAL ESTATE " Rehoboth-I00ewey Chamber prexy reviews great year bor of love. He credited the mem- bership and the chamber staff for their efforts to promote the Delaware resort area. Meoli said more than 19,000 people were greeted by the cham- ber this season, a figure that in- cludes 395 people each week and 56 each day. He also noted that the chamber received more than 68,000 phone calls at its office, a number that is actually down from last season. However, the de- crease in calls is due to the over- whelming success of e-mail, said Meoli, an endeavor by the cham- By Jen Ellingsworth Outgoing president Mike Meoli gave a year-end report and passed his gavel to incoming president Lana O'Hollaren at the last gener- al membership meeting for the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, Dec. 3. During a "state of the chamber" report, Meoli said the chamber is "strong, persistent and as finan- cially sound as it has ever been." The owner of two McDonald's restaurants in the Cape Region, Meoli said his year-long tenure as the head of the chamber was a In- Rehoboth's No. 1 Sea Witch raffle saleswoman, Cheryl Blackman, is all smiles as she receives a new bike from the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. Blaekman, who was named "Volunteer of the Year," is shown with Mike Meoli and Carol Everhart, executive director for tire chamber. ber that has resulted in approxi- mately 25,000 responses this sea- son. "When it comes to advertising, noone advertises your area like the Chamber of commerce," he said, adding that this year the chamber was on board with 14 events in downtown Rehoboth Beach, including sidewalk sales and the Sea Witch festival. The chamber also boasts an extensive web site at <www.beach- fun.corn>. In its efforts to promote civic re- sponsibility, Meoli said the cham- ber attended dozens of meetings with officials in Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach about issues that affect those communities. The chamber also introduced "Direct Connect," a service that connects callers to the 800 line with area accommodations. Me- oli said the service will soon ex- tend to restaurants and other busi- nesses. Another ambitious project spearheaded in part by the cham- ber is "Toast the Coast 2000," a millennium celebration slated for New Year's Eve 1999 at the Lewes terminal of the Cape May- Lewes Ferry. Half of the proceeds from the event, which carries a $325 per person and $600 per couple price tag, will benefit the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, organiz- ers will donate the remaining half Jen Ellingsworth photos Incoming chamber president Lana O'Hollaren, marketing manager for the Rehoboth Outlets, receives the gavel from outgoing president Mike Meoli. to the Delaware USO, the Boy Scouts of America, the Rotarians and the Volunteer Fire Depart- ment Association of Delaware. The chamber's budget has a working budget of $600,000 and is projected to end on target for 1999, said Meoli, noting that 30 percent of that budget is derived from the accommodations tax, 25 percent from dues and the remain- der from the staff and membership by sales and fundraisers. O'Hollaren said she's happy for the opportunity to serve as cham- ber president and thanked the membership for'voting her into office. "I really will try my hardest to do half as good a job as Mike [Meoli]," she said. "It's exciting to be the last president of the cen- tury for the chamber." In other business, the chamber appointed Marvin Carney to a two-year seat on its board of di- rectors and awarded a one-year seat to John Mulphy. Rehoboth Beach Patrol life- guard A.J. Sheperd was named the chamber's "Lifeguard of the Year." Sheperd, who was critical- ly injured in a mid-summer acci- dent while walking along the shouldei" of Route 1 north of Continued on page 44 Investing questions fielded and answered The following is a list of ques- tions and answers designed to aid those who want to learn the basics about financial investment. What is the difference between a stock and a bond? When invest- ing, you are faced with two basic choices. You can lend your mon- ey, or you can use your money to own something, such as real estate or part of a company. A bond represents a loan from you to the bond issuer. A variety of entities issue bonds to raise money for specific needs. These entities include private corpora- tions, school districts, hospitals. utilities, cities and even the feder- al government. Investors buy these bonds for a set amount of money, called principal, and the issuer promises to return that amount of money at a specified time in the future. In addition, for the use of this money, the issuer promises to pay the investor a set amount of interest over the life of the investment. Bonds do not rep- resent ownership, but they do pro- vide a fixed amount of income and return of the investor's princi- pal if held to maturity. FINANCIAL FOCUS Anthony Egeln Stocks, on the other hand, rep- resent ownership in a company. Corporations issue stock to raise money and expand operations. In return for the purchase price of the stock, the investor receives a share in the ownership of the com- pany, and voting rights. If the company performs well, those who own stock in the company usually receive a dividend, which represents a share in the compa- ny's profits. Stocks have no maturity date. Historically, the longer you hold them, the more attractive your re- turn. They can, however, be sold on any business day at the current market price, which may be more or less than you paid for the stock. Unlike bonds, stocks offer the opportunity for your original in- vestment to grow. If the company continues to prosper, the value of its stock will increase, increasing the value of the stockholder's in- vestment as well. How do bonds work? A bond is a loan an investor makes to a bond issuer. When you invest in a bond, you loan the bond issuer a set amount of money, the principal, for a set amount of time. The is- suer promises to pay your prin- cipal at the end of that time, the maturity date, and to pay you a certain interest rate at regular in- tervals, usually twice each year. Typically, the longer the maturity, the higher the interest rate. The largest issuer of bonds is the federal government. States and municipalities sell bonds to fi- nance roads, schools, sewer im- provements and other public pro- jects. Corporations sell bonds to expand operations, finance longterm debt or pay for other capital projects. Most bonds are rated according to their quality. This rating indi- cates the issuer's ability to keep its promise regarding timely inter- est payments and to return princi- pal when due. All bonds are not equally safe, so it's important to check a bond's rating before in- vesting any money. Once you invest in a bond, you can sell it to another investor be- fore it matures. The price you re- ceive will depend on what interest rates have done since you bought the bond. If interest rates have risen and investors can buy new bonds paying higher interest rates than your bond is paying, you'll receive less than you paid for your bond. On the other hand, if inter- est rates have declined and bonds are paying less interest than your bond, other investors will be will- ing to pay more for Your higher rate bond. However, none of this matters if bonds are used as they are intend- ed. Bonds are designed to provide longterm regular income to in- vestors. Fluctuations in a bond's market value should not be of concern to investors who plan to hold their bonds to maturity. What are the benefits of owning stocks? One of the most important benefits of owning stocks is that they offer t.he opportunity for growth of principal, and growth of principal is the only way to stay ahead of inflation. Fixed-income investments such as bonds offer security - you know exactly how much income you will receive and how much princi- pal will be returned at maturity. However, there is no possibility for that income to increase, nor for your investment to grow. Stocks, on the other hand, offer the potential for increasing divi- dends and growth in the value of your investment. Although there are no guarantees about stock prices or dividends, over the long term, stocks have outperformed every other type of investment. The key to selecting stocks is to choose quality companies with long histories of increasing divi- dends and stock prices and strong Continued on page 44