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www.alliantcreditunion.org a newsletter for Alliant Credit Union members April 2012
1 Why dividend rates change 2 How Mother’s Day was born
Why dividend rates change
The Alliant Board of Directors decided to lower the credit union’s regular savings dividend to 0.95% APY from 1.00% APY, effective April 1, 2012. Alliant works very hard to maintain one of the highest savings dividends in the nation and, despite the drop in rate, it still maintains one of the highest rates in the nation. We can do this because of our conservative management strategy, low operating costs and the quality of our membership. A 0.95% APY savings dividend may not seem very high. But, did you know that, at 0.95% APY, Alliant members still earn a rate that is 6.3x higher than the bank national average savings rate of 0.15% APY and 4.8x higher than the credit union national average savings rate of 0.20% APY?1 Historically low investment interest rates and a declining demand for loans put pressure on our dividend rate. The federal funds rate, the bench mark short-term rate, has been at 0% to 0.25% since December 2008. This low rate minimizes what Alliant can earn on our securities investments. Plus, loan demand across the nation – and at our credit union – has weakened. These two factors reduce the amount we can responsibly pay in savings dividends. To increase short-term income, at the expense of longer-term results, Alliant could make riskier investments and loans. But, that’s something we refuse to do. As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Alliant relies on participation from both savers and borrowers. Borrowing from Alliant is good not only for the credit union, but also for the borrowing member (and, in turn, all members). Alliant loan rates are among the best available in the country. Meanwhile, many banks have eliminated free checking and now charge their customers a basic maintenance fee to keep their money with the institution. For instance, Wells Fargo Bank will start charging $7 a month for checking accounts in six more states. It introduced those fees last year in 23 states2. And starting April 23, Charter One Bank and Citizens Bank (both owned by Citizens Financial Group) eliminated its “free” checking accounts and converted those customers to their basic “green checking” account, which will now cost $9.99 a month, up from its previous $4.99 monthly fee. Customers can have the fee waived if they perform a series of five qualifying payment transactions per month.3 Conversely, at Alliant we continue to offer our members genuinely free checking accounts and an opportunity to meet qualifications to earn dividends on our Free High Rate Checking account. If you are looking for savings and retirement alternatives, Alliant can help. Alliant Retirement and Investment Services delivers a trustworthy, full-service financial advisory program providing 401(k) and pension plan rollovers, wealth management, education funding, insurance, investment services and IRA services.4 Call 800-328-1935, option “9,” to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation financial consultation to get the assistance needed to reach your financial goals. Alliant is committed to remain a safe place for you to save and to get loans. Moreover, we rank in the top 3% of the nation’s credit unions in “giveback” to our members in terms of high savings dividends, low loan rates and fewer fees.5 And here’s the bottom line. At Alliant, we value our members’ business and remain committed to help all our members achieve and maintain financial well-being. Going forward, to remain a strong financial institution for our members, we may need to lower our savings dividend rate, to ensure our long-term sustainability and competitive edge. And we look forward to prudently raising our savings dividend rate when market conditions once again allow it.
Three great, economical ways to give mom a special Mother’s Day Mother’s Day believe it or not
May Savings Dividend DECLARED APRIL 19, 2012
The May 2012 Savings and IRA dividend, declared 04/19/2012, provides a Compounded Annual Percentage Yield of
Dividends are paid on the last day of the month to accountholders who have maintained an average daily balance of $100 or more. Savings dividend is subject to change monthly.
May Checking Dividend DECLARED APRIL 19, 2012
The May 2012 High Rate Checking dividend, declared 04/19/2012, provides a Compounded Annual Percentage Yield of
Checking dividends are paid on the last day of each month to accountholders who meet the requirements of the account. Checking dividend is subject to change monthly.
1 Comparison of Alliant Credit Union’s April 2012 savings dividend of 0.95% APY vs. the bank national average savings rate of 0.15% APY and the credit union national average savings rate of 0.20% APY provided by National Association of Federal Credit Unions in cooperation with Datatrac Corp. as of April 3, 2012. 2 CNNMoney and Winston-Salem Journal. 3 Mybanktracker.com. 4 Representatives are registered, securities are sold, and investment advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor, 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, toll-free 800-369-2862. Non-deposit investment products and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not obligations of or guaranteed by the financial institution. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution, through the financial services program, to make securities available to members FR031230-3F6F. 5 Source: Raddon Financial Services, a division of Open Solutions, Inc. – December 2011 Raddon Board Report
2 honor thy mother
How Mother’s Day was born
Feasts celebrating motherhood probably existed since the dawn of time. The ancient Greeks celebrated it during their annual spring festival for Rhea, the mother of many gods. Christians observed a version of this festival to honor Mary, the mother of Christ. Later, the English expanded this holiday to include all mothers and called it “Mothering Sunday.” In the U.S., Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, PA, organized a “Mother’s Work Day” in 1908 to honor her mother’s efforts to improve poor health conditions in her community. Jarvis then asked Congress to set aside a day each year to honor mothers. In 1914, Congress did so and President Wilson signed a law making the second Sunday in May “Mother’s Day.” Initially, Americans observed the day by attending religious services, writing letters to their mothers and then sending cards, flowers and other gifts. Watching her holiday become so commercialized infuriated Jarvis. She filed a lawsuit to stop Mother’s Day. But, it was too late. The holiday had already captured the imagination and hearts of the American people and had become a tradition.
Sources: chiff.com and tagline.com
Three great, economical ways to give mom a special Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day, the second Sunday of May, has become a traditional time to honor and express appreciation for one’s mother. Here are three economical ways: 1) Take your mother out to brunch, lunch or dinner – particularly at restaurants that are offering Mother’s Day specials with discounted prices. A website, www.opentable.com, available in all 50 states and internationally, lets you pinpoint places that have good food and good deals. Plus, you can reserve your table right then, online, free of charge. 2) Pamper your mom by buying her a visit to a spa or salon. Would your mother appreciate a facial, a new hairstyle or a massage? You can present her this gift with a certificate at a local spa, often at a fraction of the usual cost if you shop on online group buying sites, such as LivingSocial, Groupon and Dealio. 3) Make mom’s life easier with lawn, housekeeping or laundry services. A mother’s life has its share of drudgery. Help ease your mother’s household labor burden by buying services at a discount, via money-saving coupons from your phone book or local newspaper.
Sources: financeandloans.biz and invitingsmiles.com
Mother’s Day believe it or not
Here are some facts that might surprise you about Mother’s Day and motherhood in general. • This is the busiest phone day of the year – about 122.5 million calls are placed. • About 152 million Mother’s Day cards are given each year. • 75% of the cut flowers given on Mother’s Day come from California. • 72% of women with children over one-year old work (it was 39% in 1976). • 55% of women with children under one-year old work (it was 31% in 1976). • There are 85.4 million mothers in the United States. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. women aged 15 to 44 are mothers. The average age of women when they first give birth is 25. • The average number of kids in U.S. households is 2. (In the 1970s, the average was 3.5; in the 1700s, it was seven to 10 kids). • The biggest baby born on record weighed 22 lbs and 8 ounces. He was born in 1955 in Italy.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau News, mothersdaycelebration. com, dayformothers.com, chiff.com, invitingsmiles.com and tajonline.com
Alliant will be closed in observance of the following holidays:
Memorial Day –Monday, May 28, 2012 Independence Day –Wednesday, July 4, 2012
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