Category Archives: Uncategorized

Want to Win Garth Brooks Tickets?

GarthAlpine Bank, along with 95.3FM The Bull, is giving away two tickets to:

Garth Brooks World Tour

Thursday, September 11th 7:30pm

Allstate Arena – Rosemont, IL

95.3 The Bull announced this morning that Alpine Bank is the only place to enter to win Garth Brooks tickets today, Friday, September 5th. Stop by our East State branch located at 6838 East State St., Rockford to register to win.  The random drawing will take place at 6:00pm today at the East State branch.  All guests who register must be present to win.

You can only register today, September 5th, at Alpine Bank at 6838 East State St., Rockford.  The winner will be announced at 6:00pm and you must be present to claim your prize or another winner will be chosen.

Good Luck!

Community Shred Day Scheduled for Sat., September 20th

iStock_000002827290LargeAlpine Bank and Paper Recovery Service Corporation, a secure shredding solutions company, are partnering together again to hold Alpine Bank’s annual fall Community Shred Day on Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 9 a.m. to Noon in the parking lot of Alpine Bank’s Belvidere Downtown Branch at 600 South State Street, in Belvidere. Alpine Bank Community Shred Day is a FREE event open to the entire community. Attendees, without leaving the comforts of their vehicles, will be able to drop off their documents at the “shredding drive-thru” and watch Paper Recover shred them during the event on site free of charge.

People are invited to bring a maximum of 2 boxes of the following materials to be shredded: clean paper of any color, file folders of any color, papers containing staples, paper clips, rubber bands, and/or small binders. Materials that cannot be shredded include: trash, cardboard, telephone books, hardcover books, hanging folders, 3-ring binders, lever-arch binders, and any plastics, including computer disks, CDs, DVDs, VCR tapes, ID badges, x-rays, transparencies, etc.

Identity theft continues to be a serious growing crime in the United States. As noted on the Federal Trade Commission’s Web site, nearly 9 million Americans are victims of some form of identity theft each year. Shredding personal documents and information is just one way to avoid becoming a victim. At one of our Community Shred Day events, Alpine Bank shredded a world record, collecting an astounding 253,318 lbs. of shred, which is more than the combined weight of all of the steel parts in the Statue of Liberty.

Alpine Bank hosts two Community Shred Days each year – one in the spring and one in the fall.

More Information
For more information about this Community Shred Day, visit www.bankalpine.com or call 815.398.6500. For more information about identity theft and other important security tips, visit https://www.bankalpine.com/security-privacy.

About Paper Recovery Service Corporation
Based in Loves Park, IL, Paper Recovery Service Corporation provides solutions from secure document destruction to recycling for businesses in manufacturing, retail, or professional services.

 

 

 

 

5 Simple Steps to Creating a Budget

Simple Steps for Creating a Budget from Alpine Bank
The first step to saving more is creating a budget for your personal finances. Knowing how to properly budget is a skill that will be helpful throughout all of life. While it is advised to start at a young age, it is never too late to learn. Whether you have been budgeting for years or are just beginning, Alpine Bank wants to offer five steps for creating a successful budget. We hope you find these helpful and incorporate them into your life.

  1. Gather all financial information from bank statements, bills, income and anything else that states where your money is going and coming from.
  2. Take note of all income. Whether you have a full time job, are self-employed, or have an occasional garage sale, write down how much you receive.
  3. Write down all expenses you have in any given month. These may be bills, groceries, gas, entertainment, college, retirement or gifts. Break these expenses into fixed and variable categories. Your fixed expenses are those that cannot change in order to live, while variable expenses can change. 
  4. Calculate the difference between your income and expenses. If your income is higher than your expenses, you are in good shape and can start saving more or paying off debt. If your expenses are more than your income, you may need to make some adjustments.
  5. Review your budget frequently to ensure your income and expenses are all lining up. Make adjustments as needed to stay debt free. Remember to prepare for expensive times of the year like Christmas and summer vacations.

Alpine Bank encourages you to take steps necessary to save more money. We know life can be busy, but taking time to create and use a budget will be beneficial in the future. Contact Alpine Bank for your financial questions and concerns. 

5 Ways to Save More this School Year

Save with with these back to school tips from Alpine Bank
As the school year approaches, you may be calculating the
many expenses to come. While this can be an exciting time of year, it can also
be very expensive. At Alpine Bank, we
understand the importance of saving and budgeting for all of life’s demands. While
your schedule may be filling up with school activities and sports, we hope you
keep in mind simple ways to save.

  • Before buying new school
    supplies, take inventory of what you already have around the house. You
    will be surprised with the pens, paper, and other items you find from
    previous years that are still in good shape.
  • Shop alone to avoid
    pressure from kids to buy items you don’t really need. Kids may also ask
    for the more expensive option and cause your bill to sky rocket. Shop
    alone to purchase only what you need at the lowest price.
  • When the school shopping
    rush is over, hit up the stores to find bargains on supplies to use down
    the road.
  • When looking for back to
    school clothes, look first at second hand and consignment stores. They
    offer reasonable prices and have items your kids are sure to love.
  • Compare the cost of school
    lunches to sack lunches from home. By packing a lunch every day, you may
    save money and provide a healthier option for your children. Write a
    little note and stick in their lunch for some mid-day motivation.

Alpine Bank
understands you are busy, which is why we hope to serve all your financial
needs. We encourage you to lay out your finances for each month and plan ahead
to ensure you are fully prepared. Take steps to save this school year and have
more to spend in places that matter most. Alpine Bank can be reached at
815.398.6500 or stop by one of our locations today to see how we
can help.

Junior Golfers Chosen for Alpine Bank Pro-Am Foursome

Pro-Am_Image

For the sixth year in a row, Alpine Bank has selected four up and coming golfers to play in the Alpine Bank foursome at this year’s Rockford Pro-Am on Monday, July 14, 2014. Alpine Bank is pleased to announce that its foursome will include: Lexi Graf, Aren Boxleitner, Marcus “Reid” Anderson and Joey Watts.

Alpine Bank returns this year as a prime sponsor of the Rockford Pro-Am. Like the last five years, the bank is choosing to fill its foursome with young, aspiring golfers, giving them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in such a prestigious event alongside golf professionals. In April of this year, the bank extended a special invitation to young golfers to apply to play in the Alpine Bank foursome. The application process involved an application where applicants noted their golf skill/ability, extracurricular activities and a personal statement explaining how playing at the Rockford Pro-Am would benefit them. In addition, each applicant was asked to submit a one-page letter of recommendation from a non-family member (i.e. coach, teacher, mentor, etc.). Fifteen junior golfers from the area applied to play. A selection committee reviewed the applications.

“I would like to thank all of the talented, young golfers who applied,” said Matt Roegner, executive vice president of Alpine Bank. “We were pleased to receive applications from so many skilled players, all of whom anyone would be proud to have on their team.”

In the coming weeks, Alpine Bank will choose the PGA Pro Golfer who will play alongside these talented individuals.  Last year’s foursome, with Kenny Perry, took second place in the tournament.

Alpine Bank will be hosting a special luncheon for the foursome players, as a special thank you and to become acquainted with one another.  Following the luncheon, the players will be treated to a round of golf at Forest Hills Country Club.

About Rockford Pro-Am     
The Rockford Pro-Am is the nation’s longest-running, free-standing pro-am not associated with a professional tournament. This year it will be held at Forest Hills Country Club on Monday, July 14, 2014, and will feature amateur foursomes paired with professional golfers. The foursomes play in a best-ball handicapped format, while the pros keep straight 18-hole scores. Cost is $5 and tickets are available at the gate. Parking for the Pro-Am will be available at the Kraft Food lots on Forest Hills Road and the Sears Essential lot on Riverside Boulevard. A continuous free shuttle bus will run from Sears Essentials to Forest Hills Country Club from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.therockfordproam.com.

Alpine Bank Schedules FREE Identity Theft Seminars

Illinois_A_2014_jpg

Alpine Bank is hosting two free identity theft seminars on April 8 and 10, 2014, two of more than 3,000 free financial programs during Money Smart Week®, April 5-12, 2014.

The April 8 session will be conducted by Jessica Hendon, AVP & Security Officer for Alpine Bank, from 3:00pm-4:00pm at the Rockford Public Library on East State Street.  Lizmara Aboytes, Banking Officer & Assistant Branch Manager, will be conducting a session in Spanish at the Rockford Public Library’s Main Branch on Wyman Street, on April 10 from 3:30pm-4:30pm. To sign up for one of these two programs, entitled Securing Your Identity:  How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft, or to find other programs in your area, visit www.moneysmartweek.org.

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign to promote financial education across all age groups. Launched in 2002 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the program is now active in more than 45 states through national partnerships with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Cooperative Extension and the American Library Association.

“Money Smart Week began as a coordinated effort among a small group of Chicago-area organizations working to promote financial literacy,” says Alejo Torres, Senior Outreach Manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “Today, Money Smart Week continues to expand nationally, providing greater awareness of, and access to, personal finance resources for all.”

Money Smart Week events are open to the public at businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, nonprofits and government agencies throughout the country on topics including kids and money, unemployment, managing student debt and retirement. To learn more about Money Smart Week® visit www.moneysmartweek.org.

For questions or to register for Alpine Bank’s free Identity Theft classes, pleace contact one of the instructors.  Their information is provided below.

Jessica Hendon | Phone:  815.398.6500  | Email: jessica.hendon@bankalpine.com

Lizmara Aboytes (hablo español)  | Phone:  815.544.7603  | Email:  lizmara.aboytes@bankalpine.com

6 Investing Lessons from March Madness

The NCAA championship basketball tournament is an annual highlight for sports fans, earning the nickname “March Madness” for the frenzy that teams and fans alike become caught up in during the four weeks of tournament play. Filling out a bracket is perhaps the only thing more popular than watching the tournament games. Like investing, bracket picks are a matter of balancing expertise, expectation, risk and reward.
1. It’s about getting the most right, not being perfect.
Your investing, like your bracket, is not going to be perfect. The mathematical odds of correctly picking the outcome of every game in the NCAA Tournament are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (for the record, that first number is 9 quintillion). Statistically, each person on earth would have to fill out more than a billion individual brackets before one would be perfect.
The odds of all your investments continually producing above-market returns are probably even lower. Successful investing is about making as many wise decisions as possible and getting more investments right than wrong.
2. Diversify.
No one turns in a bracket with results for just one or two teams and expects to earn enough points to win. People fill out the entire bracket to gather enough points and ensure that losses in one region can be compensated for with wins in another. Diversification is hugely important to investors as well. No matter how sure you are of an investment, it’s never a good idea to put all your money in one place.
3. Anything could happen, but it usually doesn’t.
Although there are always some upsets, favored teams usually do reasonably well. Investors shouldn’t think that diversifying among long-shot stocks is a recipe for success. You could successfully score on every upset game of the tournament if you only picked underdogs, but there is no way those few successful games could make up for all the losses where things went as everyone expected.
4. Last year’s tournament was last year.
Past performance guarantees nothing about the future. Investors (and basketball fans) should never assume that their best picks from last year will have a repeat performance. A team wins because of skill and management; a hot stock should only be kept if there are sound reasons for its past (and future) success.
5. Lucky systems are a myth.
Humans are hardwired to see patterns. It’s a survival instinct that helps us find the things that we need and avoid dangerous situations. Superstitions form when people notice a pattern and choose to only remember the times when it worked, reinforcing useless behavior. A foolish investment (or bracket) is one that relies on superstitious or “hunch” decision-making. Investments are ownership in a company, not a gamble. Successful companies are the key to successful stocks.
6. The drama goes up the more you watch.
Though watching the action of a live game is the most exciting part of the NCAA tournament, it’s one of the worst ideas in investing. Drama is good entertainment, but it almost never helps an investor. Watching every twitch of the market only leads to bad decision-making. A wise investor stays as detached as possible from daily stock fluctuations.
How they’re different: Investing is not a competition
It’s important to remember that good investing is not about being the best investor in the world; it’s about securing enough money for your future. Unlike March Madness, you shouldn’t worry about “beating” others’ investment strategies. A sound strategy might not be as impressive as someone else’s high-risk approach, but it can still be successful.

 

Link to PDF of Alpine Trust & Investment Group newsletter: AB Newsletter March 2014

 

5 Ways to Start Retirement Planning Before You Turn 30

retirement-planning-before-30

Retirement is for the birds, right? If you’re not even 30, why should you worry about it? You have student loan debts to pay off, rent or your first mortgage to pay, a tepid job market to navigate and insurance to be worried about. Retirement? You’ll think about that when you’re 40.

 

If you follow this train of thought, you’re on the wrong train. Retirement planning may be more crucial when you’re younger because it dictates how you approach your finances as a whole for the rest of your life. Remember the 2008 recession? Millions of Americans lost their retirement nest eggs and either had to go back to work or extend their working years.

 

You don’t want to end up working until you’re 67 or 68, right? Here are five ways you can avoid that fate:

 

Get a sense of what you need- but please don’t freak out. You need a goal in order to save properly, and there are seemingly endless resources available, at Alpine Bank and online, to help you see what you’ll need for retirement.

 

Prioritize- before you start funding your retirement, take care of your immediate needs: establish an emergency fund and pay down your debts.

 

Fund your 401(k)- if your employer offers a 401(k), opt in, especially if there’s a company match involved.

 

Get your IRA on- no 401(k) option? Try a traditional or Roth IRA. A traditional IRA lets you make tax-free contributions, while money in a Roth IRA grows tax-free.

 

Chill out- yes, saving and investing in your future early can really pay off. It also takes time for all that to happen, so be patient, don’t stress over each rise and fall and keep your eyes on the prize.

 

The earlier you save, the more your money gets the benefits of compound interest. You don’t have to start out dumping huge amounts into your account; all that matter is that you start. The Investment and Retirement teams at Alpine Bank can also be a trusted resource for this and other information regarding retirement, so be sure to get in touch with them if you have questions.