Home State Bank's chairman, Jack Devereaux, is looking forward to opening a new branch in Lafayette — in part, because he used to live there.

The Loveland-based bank is waiting for state and federal regulators to give final approval to the new branch at 565 W. South Boulder Road before giving an opening date. Devereaux is a University of Colorado graduate.

The Guaranty Bank and Trust Co. branch now in the building is slated to close on Monday, Oct. 29.

"We think it's a good market to get into," Devereaux said. "We think our community banking style would fit well in Lafayette."

Home State Bank customers keep their checking accounts open longer than the national bank average, Devereaux says. Employees know their customers by name and answer their own phones, he says.

"We feel we offer everything the big banks do with regards to technology and with regards to what people are looking for in a bank," Devereaux said.

He added that the bank is ready to get involved in community events.

Home State Bank is the largest locally owned bank in Larimer County, with $627.8 million in assets, about 200 employees and 10 locations, including a Longmont branch and nine northern Colorado branches.


'New Direction' for IRAs

New Direction IRA Inc. in Louisville has grown 85 percent from 2009 to 2011, has expanded nationally and now has 6,500 accounts around the United States.

The company focuses on self-directed individual retirement accounts — meaning clients may be investing in precious metals, real estate or even private companies, said Clay Malcolm, director of business development at the 40-person company.

"It's surprising how few people know what their options are," Malcolm said. "I say, 'You can buy a gold bar.' When they hear what they can do, they start to get excited. It's shocking."

IRA money is not taxed until a person receives it in retirement. The pre-tax money — and where to put it — has become a hot investment tool in recent years as the stock market has stagnated, Malcolm said. IRA holders traditionally invested in mutual funds and many still do, according to those in the industry.

The nice thing about working with a self-directed IRA firm such as New Direction is that you can put your own private knowledge to work, Malcolm said.

New Direction has about 2,900 clients in the area. The company charges clients a flat fee for bookkeeping and administration services.


Learn stocks' ins and outs

The Boulder Educational Exchange, or BOL-EX, and the Online Traders Institute are also in Louisville.

Robert Friedl, the founder, teaches financial education as it relates to the stock market. What that means is that you can learn how to trade stocks yourself.

Friedl said he has proprietary chart indicators to help you make decisions and will show you which websites to navigate to find the best mutual funds if you don't want to trade individual stocks. The computerized charts signal when you might want to buy or sell, Friedl said.

The Boulder Educational Exchange/Online Traders Institute services come in three different packages:

a $799 class, which is two hours per day for three days; a 2,999 class, where you also get to view the company's live trading webinars; and a $4,999 class, where you work with Friedl for a week.

"We teach students how to take their financial futures into their own hands and open their own brokerage accounts," Friedl said.

Students learn the ins and outs of short-term plays as well as long-term plays, all in a hands-on educational environment, Friedl said.

Friedl had a securities trading background, he said, but decided to put his license on the shelf so that he can teach others about the stock market.

With the rise of national trading platforms such as Scottrade and E-Trade, it just makes sense that people want more education about the general market.

Friedl said he can help. He does one-on-one teaching in the interactive webinars, and in classes at the company's physical location at the DaVinci Institute, 511 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.