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, July 31, 2012

Edition #674


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

July 24, 2012 Edition #673

July 17, 2012 Edition #672

July 10, 2012 Edition #671

July 3, 2012 Edition #670


Weekly Spotlight:

Have you ever needed to wire funds into your GCF account? You'll find instructions on our website.

Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
July 31, 2012 6 Mo Ago
01/31/12
1 Yr Ago
07/31/11
5 Yrs Ago
07/31/07
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 791.12 or 6.48% since 12/31/11)
13,008.68 (-0.49%) 12,632.91 12,132.49 13,211.99
S&P 500
(Up 121.72 or 9.68% since 12/31/11)
1,379.31 (-0.43%) 1,312.41 1,286.94 1,455.27
NASDAQ
(Up 334.37 or 12.83% since 12/31/11)
2,939.52 (-0.21%) 2,813.84 2,744.61 2,546.27
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 1.49% 1.80% 2.74% 4.77%
British Sterling 1.5680 1.5694 1.6421 2.0239
Euro 1.232 1.3152 1.4391 1.3654

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1st Flash

GDP Unraveled

Bad news on the economic front last week when the Commerce Department released Gross Domestic Product (GDP) preliminary figures for second quarter 2012. The advance estimate showed a 1.5 percent increase over first quarter numbers.

This advance number is subject to further revision by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Actual GDP will not be available until August 29, 2012.

Preliminary numbers for first quarter 2012 were estimated in April at 2.2 percent, and later revised to 2.0 percent.

A country's wealth is measured by its GDP. It's the market value of all goods and services produced within its borders in a year. First developed by Simon Kuznets for a U.S. Congress report in 1934, it became the benchmark for measuring a country's economy in 1944.

Its calculation is complex. It was devised for the government, after all. Each category included lists almost as many exceptions as it does examples. To put it in a nutshell, GDP is the sum of consumption, investment, government spending and net exports.

Consumption includes durable goods, non-durable goods and services. Food, rent, gasoline and medical expenses count. Purchase of a new home is excluded.

Investment could mean a business buying new equipment, software or machinery. It includes the new home eliminated from the consumption category. But it excludes the exchange of existing assets. Buying stocks or bonds is not considered investment for this purpose.

Government spending is the total spent on final goods and services along with the salaries of public servants. But not social security or unemployment benefits.

Subtract gross imports from gross exports to determine net exports. This removes foreign supply from the formula.

So what does this really mean and why is it so important?

It means that economic recovery is moving slower than anticipated. Economists estimate we need GDP to hover around 3 percent to spur job growth and put a dent in unemployment.

Problems in Europe contribute to slowed growth here. Europe is a major export market for the U.S.

According to economist Christina Romer, real GDP per capita in American grew 0.58 percent a year from 1800-1840; 1.44 percent from 1840-1880; 1.78 percent from 1880-1920; 1.68 percent from 1920-1960, and 1.82 percent from 1960-1991. We not only grew richer, but at an increasing rate.

The 1990s saw very few quarters below the 3 percent mark, with 2nd quarter 1996 and first quarter 1999 both reaching 7.1 percent. It spiked to a high of 8 percent in 2000.

The bottom fell out during the recession, to hit negative numbers five quarters in 2008-2009. First quarter 2009 saw a low of -8.9 percent.

Economic growth since the end of the recession has been weak. What will it take to spur this economy?

American business is floundering. Faced with an uncertain tax picture, exorbitant employee healthcare costs and burdensome regulations, many companies cannot afford the research and develop costs to launch new products that will excite the public.

When jobs are scarce, people have to become creative to keep a roof over their head and feed their family. The resourceful become self-employed to control their own welfare.

Yet according to a recent report by the non-profit New America Foundation, the number of small businesses created in the U.S. has been declining since the 1970s. Entrepreneurial spirit is being snuffed out by big box retailers, over regulation and lack of available funding.

The little guy just can't compete in a retail world where Costco, Walgreens or Amazon can sell product cheaper than he can buy it from the manufacturer. Volume dictates your purchase price.

Licensing requirements to become a beautician are more stringent than to become an EMT in many states. They're designed to restrict competition rather than focus on public welfare concerns.

The Small Business Association (SBA) has several loan programs available. That is, for those that can sift through the 1,100 pages devoted to merely defining who exactly qualifies for which loan type.

With a presidential campaign underway, we won't find resolution anytime soon. Candidates are trying to win votes right now, not address problems.

We can only hope our leaders wake up to the stranglehold on American business. And make economic recovery a priority once all the votes are counted.


On The World Wide Web

You're rushing off to a meeting when you realize you forgot to email yourself a report you needed for the presentation. Don't you wish you had a cloud in your pocket? Access your files, pictures and apps remotely through your iPhone or Android device with the PocketCloud Remote Desktop. Learn more.

Don't wait until you're locked out to find a locksmith. Any fraudster can place an ad, willing to replace your lock with a pricey one to which they keep a duplicate key. Associated Locksmiths of America offer a referral service on their website.

Travel around the world via webcam. Views from Kiev to Key West are all at your fingertips at this site.

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2nd Flash

Operation Backpack

Ok, so the summer is rolling along nicely... sunshine, warm days, swimming, picnics and barbeques. What could be better? Well, I don't want to burst your bubble, and I know as I write this that kids everywhere will be groaning, but can we talk school for a moment?

Yes, I know, I am sorry, but it's not too early to start thinking about back-to-school. Hey, back-to-school can be fun too! New clothes, new school supplies, greeting new and old friends.

Unfortunately though, there are many kids in communities throughout southern New Jersey that can only look forward to greeting new and old friends; kids whose parents cannot afford to buy them new clothes or new school supplies. This is what I want to take a moment to discuss. Helping disadvantaged students in elementary, middle, or high school achieve educational success with the help of a program called Operation Backpack!

Operation Backpack is an initiative that provides support to disadvantaged students ages 4-19. By providing underprivileged children and teens with basic supplies at the start of the school year, Operation Backpack helps to set them on the path to academic achievement.

GCF Bank will be collecting donations for Operation Backpack from now through August 13th. Fill a backpack with any of the suggested school supplies from the list below and drop it off at any GCF Bank location. New backpacks and supplies only please!

pencils crayons pens markers scissors
erasers rulers glue sticks notebooks journals
pencil boxes folders calculators sharpeners clips
flash drives flash cards highlighters binders colored pencils

You can donate backpacks, backpacks filled with school supplies, or just school supplies. Gift cards for school supplies or clothing are also welcome. Operation Backpack will take it all and pass it on to those in need!

Donations made at GCF Bank locations will go to help students in southern New Jersey areas. If you cannot drop off any supplies, but would still like to contribute, you can make a donation on the Center for Family Services website. There is a link on their home page to Operation Backpack and a link to Donate Online. Suggested donation amounts are listed below, but you can donate any amount you wish.

  • $25 - buys a backpack for one child
  • $45 - buys a backpack filled with school supplies for one child
  • $75 - buys a backpack filled with school supplies plus a uniform for one child
  • $100 - buys a backpack filled with school supplies plus a uniform and shoes for one child

If you are not in southern New Jersey and would like to donate in your local area, do a search on the internet for Operation Backpack. Operation Backpack is active in many communities throughout the country.

If you cannot donate any supplies, consider donating your time. Operation Backpack needs volunteers the week of August 20th to consolidate, sort, and organize backpacks. Volunteers needed Monday, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday and Thursday that week. To volunteer, email Anne Duklewski at aduklewski@centerffs.org.

As a helpful reminder, GCF Bank has branches at these locations. Stop in and donate today!


Tip of the Week

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) developed a website to help consumers tackle money issues head-on. Find resources and tips on money matters here.

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Financial Insights

Enjoy another reprint from the 2002 Archives of GCFlash:

P/E ratio (Price Earnings Ratio): Current stock price divided by trailing annual earnings per share or expected annual earnings per share. Assume XYZ Co. sells for $25.50 per share and has earned $2.55 per share this year; $25.50 = 10 times $2.55. XYZ stock sells for ten times earnings.

P/E is a widely used indicator of a stock's "value." Some investors look for stocks with low P/E's relative to their industry peers as an indicator that a stock is "underpriced." The actual P/E is far less important than the relative level when compared to other similar companies in the same industry.

When I was in college, a P/E of say 25 times, indicated a stock was pricey. Much of that went out the window during the tech bubble, particularly in the NASDAQ system, as some glamour stocks touted unbelievable P/E ratios. In some cases, these companies were yet to have ANY EARNINGS, yet the stocks just climbed higher and higher in price as investors bet on future, yet unrealized earnings. A great deal of money was made and then lost in such stocks as Yahoo! and Priceline. Of course, if you buy a stock with a P/E of 30 times and it goes up to 60....

As an investor, the important thing to remember is to be wary of buying stocks with high P/E's (relative to peers), unless you have overwhelming other information which states the stocks value (and hence its price) will increase yet further.


Quotable

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." - Francis Bacon


Today in History

1914 - Trading on the New York Stock Exchange stopped upon the outbreak of World War I. It did not resume until December of that year.


Flash Fact

Lowest U.S. GDP on record was -10.4 in first quarter 1958.

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