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!
GCFlash - October 26, 2010!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Edition #583


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

October 19, 2010 Edition #581

October 12, 2010 Edition #580

October 5, 2010 Edition #579

September 28, 2010 Edition #578

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


Weekly Spotlight:

With the increasing threat of debit card fraud, GCF has implemented Risk Management controls to lessen the inconvenience, embarrassment and potential monetary losses associated with debit card fraud. Click here for details.



Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
October 26, 2010 6 Mo Ago
04/26/10
1 Yr Ago
10/26/09
5 Yrs Ago
10/26/05
Dow Jones Industrial Average 11,169.46 (+0.05%)
(Up 741.41 or 7.11% since 12/31/09)
11,205.03 9,867.96 10,344.98
S&P 500 1,185.64 (+0.00%)
(Up 70.54 or 6.33% since 12/31/09)
1,212/05 1,066.95 1,191.38
NASDAQ 2,497.29 (+0.26%)
(Up 229.41 or 10.05% since 12/31/08)
2,522.95 2,141.85 2,100.05
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 2.64% 3.82% 3.56% 4.59%
British Sterling 1.5833 1.5381 1.6309 1.7837
Euro 1.3847 1.3382 1.5011 1.2098

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1st Flash

CLEARING THE MUMBO JUMBO

Every year, the same advice is offered for your annual financial checkup. Review your 401(k) and make changes to match your current retirement goals.

Easy to say, not so easy to decipher the details of your plan much less understand what options are available.

Finally, the Department of Labor (DOL) has taken notice. They've enacted new regulations that require fees, expenses and options be disclosed in plain language.

You'll see this information reported on a quarterly statement as well as online beginning January 1, 2012.

Administrative expenses must be divulged for the fund you have chosen. Those expenses must be expressed as a percentage of assets held along with a dollar amount for each $1,000 invested.

Performance data for mutual funds must be reported to include 1-year, 5-year and 10-year returns. Comparisons must be made to appropriate benchmarks for those same time periods to enable you to assess how your selected fund is performing.

A standard methodology of calculating and disclosing expense and return information must be used to provide uniformity across the variety of investment options available in the plan.

After a participant selects an investment option, they must be provided with any material available regarding voting, tender or similar rights associated with that option.

You'll also find an easy-to-understand glossary of terms to help explain your options, fees and other details.

The DOL estimates the 72 million 401(k) plan participants will save a total of 52 million hours and nearly $2 billion through these changes.

But the responsibility still rests with the individual investor. Those who take the time to review their quarterly statement will reap the benefits. Those who tend to toss such things aside will be no better off for the new law.

Tax changes to other types of investments are forthcoming as well.

Currently, financial institutions report only the gross proceeds on stocks, bonds or mutual funds sold in taxable accounts (non-IRA or 401(k)) to the Internal Revenue Service. But for tax year 2011 and beyond, the adjusted cost basis for covered securities sold and whether the gain or loss is long-term or short-term must be reported as well.

Covered securities are those purchased or acquired after a specific date based on classification. Equity securities purchased or acquired on or after January 1, 2011 are affected initially, with mutual fund and dividend reinvestment plans phased in January 1, 2012. Debt securities, options and all other financial instruments follow suit after January 1, 2013.

This information will be included on IRS Form 1099-B. You already collect these every year at tax time. The current format only reports the gross proceeds. The IRS wants to know how much you earned from the sale and whether it was long- or short-term gain.

This can be hard to determine as securities are often acquired long ago or purchased over time. Fortunately, the broker bears the responsibility of making these calculations and reporting to both the IRS and consumer.

Any deviance on your federal tax return from what the broker reports on Form 1099-B will result in an IRS inquiry.

Best to consult your tax advisor on this one. There may be benefits in asking your broker to use an alternative tax lot relief method. Tax lots are shares of the same security purchased on different dates at different prices. As you invest over time, this normally happens. When it's time to sell, choosing the right lot could have tax implications.

On The World Wide Web

The IRS explains its new basis for taxing assets in their Publication 551. Find it online.

Have you had a ghostly encounter? Share it with the Tri County Paranormal Team.

Are you frightened yet? If not, read these stories.

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2nd Flash

THINGS THAT REALLY DON'T GO BUMP

This weekend brings out ghosts and goblins going door-to-door, expecting treats in exchange for tricks they don't really plan to perform.

Yet the ritual continues. Year after year we welcome the neighborhood children to our front porch. We pretend not to recognize them, while we reflect on the passage of time in their growth from the previous year's visit.

Some experience the presence of ghosts outside of Halloween. These ethereal beings aren't dressed up for a holiday. They're clad in the dress of that long-gone era when they walked the earth in human form.

And in an area as old and rich in history as the Delaware Valley, spiritual encounters are a fairly common event.

Perhaps none is quite as famous as National Park's Red Bank Battlefield. The site of the former Fort Mercer was a key battleground in the Revolutionary War. A battle waged there on October 22, 1777 between 2000 British Hessians and the 400 Continental Army men defending the fort forced the British to retreat.

Local resident Ann Whitall tended to the wounded soldiers, her home becoming a hospital for those injured. Many strange feelings and presences are felt there today.

One ranger heard a voice in the house asking if a cure had been discovered for yellow fever. He found a book on the subject and read some of it aloud. He has not heard that voice since.

Another story involves two Hessian soldiers whose heads had been blown off in battle. Their heads were accidentally swapped in burial. The two wandered for many long years until they finally met, swapped heads, and instantly crumbled to dust.

Camden County College's Jefferson Hall was once a monastery. It's said that a residing monk hanged himself on the third floor of this building. Security guards today still report hearing thumping sounds down the hall of the third floor.

Woodbury and Cape May both hold more ghostly events than we have room to include here. Both offer tours of their haunted sites during the Halloween season.

Ghosts are believed to be the spirit of a deceased person or animal. They are usually solitary essences unable, or unwilling, to leave a place they were associated with in life. They can be seen as wispy images or life-like visions.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 32 percent of Americans believe that ghosts exist. An entire industry is built around the phenomenon, with some trying to communicate with the dead and others trying to rid them from places they're no longer welcome.

I didn't hold any firm beliefs about ghosts. At least, not until 1983 when we bought a home in Glassboro. The previous owner was in the military and getting transferred, leaving an unfinished addition. This handyman special was perfect for a young family on a tight budget, especially with my husband's building skills. We quickly made a deal on it.

The person we bought it from was gracious enough to allow us early access to turn the piles of lumber into a home. We had to have a functioning kitchen before obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, necessary for closing.

But they didn't tell us about the history of the house.

We worked on that house seemingly round the clock to have everything ready in time. On one occasion, I was upstairs painting and heard our two young daughters playing on the steps. Up and down. Up and down. This happened several times. I waited for the opportune moment to catch them in the act, midway on the steps. I got to the doorway to find the steps empty except for a cold breeze.

I went looking for the girls, only to find them fast asleep. They were never on the steps.

I was a bit uneasy but proceeded with the task at hand, certain the sounds were my imagination.

It was the day before our scheduled closing and the house was ready for inspection. The Building Inspector made his rounds, making small talk all the while. Before he left, he asked if I knew about the house.

I admitted we had been too busy to research, but as it was an older home it was certain to hold a lot of history. And I was anxious to learn more.

"Go to the library", he told me, "and look for a book called "Ghosts In the Valley" by Adi-Kent Thomas Jeffrey. You'll find a whole chapter on your house in there."

The legend goes that an eight-year old girl named Elizabeth died in that house. She supposedly was pushed down the steps by her uncle and continued to haunt the place.

Most of the experiences shared were by college students who lived there in the 1960s. A lot of memories that never really happened were recounted that decade, making them easy to dismiss. It was the psychedelic summer, after all!

We lived in that house for close to 20 years. Over that time, we heard a lot of noises coming from the attic as if boxes were moving around. But only once did anyone actually see an apparition.

My husband was walking down the hallway and saw a woman sitting at the bottom of the steps. She was dressed in early 1900s fashion, and disappeared just as quickly.

We are now believers. And whether or not you fall into those ranks, be careful who you are giving candy to on Halloween night. They may not be the type of ghost you're expecting.

Tip of the Week

Danger lurks around every corner these days. How do you recognize fraud? Which offer is legitimate? The Federal Citizen Information Center has compiled a handbook with tips and advice on being a savvy consumer. Point your browser here.

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Financial News

Sales of U.S. existing homes rose in September by the most on record! According to the National Association of Realtors, purchases increased 10 percent to a 4.53 million annual rate from 4.12 million in August. Bloomberg news said that economists forecast sales will rise to a 4.3 million pace. This follows July sales of 3.84 million, the lowest sales in a decade. The median house price fell 2.4 percent to $171,700 in September from a year earlier. Lower interest borrowing rates seem to be helping with these sales. The hope is that this will stabilize the housing foreclosures.

The housing recovery continues to be slowed by high unemployment that is forecast to remain above 9 percent through 2011. As foreclosures continue, they add to the available unsold homes. It will remain a buyers market for some time!


Quotable

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative." - Woody Allen


Today in History

1881 - The legendary shootout between the Earps and Clanton-McLaurys at Tombstone, Ariz.'s OK Corral left three men dead.


Flash Fact

Of the seven fundamental units of measure in the International System only the kilogram is defined by a specific physical object: It is the mass of a platinum-iridium bar kept by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France.

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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.asp

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