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The Charlotte post. (Charlotte, N.C.) 1918-????, January 25, 1996, Image 6

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Cliarlotte ^0£(t THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 1996 CHARLES ROSS Your Personal Finance Zero coupon bonds are investments that are bought at a discount from face-value. When they mature, you get the full value. For example, you might purchase a $1,000 face-value bond for $500. Zeros tend to yield slightly higher than regular coupon- attached bonds, and they are also extremely volatile. This means that fluctuations in interest rates can create major gains and losses. A 1 percent rise in interest rates can mean a 10 percent loss in the current value of your zeros, but you will still get the full face-value if you hold the bond until maturity. Municipal zeros are issued by state and local govern ments, and some corporations issue zero-coupon bonds. Ask your investment advisor about current selections. Tax considerations The best way to take advan tage of the compounding inter est in zero coupon bonds is to hold them until maturity. But be aware that, although you might be willing to postpone receiving the interest until the zeros mature, the IRS is not so patient. Taxes are due as interest accrues, and corpo rate zeros are fully taxable. You will escape state and local taxes on treasury zeros, and often on municipal zeros. Another important tsix mat ter to remember is that the tax basis of zeros increases as interest accrues. You should get information from your bro ker or the bond issuer each year showing how much inter est accrued, and add that to your basis. The investment decision For people with a well- defined long-term goal, such as sending a child to college, zero-coupon bonds can be a great option with a set return and fixed maturity date. Zeros are also good for IRAs because with an IRA you don't pay taxes on the interest a zero accrues. They also appeal to investors who dislike tinker ing with their portfolios. Zeros can run on autopilot until maturity. Zeros can offer the possibili ty of dramatic gains, too. If interest rates decline, the value of your zeros shoots up, and selling before maturity could prove very profitable. However, don't forget that the risk of loss is just as great. Treasury zeros are a high- quality investment that can be easy to sell in an emer gency. Municipal zeros would be the next best choice. Getting the lowest airfare The battle of the airlines is no longer among the large car riers. Smaller, regional carri ers are also flexing their mus cle. Knowing the right ques tions to ask in planning your flight could help you get off See COUPONS page 7A STRICTLY BUSINESS Zero coupon bonds a plus Heaven for little angels PHOTO/JAMES BROWN Connie Green leads youngsters through the new Angels Christian Day Care Center on Glenwood Drive during an open house last week. The center is one of the largest owned by African Americans in Charlotte and can accommodate up to 200 children. It has a separate building for toddlers and infants. "The Lord gave us a vision. We put it on paper and had it drawn up and my husband built it from the ground up. The only expereience he had was working with his grandfather, a carpenter, when he was a little boy." —Connie Green, owner Angels daycare Daycare owners celebrate growth By John Minter THE CHARLOTTE POST I t all started when Connie Green decided she didn’t like the day care centers she visited looking for a place for her son. Besides, what she really wanted to do was stay home with her children. Roger Green, her husband, was supportive. Eleven years later, the Greens run one of the largest day care centers owned by African Americans in Charlotte. They held open house at their Angels Christian Day Care last week. The facility at 3801 Glenwood Drive occupies three buildings on three acres. “I had looked all over Charlotte and I wasn’t satis fied with the day care,” Green said. “I asked my husband to start a day care in our home.” Before long she had to move to a separate location on Ashley Drive. “I started with five children, then to 15. Then I was Money management The ABCs of investment clubs Amanda S. Danchi, SPECIAL TO THE POST A1 is a retired plumber. Barbara is a young widow with three children. Carol and Dave are a professional cou ple. Once a month, they get together with 10 others in the local library meeting room. After some small talk, each person places a check for $50 on the table. A bigh stakes card game? Not a chance. In this game, the members don't play against one another— they're members of an invest ment club and they win and lose as a group. An invest ment club is a group of friends, neighbors, relatives, business associates or others who pool their time, talent and money to research and invest in stocks, according to the North Carolina Association of CPAs. The National Association of Investors Corporation esti mates that there are now more than 32,000 investment clubs in America, about half of which belong to this umbrella organization of investment clubs. Altogether, NAIC investment club members have invested more than $1.2 billion. How do investment clubs work? Typically, investment clubs have 10 to 15 members who meet monthly to invest a mod est sum of money, perhaps $20 or $50, in the club's port folio. For most investment club members, gaining invest ment savvy is as important as earning money. That's why in successful investment clubs, each member is responsible for contributing knowledge and research to the team effort. Most clubs assign each member to study a specific stock. Writing for annual reports, studying investment publications and tracking a stock's past performance are some of the tasks members are expected to perform. Club members also monitor the per formance of the club's current holdings. Some clubs invite guest speakers, sucb as local brokers or analysts, to speak at their meetings. Who decides what to buy and when to sell? Some clubs determine whether to buy or sell a stock by majority rule, but most use a weighted voting system so that long-term members with more money at stake have more votes. The most success ful clubs take long-term buy- and-hold approaches to invest ing, which CPAs say is the wisest strategy for the aver age investor. How much do I have to contribute? According to NAIC, the aver age monthly investment is about $37. New clubs general ly start with small monthly investments—about $20—so members don't incur much licensed for 25, then 40. When we got to the maximum we sold that location and moved to the Freedom Village shop ping center. We were licensed for 120. We stayed there six years in leased space. “From there, we saved our money and built our own little heaven on earth for little chil dren.” On the new campus, the main building is 10,000 sq. feet. There’s a special infants and toddlers building and an after school care building. The campus can accommodate as many as 200 children. The Greens used to own cen ters in three separate loca tions. Those have now been consolidated into the Glenwood Drive campus, where they have operated since mid-December. The Greens are Apostolic Pentacostal ministers, associ ates at their church - Calvary Christian Church on Kilbourne Avenue. They use the A Beka religious-based curriculum for ages 3-5 at their center. “Most of the Christian schools use it,” Connie Green said. “It is a Christian curricu lum, but is also includes secu- See CHILDCARE page 8A risk while they are learning the investment ropes. As members' investment know- bow increases, clubs can raise the monthly ante. Who pays the taxes? A majority of the clubs cur rently operating are, for tax purposes, partnerships. Generally speaking, the club files a partnership return on which it reports the tax conse quences of its transactions for the year as well as the shares of each member. As an invest ment club member, you pay tax on your share of divi dends, interest, capital gain and other income earned by tbe club, as if you earned the income. For example, you See CLUBS page 7A Resolve to update your resume regularly 'You may have joined the gym, but you just didn t get around to working out. Or, you gave up smoking - for about a week. Maybe you resolved to stop procrastinat ing - at some later date. Whatever the case may be, most of us have a history of making and breaking re.solu- tions. If your past resolution.» haven't been successful, per haps a new approach is in order. What about your resume? When was the last time you pulled it out, took a look at It. or better yut, iipilat- od It? SVhy not .-.tart olf Lh« new year by upd.ating your resume. In today's downsizing, ru- .structuring, re-engineering world, it just makes good to be pro-active and explore your employment option.s. Regardless of the climate, you may miss out on an exciting new challenge, you're not ready when opportunity knocks. "Many of our clients cunie in saying, ‘1 haven't needed a resume since college.’ " .says , Barbara Katz, co-owner of ResumoAinerica in Charlotte. "But, some catalyst - whether it’s recent corporate changes or a decision to change career directions - prompts the need for H resume." How often should you update your rii.sume? "It's a good idea to make changes as they occur.' explains Katz. "When you add a position to your employment history, be sure to reflect the achievements that led up to this new job nr new job title. So often, resumiss focus on job responsi bilities. We focus on achieve- ment-onented resumes for greater results." individual.-? have, wnitt-n themselves. Bhe describes this as the understated resume " .Many job seekei.s are eoii- eeriied that they will appear Other areas of the resume to review ineludc the basic infor- maiitiri like address and Ude- phone number. Have these changed? If your resume was prepared when you graduated to be bragging, .so they often from ctjllf-ge, are you carrying downgrade their result.and old information that is no .irhievcraenr-i. The result is an longer needed? You don’t want ordinary and uninteresting to sound like a student if you job candidate, and the calls Ui in your career field come in for interviews are few and far between Another important area to I'm not consider. Does your resume represent you well? Are you giving yourself credit for your accomphshmenf.-i? Kaiz s.iys this IS often the proli- lem she »ee.s in re.sunu-.v that you boast or inflatr- your informa tion " explains Katz. The number one rule in re.'.umi; writing is 'loll the truth.' See RESUME page 6A BUSINESS TO BUSINESS

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