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, May 22, 2012

Edition #664


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

May 15, 2012 Edition #663

May 8, 2012 Edition #662

May 1, 2012 Edition #661

April 24, 2012 Edition #660


Weekly Spotlight:

At GCF, we do more than open accounts... we foster great relationships. Stop in one of our branches today and find out for yourself why GCF Bank is your choice for a better community bank. Click here for branch hours and locations.


Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
May 22, 2012 6 Mo Ago
11/22/11
1 Yr Ago
05/22/11
5 Yrs Ago
05/22/07
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 285.25 or 2.33% since 12/31/11)
12,502.81 (-1.67%) 11,493.72 12,381.26 13,539.05
S&P 500
(Up 59.04 or 4.69% since 12/31/11)
1,316.63 (+0.64%) 1,188.04 1,317.37 1,524.12
NASDAQ
(Up 233.93 or 8.98% since 12/31/11)
2,839.08 (-0.29%) 2,521.28 2,758.90 2,588.02
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.79% 1.94% 3.13% 4.83%
British Sterling 1.5764 1.5705 1.6225 1.9720
Euro 1.2689 1.3496 1.4149 1.3489

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1st Flash

Change Your Password!

On June 5, 2012, all GCF Online Banker customers will have to change their password before they can continue to conduct online banking activity. This is a mandatory change to comply with new federal regulations.

Those who choose to change their passwords prior to this date will still have to change it again once the mandates are enacted. This is one time being proactive won't help. Our server will require a password change at the designated time, regardless of when it was last reset.

Your new password must contain a minimum of eight characters. It must include a combination of at least one upper case, one lower case and one numeric character. No special characters will be permitted.

GCF instituted its existing password protocol when we first began offering online banking in 2002. Cybercrime was not much of a threat in those early days, so our protocol was established for customer simplicity. Hackers were still driven by the cheap thrill of crippling your hard drive.

Boy, have times since changed. Today's hackers are after your bank accounts along with your identity.

Creating a strong password can be simple. While this example is taken from a joke circulating via email, it really does provide a guideline:

During a recent password audit by a company, it was found that an employee was using the following password:

"MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofySacramento"

When asked why she had such a long password, the woman rolled her eyes and said: "Hello! It has to be at least 8 characters long and include at least one capital."

The best password is one that you, and only you, will remember. It's far too easy for a hacker to guess your address, children's names, your birthdate or pet's name.

Don't use all alpha characters from the same keyboard row, nor only accessible by the same hand. Avoid the obvious.

Come up with a phrase that is meaningful to you. For example, an avid gardener might think: "I love summer when roses are in bloom." And think of her five magnificent bushes.

Take the first letter of each word and the number of bushes to create a unique password nobody could guess. Customize it by web site so you're not using the same password everywhere. Capitalize the first letter of whichever word you choose.

Using the above example, the person's Google password might be: "ilswraib5G".

Or using the email joke: "mMphldDgS".

New passwords must be in place before we make mobile banking available to our customers. Our existing requirements do not offer strong enough security to properly protect mobile banking customers, particularly when you consider how easy it is for a cell phone to be lost or stolen.

GCFlash has featured articles promoting strong password guidelines throughout the years. Find one with excellent tips here.

Don't forget - You can use the Password Help link on our homepage if you have any problems logging into Online Banker.


On The World Wide Web

How strong is your password? Test it here. Play the password game to find out!

The 96th running of the Indy 500 will be the first to feature the DW12 chassis, designed with the help of late Indy car driver Dan Wheldon. Learn about his contribution to Indy car safety enhancements.

The web is overrun with money-saving web sites. But here are five that you probably haven't heard of yet. Find them at this site.

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2nd Flash

New Frontier

Star Trek fans will forever think of space as the final frontier. And while that may be true, we learned today that there are still new thresholds to cross in our quest to conquer this frontier.

Private companies have scrambled to fill the void left when NASA ended its space shuttle program. The shuttles were designed for a single purpose: the construction of the International Space Station (ISS).

It was expected a new generation craft would be developed before the aging shuttles were retired. In fact, plans began to do just that not long after the first shuttle was launched.

But it was not to be. As NASA's budget shrank, so did hopes of developing a suitable successor to the STS (Space Transportation System) program.

That left a big problem. How do we transport astronauts and supplies to the orbiting laboratory?

Leasing space on Russian and European Space Agency vessels was considered. But these programs are facing obstacles of their own. We could not rely on their continued availability.

Fortunately, we don't have to. Private enterprise responded.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, today successfully launched its Dragon capsule, delivering about 1,000 lbs. of food, clothing and technology to ISS. It marks the first private company to enter the space market.

Dragon was launched using a two-stage, nine-engine Falcon 9 rocket. It's the equivalent of Boeing's Delta II. The launch is historic, whether or not it successfully docks with ISS.

If all goes according to plan, the vessel should dock with the floating space station on the third day of its mission and remain attached for 18 days before returning to Earth.

SpaceX was built from the ground up when founder Elon Musk put $100 million of his own cash into the venture back in 2002. Is his name familiar? It should be.

Musk is also the founder and CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors. His other venture? He was co-founder of PayPal, which he later sold to eBay for $1.5 billion.

He's not the only player in the private space flight game. Others include Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos with BlueOrigin and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen who is an investor in rival Scaled Composites.

The market for private space flight is huge. In addition to cargo transport, the SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket has already launched a low Earth orbit satellite for a private customer in 2009 and contracted to launch its first commercial geostationary satellite in 2013 from a Falcon 9. Contracts are also in place to provide launch services for the American military.

Where will this all head? If Musk's vision is fulfilled, it will lead to a robotic mission to Mars in 2018 in advance of a permanent human presence on the planet.

Private space enterprise may be this generation's call to "land a man on the moon before the end of this decade." SpaceX employs more than 1,700 workers in California, Texas, Florida and Washington, D.C. It could well provide the technological boom our country needs for economic recovery. It most certainly will raise the bar on our youth's educational level. It can restore hope for our future.


Tip of the Week

The Diamond dog food recall keeps expanding. Salmonella has been found in their cat food, too. Find a list of affected products.

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Financial Insights

Markets reversed their decline this week, as traders once again saw hope that the EU might somehow hold together. It is a sad testament that postponement of the economic collapse of the European continent is somehow viewed as "good" news for the market. Such is the business of low expectations...

Investigate what? JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon announced that, based on a large trading loss yet to be realized, the Bank would suspend the buyback of its own stock. JP will still pay dividends (albeit at a reduced rate). But the stock repurchase, designed to meet new higher Basel 3 capital standards, has been postponed. Such is the "tempest in the teapot" of the Bank's big loss - actually just a speed bump.

The hysteria is ridiculous. The government should have absolutely no interest in JP's loss. The JP stockholders on the other hand, should have a HUGE interest in the nature of the loss. These losses could still widen (or shrink) since the Bank still holds many of the positions, but it is likely that the venerable Bank will still earn 2 billion in 2012 - a period of time that has not exactly been very rosy for Bank income statements.

So what is all the fuss? Most of the pundits screaming about the egregious loss have not, even for a minute, studied the transactions. Banks often hedge positions to reduce, but not eliminate risk. JP attempted to hedge some balance sheet risk, and the market moved briskly against them. So they lost their bet. They didn't bet the ranch, only a quarter or two of earnings.

And every transaction has two sides, so there was an equal amount "won" by other investors. Is the government going to try to claw back those gains? I think not.

This is how markets work, a place where there are always winners and losers. Perhaps the government has a role in monitoring "systemic risk" to our economy. But a 2 billion, or even a 5 billion dollar, loss by JP Morgan Chase is no such event. Not even close. If the stockholders demand Jamie Dimon's ouster for severely impacting 2012 earnings, then so be it. That is precisely how the system is supposed to work.


Quotable

"The winner ain't the one with the fastest car. It's the one that refuses to lose." - Dale Earnhardt


Today in History

1990 - Microsoft releases Windows 3.0.


Flash Fact

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. If the seat boards from the grandstands at IMS were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles. Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City all can fit inside the IMS oval, which covers 253 acres.

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

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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.

For more comprehensive information, visit our Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com or call (856) 589-6600 Ext: 337 (Timothy P. Hand)

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, please hit reply and place the word REMOVE in the subject line. 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