We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.

If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.

Fast Access

GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!
GCFlash - March 29, 2011!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Edition #604

Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

March 22, 2011 Edition #603

March 15, 2011 Edition #602

March 8, 2011 Edition #601

March 1, 2011 Edition #600

Looking for articles from a past issue of GCFlash not listed above? Find them in our Knowledge Base!

Weekly Spotlight:

ATTENTION: GCF will have new Saturday hours beginning this weekend, April 2nd. Learn more on our web site.

Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
March 29, 2011 6 Mo Ago
1 Yr Ago
5 Yrs Ago
Dow Jones Industrial Average 12,279.01 (+0.67%)
(Up 701.50 or 6.06% since 12/31/10)
10,835.28 10,895.86 11,215.70
S&P 500 1,319.44 (+0.71%)
(Up 61.80 or 4.91% since 12/31/09)
1,144.73 1,173.22 1,302.89
NASDAQ 2,756.89 (+0.93%)
(Up 104.02 or 3.92% since 12/31/08)
2,376.56 2,404.36 2,337.78
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 3.49% 2.51% 3.86% 4.81%
British Sterling 1.5982 1.5805 1.4974 1.7391
Euro 1.4090 1.3610 1.3465 1.2009

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1st Flash

Teaching Your Children About Financial Matters

In today's economic times, it is more important than ever to instill sound financial principles in your children. There are a variety of web sites that offer instruction, games, literature, and guidance for helping your children grow up to be financially savvy. In this article, I will outline just a few web sites available that are geared toward educating children on financial matters.

Here at GCF Bank, there is a section of our web site dedicated to kids. We call it our GCKids area and you can find it in the "About GCF" section of our web site. GCKids offers a variety of information and links to help educate young people by taking them on a tour of the planets. Learn about money and savings along with bicycle safety, where to get homework help, saving energy, fitness, and more.
The web site is by far the most extensive web site I have found geared towards kids from kindergarten through 8th grade. There is some information on the web site itself, but mostly you are redirected to other web sites when you select a topic. It links to over 2,000 web pages from government agencies, educational organizations and schools. The site itself is the official kids' portal for the U.S. government and hosted by the Federal Citizen Information Center (FCIC). When I selected the "Money" topic for grades K-5, I was given a list of over 50 links to select from. Each link provides a brief description so you can select the topics you or your child are most interested in investigating further. The web site also offers information on a wide variety of other topics such as government, art, music, reading and writing, science, social studies, computers, careers, and health/fitness.

TreasuryDirect Kids
This web site teaches kids what public debt is and the history of the U.S. public debt. The web site also teaches kids about Treasury Securities and how they are tied to the U.S. public debt, and the difference between Savings Bonds, T-Bills, T-Notes, T-Bonds, and TIPS. The web site is fun and interactive with games and questions. The site is also linked with the TreasuryDirect site, which is geared to teens and adults. The U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Public Debt created both sites to educate consumers and help with their mission of borrowing the money needed to operate the federal government and accounting for the resulting debt. An interesting note for adults is that the TreasuryDirect web site is the only financial services web site that allows you to buy and redeem securities directly from the Treasury Department in paperless electronic form.

Project C.H.A.N.G.E.
The Project C.H.A.N.G.E. (Creating Habits and Awareness for the Next Generation's Economy) web site reviews ideas such as making a financial plan in order to reach your dream goals, spending smart by paying yourself first and avoiding credit card debt, and compound interest and the Rule of 72 for estimating how your money can grow over time. Project C.H.A.N.G.E. is a joint endeavor by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The web site is hosted by the SEC and it provides links to an interactive quiz, savings calculator, and money game on the FINRA web site.

You can find more helpful guidance and resources available on other web sites, such as the web site (select the "Youth" topic on the My Resources menu) and the FDIC web site (select the "Financial Education & Literacy" topic on the Consumer Protection menu).

In reviewing the mass of information available, one of the most basic principles I came across is that it is never too soon to teach your children to start saving for the future. By starting young and instilling sound financial principles in our youth, Americans can help make all our financial futures brighter.

On The World Wide Web

Congratulations to GCF's Varuni Singh who was invited to join the Rowan University Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma. Learn more about her prestigious accomplishment.

Can't get enough baseball statistics? Get your fill here.

Think you can call the balls and strikes better than the guy standing behind the plate? Hone your skills at the next session of Umpire Camp! Get the details.

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2nd Flash

The Boys of Summer

Forget the groundhog. Never mind the thermometer. Pay no heed to the calendar page. There is only one true indicator that summer is right around the corner.

Baseball is an icon for the American spirit. The teamwork, competition level and perseverance necessary to endure a sweltering, 165-game season are all standards we strive to achieve.

The sport can trace its roots back to 1845. Small towns formed teams, clubs more organized sprung up in larger cities. They all adapted their own set of rules.

Alexander Cartwright wanted to formalize a list of rules so all teams could play equal. Most of his rules are still in place today. Cartwright was the true father of baseball, despite the legend of Abner Doubleday.

The first recorded amateur baseball game took place at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ. Cartwright's Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City lost to the New York Baseball Club.

These amateur games became extremely popular in the northeast. In 1857, a meeting of twenty-five teams gathered to discuss rules and the future of the game. The following year they formed the National Association of Base Ball Players, the first organized league.

The game's growth was stalled by the Civil War. Yet Union soldiers brought their love of baseball to other parts of the country, creating a post-war growth explosion. By 1868, there were over 100 clubs in the new league.

With growth came added expenses. The teams now had to solicit donations or sponsors to afford road trips. Some even began to charge admission to their fans.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings took a different route. They decided to become a professional team in 1869. As such, they could hire paid players rather than field amateurs. They recruited the best from all around the country, completing their first season with a 65-0 record. The idea quickly caught on.

The National Association became the first professional baseball league in 1871.

The sport's modern era dates back to 1903 when the first World Series was played. The American League Boston Americans beat the National League Pittsburgh Pirates to become the first World Champions.

Baseball is the only professional sport to record every single thing every player does on the field - and off. During Mark McGwire's seventy home run season, he commented that the media even counted each cup of coffee he drank every single day.

Phillie fans have high hopes about the upcoming season. This year may finally resolve the question of whether good pitching can stop good hitting or if it's the other way around.

The debate has ravaged almost as long as whether the chicken or the egg came first.

Off-season moves brought four of baseball's elite pitchers together on one team. Predictions are already swirling with the Mighty Phils topping the list of favorites to take the crown.

Yet those pre-season expectations can also prove to be a bad omen. And baseball players are a notoriously superstitious lot. Obstacles are already mounting along their path to the World Series.

This is a team that's remained fairly intact, making it to the World Series two of the past three seasons. They've played well together, and they're aging together.

Aging leads to injuries. Four-time All Star second baseman Chase Utley will begin the season on the disabled list with no timetable for a possible return.

Closer Brad Lidge will also watch Opening Day festivities from the bench, awaiting results from today's MRI to determine his availability. These two players are of such high caliber that they can't be easily replaced.

Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt will have to carry this team. Can it be done? Can four superstars be the backbone of a championship contender?

Ask the Miami Heat. Skeptics doubted whether the Big Three of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh could carry this team to the NBA playoffs. They worried that egos would interfere with performance.

Despite the hot and cold streaks they exhibited this season, they're number two seed for the playoffs with five games to go in the regular season.

So bring it on, opposing teams. Come at us with your best and let the Fightin' Phils show the baseball world how it's done. Play ball!

Tip of the Week

The Federal Income Tax filing deadline is extended to Monday, April 18th this year. But that extension does not apply to your state return which is still due on April 15th.

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Financial News

Consumer confidence was reported to have dropped in March to 63.4 from 70.4 according to the Conference Board. This survey of consumer attitudes on current economic conditions and expectations covers 3,000 households every month. This decline is the first after a steady increase in consumer confidence since September 2010 when there was a low for the year of 50. High food and really high gas prices are more than expected, dragging consumer confidence down.

The survey now shows more people expecting their income to fall over the next six months compared to those expecting to see an increase. Three months ago, optimists outnumbered pessimists. Those saying jobs are currently hard to get rose two tenths to 44.6 percent. However, this seems to be in direct contrast to the improvement in jobless claims.

Also showing contrasting positive results this month is the State Street Invest Confidence Index. This survey measures the actual levels of risk in investment portfolios, rising to 98.3 in March from 97.8 in February. A reading of 100 is neutral with neither an increase nor decrease in risk allocation. The more risk investors are willing to take implies a greater confidence in the economy.

People in the U.S. also had less income but spent more in February. Consumer spending went up from .2 percent to .7 percent while personal income dropped from 1 percent to .3 percent. The more recent attitude reports could actually foretell a change in spending in March. As a whole, consumers do need to spend in order to pump money back into the economy.


"I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did." - Yogi Berra

Today in History

1954 - Phil Cavarretta becomes the first manager to be fired during spring training for giving Cubs owner Phil Wrigley an honest assessment of the team's chances. He was fired for his defeatist attitude, yet proved right as the Cubs dropped to seventh place.

Flash Fact

When Joe Pepitone first came to the Cubs, he told manager Leo Durocher he was fast enough to steal. So the first time Pepitone reached first, Durocher decided to test him. First base coach Peanuts Lowery flashed the sign to Pepitone - a wink. Pepitone didn't budge. So Lowery winked again. Still, Pepitone stood pat. Again, Lowery winked. This time, Pepitone responded. He blew Lowery a kiss.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at

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