A QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER FOR ACCLAIM FEDERAL CREDIT UNION MEMBERS

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FOURTH QUARTER
FALL 2022

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We’re in a Bear Market. Now What?

On June 13, 2022, the U.S. economy officially entered a bear market. You may be wondering what this is, what it means for the economy and for you as a private consumer and investor. Here, we’ve outlined what you need to know about bear markets, what you can expect to happen with the economy in the coming months and possible steps you may want to take.

What is a bear market?

First, let’s explore the exact parameters that define a bear market. 

According to the S&P Global, a bear market is a term used by Wall Street when an index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 or an individual stock falls 20% or more from a recent high over a prolonged period of time. Both conditions must be present for a bear market to occur. 

Although these are the official factors, most bear markets actually happen where there is a drop in the market that is significantly greater than 20%. In fact, since the contemporary S&P 500 index was established in the late 1920s, the average bear market saw a 38% price decline. Overall, stocks tend to lose an average of 36% in a bear market.

It’s important to note that a bear market is a normal part of the market cycle and is not necessarily a sign of an impending economic catastrophe.

What causes the economy to enter a bear market?

The economy enters a bear market when investors lack confidence in the market and in individual stocks, so they begin pulling out of their investments. This leads to a weak market, which further prompts investors to pull out. Eventually, this can cause the market to sag for a prolonged period of time, leading to an official bear market. The most recent bear market before this one occurred in 2020 when the onset of the coronavirus pandemic led to general economic decline. 

In 2022, the S&P 500 started at close to 4,800 points. However, within months, the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine coupled with record-breaking inflation rates led to an ongoing weak market until conditions reached an official bear market in June. Rising fuel costs  as well as the higher interest rates set by the Federal Reserve, contributed to the onset of a bear market as well. 

How long does a bear market last?

Since the S&P 500 index was established in the late 1920s, the average bear market lasted approximately 10 months. In contrast, the average bull market lasts 2.7 years. However, there is no definitive way of knowing when a particular bear market will end. Due to the extreme conditions that caused the current bear market, experts expect it to last through the rest of 2022, at least.

Investing in a bear market

If you’re an investor, you may be wondering what, if any, financial moves you should be making during this current bear market. 

First, whenever the market is falling, it’s best to choose defensive investments. This includes consumer staples, or what some financial advisors refer to as “toothpaste stocks”. Other defensive investments include utilities and health care. The obvious rationale behind this advice is that people will always need these items and services regardless of what happens to the economy. 

Next, it’s best to continue making regular contributions to a 401(k), index funds, or any other retirement or long-term investments. The overall value of these accounts will dip at the start of a bear market, but when the market recovers, so will these long-term accounts. Bonds and precious metals are similar investment strategies that can have significant payoffs when a bear market turns bullish. 

Finally, if you dare, you may want to cash in on low prices by purchasing other kinds of stocks and assets that have proven to perform well immediately following bear markets. Such stocks include big tech, dividend and agriculture stocks. You’ll be able to buy these at a discount now, and then profit from the growth when the market emerges from the downturn.

Does a bear market always lead to a recession?

A recession is generally defined by a decline in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over two consecutive quarters. Though a bear market signifies a weak economy, its occurrence does not mean a recession is inevitable. In the current market, experts are divided on how or when the bear market will end. 

The news on the economic front can be depressing – and confusing. Let this guide help you in navigating a bear market successfully.

All You Need to Know About Cybersecurity

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Increase your cyber security knowledge

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the protection of all online devices, networks, data and electronic systems from attacks by hackers, scammers and cybercriminals. 

There are several major categories of cybersecurity:

  • Network security is the practice of securing a computer network from intruders who commit crimes via targeted attack and/or malware. 
  • Application security focuses on protecting software and devices from threats. 
  • Information security protects the integrity and privacy of data.
  • Operational security includes handling and protecting data assets. 
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity include the ways an organization responds to an actual or potential security breach.
  • Cloud security refers to creating secure cloud applications for companies that use cloud service providers, like Google, Amazon Web Services, etc. 
  • Identity management and data security protects processes that enable authorization and authentication of legitimate individuals to an organization’s systems. 
  • Mobile security protects data that is stored on mobile devices from threats like unauthorized access, device loss or theft, malware and viruses. 


Types of cybercrimes

Cybercrimes can be divided into several categories:

  1. Cybercrime includes criminals acting alone or in groups who target systems for financial gain or to cause disturbances.
  2. Cyber-attack will often involve groups of criminals gathering information for political reasons.
  3. Cyberterrorism is the act of hacking electronic systems with the intent of causing panic or fear.

Methods of cybercrimes

All forms of cybercrimes threaten cybersecurity in some way. Here are some of the methods cybercriminals use to wage attacks: 

  • Malware. This threat includes ransomware, spyware, viruses and worms. These can install harmful software, block access to computer systems or provide scammers with access to data.
  • Trojans. This attack tricks users into thinking they’re opening a harmless file when, in reality, they’re installing a backdoor that provides cybercriminals with unauthorized access. 
  • Botnets. This attack is conducted via remotely controlled malware-infected devices and is usually deployed as a large-scale attack. Compromised computers are integrated as part of the botnet system to further spread the attack.
  • Adware. This threat involves a potentially unwanted program that is installed without the user’s permission and automatically generates unwanted online advertisements.
  • Phishing. This attack is employed via email, text or social media message to trick the target into sharing sensitive information. Often, the tactic will also lead to the installation of malware.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack. In these attacks, a hacker will insert themselves into a two-person online transaction. The hacker will then steal data and/or login credentials.


How can I protect myself against cyberattacks?

Fortunately, there are lots of preventative measures you can take to protect your information and your money from cyberattacks: 

  1. Update your software and operating systems. Accept every update you are offered because these will provide the strongest and most current protection.
  2. Use anti-virus software. This software will detect and remove threats in real-time. 
  3. Use strong, unique passwords across all your online accounts. Be sure to vary your use of capitalization, symbols, letters and numbers. For optimal security, switch up your password every six months.  
  4. Never open email attachments or click on links from unknown senders. These can automatically download malware onto your device.
  5. Avoid using unsecured public WiFi. Using unsecure networks leaves you vulnerable to attacks.


Cybersecurity is a crucial component of modern day digital safety. This guide can help you learn how to utilize this essential toolset for your personal security. 

Budget-friendly Meals Under $8

Summer Salad with Grilled Pork Chops

With school back in session, it’s time for some quick and healthful dinners the whole family will love. This vegetarian, one-pot dish is a time saver for those nights of homework, soccer practice and early bedtimes—perfect for Meatless Mondays!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (vegetable, canola, or other flavorless oil)

  • ⅓ cup vegetable broth

  • 1 large white onion

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 oz. can green chiles, undrained

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Fresh lime wedges

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft and transparent.

  2. Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable broth and green chiles, undrained. Bring to a simmer. Add chilli powder, cumin, salt and pepper.

  3. Add cooked rice, beans and lime juice. Heat until warmed throughout, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove from heat and add cilantro. Serve with fresh lime wedges. Great with cornbread or tortillas.

Tags: school night meal, family dinner, budget meal, affordable, meatless

Servings: 4

50th Anniversary Member Appreciation Event

Celebrate with us!

On October 20, 2022, Acclaim Federal Credit Union will join with thousands of credit unions around the world in celebration of International Credit Union (ICU) Day®. This year’s theme is “Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union.”

This year is even more special because we are celebrating our golden anniversary!  Come join us in-person at our credit union branch on Thursday, October 20, 2022 from 11am to 2pm for food, fun, and free stuff!

We will also be hosting an online Facebook giveaway raffle. To enter, you will need to visit our Facebook page between 12:00pm on October 13, 2022 and 12:00pm on October 20, 2022 and find our 50th Anniversary Facebook Giveaway post.  Then, comment on the post’s question, “What does financial security mean to you?” and you will need to opt in to our notices if you have not done so already.  See official rules here.

In addition, we will be offering an incredible 5-day auto loan special! During the week of October 17th-21, 2022, in celebration of our 50th anniversary, we are giving you 50% off your auto loan rate! You can view the full details on our webpage here.

Acclaim FCU Scholarship

Accepting Applications October 1 - February 1

We are proud to announce that our Ed Thomas Community Service Scholarship Fund is accepting applications from October 1st through February 1.

We formed this scholarship last year in honor of Ed Thomas, who held various positions during his tenure including Chairman. During his many years of admirable volunteerism, he offered unwavering support and guidance to the ever growing success and growth of Acclaim.

Acclaim has partnered with the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation to offer an and easy-to-manage application process for our members. There’s a simple sign up process which allows you to manage your scholarship application through their portal.

CLOSINGS:

October 10, 2022 - Columbus Day
November 11, 2022 - Veteran's Day
November 24 & 25, 2022 - Thanksgiving Day
December 26, 2022 - Christmas
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Address: P.O. Box 29527
Greensboro, NC 27429
Telephone: 336.332.5302
Toll-Free: 888.794.1001
Email: Admin@AcclaimFCU.org

Lost/Stolen Credit Card: 800.325.3678
Lost/Stolen Debit Card: 888.241.2510
Fax: 336.332.4103

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