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May 2013 | Volume 10 | Issue 5

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Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender An Equal Housing Lender

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Summer Travel Tips to Keep Your Money Safe

Protect yourself with the help of your community bank

With summer just around the corner, many families are already planning to hit the road or the skies for their much-anticipated summer vacation. Just as you pack sunscreen to protect your skin, First Community Bank and Trust and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) want to make sure you take the following information with you to keep your money safe as well.

"Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than losing your wallet or running out of funds, so plan ahead and talk to your community banker about how you can protect your money while traveling both domestically and abroad," said Greg Ohlendorf, president and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust. ICBA, the nation’s voice for nearly 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, agrees saying "community banks are relationship bankers who know and work one-on-one with their customers, they can help customers be better prepared for travel emergencies. And in the event that something unfortunate does happen, they are ready and willing to help."

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First Community Investment Center News

If Interest Rates Rise, What Happens to Bonds?

Investors in longer-term Treasuries could see some rocky road ahead.

Presented by Clint Squier & Jim Ulman, Registered Representatives - Prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc.

Look at your expenses and your debt. Take a look at your core living expenses (such as a mortgage payment, car payment, etc.). Can any core expenses be reduced? Investing aside, you position yourself to gain ground financially when income rises, debt diminishes and expenses decrease or stay (relatively) the same.

Maybe you should pay your debt first, maybe not. Some debt is “good” debt. A debt is “good” if it brings you income. Credit cards are generally considered “bad” debts.

If you’ll be carrying a debt for a while, put it to a test. Weigh the interest rate on that specific debt against your potential income growth rate and your potential investment returns over the term of the debt.

Of course, paying off debts, paying down balances and restricting new debt all works toward improving your FICO score, another tool you can use in pursuit of financial freedom (we’re talking “good” debts).

Implement or refine an investment strategy. You’re not going to retire solely on the elective deferrals from your paycheck; you’re going retire (hopefully) on the interest that those accumulated assets earn over time, plus the power of compounding.

Manage the money you make. If you simply accumulate unmanaged assets, you have money just sitting there that may be exposed to risk – inflation risk, market risk, even legal risks. Don’t forget taxes. The greater your wealth, the more long-range potential you have to accomplish some profound things – provided your wealth is directed.

If you want to build more wealth this year or in the near future, don’t neglect the risk management strategy that could be instrumental in helping you retain it. Your after-tax return matters. Risk management should be part of your overall financial picture.

Request professional guidance for the wealth you are (or could be) growing. A good financial professional should help to educate you about the principles of wealth building. You can draw on that professional knowledge and guidance this year – and for years to come.    

Jim and Clint

Clint Squier and Jim Ulman may be reached at First Community Investment Center located at First Community Bank and Trust, (708) 946-2246.

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Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGIS Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Cetera is not affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: * Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured * May lose value * Not financial institution guaranteed * Not a deposit * Not insured by any federal government agency.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. 

Advisory services may only be offered by Investment Adviser Representatives in connection with an appropriate Cetera Investment Services Advisory Services Agreement and disclosure brochure as provided

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2013 Customer Appreciation

April Showers Brings May Flowers

April Showers will bring May Flowers to First Community Bank and Trust for Mother's Day! We will be giving away ceramic mugs adorned with cheerful flowers that will last a long, long time. This cup is sure to brighten any day! Stop by either location on Friday, May 10 or Saturday, May 11 for your very special mug.

Document Disposal Day

Start Spring Cleaning with your file cabinets! If you've been saving documents with personal information for years and no longer need them, let us help you dispose of them safely. Bring them to the parking lot of our Beecher Financial Centre on Saturday, May 18, between 9 AM and 11 AM, and have them shredded on site for free! All kinds of office paper are accepted (no newspaper please) and there is no need to remove staples or paper clips. We do ask that paper be removed from binders with metal rings or clasps. Questions? Call (708) 946-2246 and ask to speak with Chris Bowden.

Can't make it in May? No worries, we will have another shredding day at our Peotone facility on September 14!

View Images from last year's Document Disposal Days

View the entire 2013 Customer Appreciation Calendar

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Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender An Equal Housing Lender

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First Community Gold Club News

What a Glorious Feeling

Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Theatre at the Center, Munster, IN

Inspired by true events, this dance musical brings to life the tempestuous, behind-the-scenes love triangle during the filming of the beloved movie musical, Singin' in the Rain. The star and co-director (Gene Kelley) is in love with his assistant, who happens to be the ex-wife of his co-director. The show features songs and dance routines from the film. Important real-life figures are also part of the fun - young Debbie Reynolds and producer/songwriter Arthur Freed. Cost is $65 per person and includes transportation, lunch (Roast loin of pork or lemon chicken breast) and snacks on the bus ride home. Bus departs from Beecher at 11:30 AM. Reservations and payment must be made by April 15th.

First Community Gold Club Dinner

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | Beecher Amvets Hall, Beecher, IL

The Spring Gold Club Dinner is almost here! If you haven't called to reserve your seat do so quickly before they fill up. The dinner will be held on Wednesday, May 22, at the Beecher Amvet Hall, 532 Gould Street. Representatives from the Forest Preserve District of Will County will highlight some of the activities and events available for little or no cost, including wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing and picnicking. The 20,000+ acres under the Forest Preserve District's care give visitors ample opportunity to do these as well as many other activities. Our Memorial Day theme with an all-American menu will feature Irene's delicious sloppy joes and tasty sides. Call today and reserve your seat!

Upcoming Casino Trip

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | Four Winds Casino

A trip is being planned for August 29th to Four Winds Casino. Enjoy a day on Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast and experience the excitement of gaming, shopping and dining at Four Winds Casino. We will have two pick-up/drop-off locations. We will be departing from our Peotone facility at 9:00 AM and returning at 4:00 PM. We will be departing from our Beecher location at 9:30 AM and returning at 4:30 PM. The cost is $30 and includes transportation, refreshments on the bus, a $10 food voucher and a $15 instant slot credit. (FCB&T customers receive a $2 discount). Call 946-2246 to reserve your seat.  Reservations not paid by August 9th will be removed from list.

Note: Because transportation arrangements are not changeable after the confirmation date, cancellations after the June 6th deadline cannot be refunded.

View First Community Gold Club Web Page

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Our Gold Club is for those customers who are 55 years of age or better and have at least $1,000 in any combination of accounts with our bank. Members receive increased rates on CDs, free check offers, two free dinners per year, and much more. First Community Caravan is open to anyone and can be enjoyed by customers and non-customers alike. If you are interested in signing up for our Gold Club or for one or more of our trips, contact Irene Brothers today at 708.946.2246

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Is It Time To Fire Your Landlord?

Control Business Expenses With An Owner-Occupied Commercial Mortgage

Taking care of business means controlling those things that affect your bottom line. After payroll and income taxes, real estate rental costs are usually the third largest business expense, increasing on average 3% per year, every year. If you are paying someone else rent, it might be time to consider the move toward ownership and converting that large, consistently growing expense into an investment with many advantages. Owning, as opposed to renting, can provide tax incentives, allow more control with overhead costs, and help you build equity for yourself, rather than your landlord.

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Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender An Equal Housing Lender | Financing Subject to Credit Approval

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Accept Credit Cards and Watch Sales Increase

Customers appreciate the convenience of easy payment methods

Small businesses may wonder what incentive there is to accept credit cards for payment of goods or services. Consider this: according to The Credit Examiner, there are approximately 181 million credit cards in the U.S. Also, industry research indicates that the ability to accept credit cards can increase revenue by as much as 23% and that customers typically spend about 20% more when using a credit card as opposed to cash or check. Who wouldn’t like their customers to purchase more? And from the merchant's point of view, accepting credit cards guarantees payment and provides a convenience to customers.

Here are a few more reasons why businesses of all sizes should consider accepting credit cards:

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View Merchant Card Processing Page

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