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 - December 28, 2010!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Edition #591


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

December 21, 2010 Edition #590

December 14, 2010 Edition #589

December 7, 2010 Edition #588

November 30, 2010 Edition #587

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


Weekly Spotlight:

Older Americans have unique needs, and our web site offers tools to address them. Find articles, tips and resources geared towards those in the prime of life here.



Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
December 28, 2010 6 Mo Ago
06/28/10
1 Yr Ago
12/28/09
5 Yrs Ago
12/28/05
Dow Jones Industrial Average 11,576.14 (+0.18%)
(Up 1,148.09 or 11.01% since 12/31/09)
10,138.52 10,547.08 10,796.26
S&P 500 1,258.53 (+0.08%)
(Up 143.43 or 12.86% since 12/31/09)
1,074.57 1,127.78 1,258.17
NASDAQ 2,662.88 (-0.16%)
(Up 393.73 or 17.35% since 12/31/08)
2,220.65 2,291.08 2,228.94
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 3.48% 3.03% 3.84% 4.38%
British Sterling 1.5375 1.5066 1.5965 1.7338
Euro 1.3112 1.2375 1.4393 1.1859

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1st Flash

It Was 2010

It was a year that saw record unemployment, it was a year of economic recovery. It was a year of political upheaval, it was a year that American voices were heard. Icons of U.S. manufacturing closed their doors, iPad and 3D TV became common household names.

It was 2010. A year with highs and lows like much every year before it, and likewise all those that will follow.

Record unemployment figures and lackluster home sales left Americans wondering which sectors of the economy, if any, showed true recovery.

As I write this article, all major stock indices show marked improvement over where they closed for year-end 2009. Tech stocks had a strong year, NASDAQ is 17.32 percent above its December 31, 2009 close of 2269.15. The DOW Jones Average had the smallest increase at 10.80 percent. The best overall indicator is the S&P 500 with a 12.75 percent increase.

As of December 21, 2010, 157 banks and 24 credit unions failed in the U.S. during the calendar year. All but one Arizona bank were acquired by another institution. Despite the unusually high number of failures, not a single depositor suffered a loss of funds.

The economy had little effect on the outcome of these banks except for the fact that it probably accelerated the inevitable. Every industry has its successes and failures, banking is no different.

Major institutions are no longer in danger of failure. In fact, out of the $247 billion handed out in TARP funds in 2009, only $60 billion is outstanding. Repayments have generated about a 17 percent return from stock-warrant repurchases.

The world joined hands to deliver aid to the people of Haiti in the wake of a devastating 7.0 earthquake that left 230,000 dead, 300,000 injured and another million homeless.

The worst oil spill in U.S. history closed the fishing and shrimping industries in the Gulf states that were still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It took nearly three months for BP to cap the Deepwater Horizon well. By the time they did, an estimated 4,300,000 barrels of oil had polluted the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Healthcare has been a long-standing problem in this country. The Obama Administration sought to tackle this challenge with the passage of landmark legislation. The bill is still embroiled in controversy. The plan appeared to be more of a political battle than true social transformation, legislators openly admitted they hadn't read it but urged passage in order to find out what was included. Opponents believe the price is too high for the average American. To date, 22 states have contested its constitutionality in courts.

Technology continued to impress in 2010. Tablets had been around for over a decade but never really caught on. Until the iPad. Apple took the success of its iPhone and made it just a little bigger. The result was a gadget powerful enough to replace a laptop, yet small enough to carry around wherever you go.

Google introduced an operating system for smart phones that brought its user-focused services to the palm of your hand. Android phones held a mere 2.8 percent of the market share last year. By November 2010, it was 25 percent and growing.

You might have been pleasantly surprised by TV prices if you were shopping for a new set for the holidays. Prices on traditional HDTVs had come down considerably. With the introduction of 3D sets in the marketplace this year, 2D had become so ho-hum!

Yet sales of 3D TVs haven't been so hot. They're pricey to start with, and you can expect to add at least another $500 for the required active shutter glasses for a family of four. There aren't many 3D movies yet available, making the cost even harder to justify.

Expect that to change in 2011. Toshiba will release a 3D TV that doesn't require glasses at all, the effect is created through a layer of thin film over the screen. As the technology becomes more popular, you can bet more and more Blu-Ray discs can't be far behind.

Every challenge or failure brings opportunity for something new and innovative. This certainly resonated true in 2010, bringing hope that 2011 will do the same.

On The World Wide Web

Spend New Year's on Times Square. Or in Key West, or maybe Sydney Australia. Travel anywhere on the globe from the comfort of your home. Visit the portal to web cams everywhere.

The snow should be gone and the weather warmed in time for the largest New Year's Eve party in the world. Visit the official Times Square web site for visitor info, event schedule and the history of this famed celebration.

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, falls February 3rd in 2011 ushering in the Year of the Rabbit. Learn about the history and find related web sites here.

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Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 - from the staff of GCFlash.



Tip of the Week

Traveling abroad? With the increasing risk of debit card fraud, GCF has blocked ATM/Debit card usage outside of the U.S. You'll need to notify us if you plan to use your card abroad. Find the form and instructions here.

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Financial News

The retrospective on 2010 continues. From many perspectives, we are ending the year not far from where we ended 2009. The unemployment rate was 10.03 percent at the end of 2009 and is projected to be 9.7 percent at the end of 2010 according to a composite of 81 economists accumulated by Bloomberg. That same group predicts continued improvement, albeit slow, ending 2011 at 9.2 percent.

Short-term interest rates have remained fairly constant as well with the Central Bank rate at 0.25 percent at the end of 2009 and 2010. The same group of economists does not expect that rate to increase to .5 percent until the fourth quarter of 2011. Similarly, the 3-month U.S. Treasury was .25 percent at the end of 2009 and is expected to be only .31 percent at the end of 2010. On the longer end of investment lives, the 10-year U.S. Treasury note was 3.84 percent at the end of 2009 while it is only 3.47 percent today.

Consumer attitude is in question as the consumer confidence survey announced today a level of 52.5 which came in below expectations of 56 to 58. The end of 2009 showed levels of 54.4. (For comparison, 2007 ended the year at 90.) This index surveys consumer attitudes on current and expected economic conditions. However, consumer spending has increased by 3.8 percent in the last year, with Personal Income increasing a like amount.

The Federal Reserve announced its monthly comment that the economy recovery is continuing with stable inflation. This positive, though lukewarm, comment has continued since the end of 2009. Here is hope that the progress will continue for each of us. Happy New Year!


Quotable

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." - Emily Lovejoy Pierce


Today in History

1945 - The "Pledge of Allegiance" is officially recognized by Congress.


Flash Fact

About 75 percent of New Year's Eve parties involve 20 people or less.

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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