IMPORTANT!!

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!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Edition #708


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

April 9, 2013 Edition #707

April 2, 2013 Edition #706

March 26, 2013 Edition #705

March 19, 2013 Edition #704


Weekly Spotlight:

Cyber awareness is a key element in our weekly GCFlash eNewsletter. Find the best of our past articles on one page for your easy reference.


Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
April 16, 2013 6 Mo Ago
10/15/12
1 Yr Ago
04/16/12
5 Yrs Ago
04/15/08
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 1,369.42 or 10.23% since 12/31/12)
14,756.78 (+1.08%) 13,424.23 12,921.41 12,362.47
S&P 500
(Up 148.38 or 10.40% since 12/31/12)
1,574.57 (+1.43%) 1,440.13 1,369.57 1,334.43
NASDAQ
(Up 245.12 or 8.12% since 12/31/12)
3,264.63 (+1.50%) 3,064.18 2,988.40 2,286.04
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.72% 1.66% 1.97% 3.57%
British Sterling 1.5368 1.6070 1.5843 1.9743
Euro 1.3181 1.2950 1.3072 1.5769

Back to top

1st Flash

Whew! You Made It!

Trivia time: What contained 400 pages when originally written but consumes 73,954 pages today?

No, not Obamacare. That started with 2,700 pages and is up to nearly 20,000 today. Even if you add the 21 pages of the application form, you're still not close. Try again.

Bingo if you said the U.S. tax code. And you might feel like you studied each and every page today, now that your return is filed. It's an exhausting exercise unless you're among those who qualify to use Form 1040-EZ.

The Sixteenth Amendment is recognized as the official beginning of U.S. tax code. After it was ratified, the United States Revenue Act of 1913 was enacted to fulfill the provisions of the Amendment. The Revenue Act itself contained approximately 27 pages.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the annual ritual Americans have come to dread.

The original law levied a 1.0% tax on income, plus a graduated scale on income over $20,000. That's the equivalent of about $465,000 today.

The highest bracket was 7.0%, paid by those with income over $500,000 or $11.6 million in today's dollar. There were no separate brackets for single or married filers.

The law allowed for exemptions and deductions. Individuals qualified for a $3,000 per person exemption, plus an extra $1,000 for married couples.

Certain deductions were available. But capital gains and dividends were taxed the same rate as normal income.

Today's tax brackets begin at 10% for single filers earning between $0 and $8,925 or $17,850 for married joint filers. Seven graduated brackets apply to designated income levels, with the highest paying 39.6% on income $400,000 and above. Married joint filers reach that level at $450,000 combined income.

The code itself is complex and confusing. How confusing? The head of the IRS hires someone to do his taxes.

Forbes estimates Americans spent more than 6 billion hours on their tax returns this year. The confusing code leaves taxpayers scratching their head, overlooking items that may be to their benefit simply because they can't decipher the double talk.

Those that attempt preparing their own taxes know what I'm talking about. Those of you that don't may want to visit the IRS website and glance at any publication for a good laugh.

State tax laws can be just as complex. Taxes must be filed not only in your home state, but every other state where you work. Many states have a reciprocal agreement with their neighbors. New Jersey residents working across the Ben Franklin Bridge can take a credit for their Philadelphia wage tax on their New Jersey state taxes.

This is one situation where being a professional athlete can prove pretty tough. Athletes have to file taxes in every state, and some cities, where they play. States use different calculations based on percentage and which sport you play.

Pennsylvania taxes baseball, basketball and hockey players on the ratio of games in the state over their total games played including pre- and postseason. Football players are taxed on days worked in the state over total days worked. Michigan doesn't count pre-season games.

Signing bonuses are tax exempt under certain circumstances. It's a good thing athletes can afford to hire CPAs specialized in their profession. It takes a specific skill set to figure out how much is due where, and make sure their client gets back every penny they're entitled to when teams estimate payroll taxes.

On April 16th, we can all sit back and relish the fact that this year's ritual is behind us. And start preparing for the 2013 filing season.


On The World Wide Web

Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Museum without traveling to Illinois. Find it online here.

Loading programs on a new pc can take forever as you visit each vendor's web site. But it doesn't have to. Point your browser to Ninite.com, select the programs you want to install and download a custom package.

Back to top

2nd Flash

The Man, The Legend

Though he was assassinated 148 years ago, Abraham Lincoln has been very much in the media lately. Books and films dedicated to his legacy have been widely acclaimed.

America was a very different place in the 1860s. A self-taught lawyer would never have made the bar, much less win the presidential election, today.

Seven states had seceded from the Union before his inauguration. The Civil War began a mere month later. We discussed the Civil War, beyond the slavery issue, in a previous issue of GCFlash. You can refresh your memory here.

Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. His father moved the family from their Kentucky home to the wild region of Indiana when he was eight years old. His mother died when he was only 10 years old.

He taught himself how to read, write and basic math. He fulfilled his quest for knowledge while working on a farm and as a store keeper in Illinois.

Lincoln spent eight years in the Illinois legislature and worked the circuit of courts for many years. He ran for Senator against Stephen A. Douglas in 1858, losing the election but gaining a reputation that won him the presidency.

The performance of a president is seldom recognized while they're still in power. It takes time and history to reveal which practices proved beneficial and which didn't turn out exactly as planned.

This is certainly true of Abraham Lincoln. Today, he's regarded as one of the greatest leaders our nation has ever seen. But folks back in his day may have thought otherwise.

His policies and personality were attacked by all sides. Radical Republicans thought he was too soft on the South, Democrats thought he wouldn't compromise. Other anti-war groups despised him and plotted his death.

He favored the Declaration of Independence over the Constitution, believing it more clearly upheld freedom and equality for all.

Lincoln oversaw important legislation during his presidency. Two were measures to raise revenues. The Morrill Tariff was intended to limit competition from European industry, but in fact, it crippled the South. They were cut off from the industrialized North. Not only did they have to pay more for the goods they now had to buy from England, but they could no longer sell them the cotton that was their main cash crop.

He also instituted the first U.S. Federal income tax with the Revenue Act of 1861 to finance the Civil War. It imposed a 3% flat rate income tax on those making above $800. The tax was repealed in 1862 and replaced with a temporary version on a graduated scale.

The National Banking Act created a strong financial network in our country and established a national currency.

Other enactments provided for the First Transcontinental Railroad and formation of the Department of Agriculture.

Lincoln's image has changed over the years as each generation's revolutionists use his values to champion their cause. During the Cold War years, Lincoln symbolized freedom for those oppressed by communist regimes.

His nationalism, support for business, banking regulations and principles of both liberty and tradition made him a conservative hero in the 1970s. Liberals labeled him a racist who only sought to free slaves so they could be sent to another country.

As we bicker over our political stance today, let us remember that each leader of this great nation has made both good and bad decisions in their short time at the helm. Only time and history reveal which were which.


Tip of the Week

A fradulent phishing alert has been issued, targeting employees and customers of Fiserv affiliated institutions, including GCF Bank. Recipients are urged to open an attachment that contains a secure .zip file message about what appears to be a case under their investigation. A secure message will never contain a .zip or any other compressed file. DO NOT OPEN the file should you receive this message. Delete it immediately.


Back to top


Quotable

"Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing." - Abraham Lincoln


Today in History

1861 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states.


Flash Fact

Abraham Lincoln is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame. An accomplished wrestler as a young man, he suffered defeat only once in almost 300 matches.

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

Back to top


PURPOSE:

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 http://www.gcfbank.com.

GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT

For a copy of our Privacy Policy, visit www.gcfbank.com/gcflash_privacy.aspx

GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member's e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at netaccess@gcfbank.com.

If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, click this link to send us an email to unsubscribe. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.


GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 589-6600
www.gcfbank.com