PPP borrowers are strongly encouraged to apply for PPP loan forgiveness before Dec. 31, 2021.
  
 

On Our Minds

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November 2021 Market Update

The better-than-expected third-quarter corporate earnings reports were evidence of a broad-based economic recovery causing investor psychology to improve and funds to flow from bonds into stocks. This has since reversed as the uncertainty of the spread and severity of COVID mutation Omicron remains unknown. The concern is that the supply chain of parts and goods produced in emerging markets may slow and deter global economic growth.

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Want to Save $1,170? Hang Up.

During the pandemic, my phone was ringing off the hook, as many fraudsters took advantage of our isolation. They knew we were lonely, stuck at home with only a few ways to communicate with others, so why not take advantage of that good ole’ telephone when everyone is afraid of hackers on the internet?

In fact, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) received about 1.25 million phone fraud complaints in 2020, and the hackers and scammers don’t seem to be showing down this year.

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How Does a 1031 Exchange Work?

A 1031 exchange is a process used in real estate in which one investment property is swapped for another. Through this process, capital gains taxes—which are taxes incurred when an investment is sold—are deferred. 

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October 2021 Investment Update

By Michael Aloian
President of Trust and Investment Management Services

After declining in September, the equity market is now celebrating the economic recovery from the COVID virus and solid growth in U.S. corporate earnings. The S&P 500 Index is now up 22% for the year and is poised to move higher as economic growth is only hindered by distribution bottlenecks in imported and manufactured goods.

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Avoid Corporate Account Takeover

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. “Corporate account takeover” is a form of identity theft of a business. Criminals phony emails pretending to be someone you know to trick you into clicking on links or attachments that can lead to malicious software being installed on your computer. Once this happens, they will ask you to enter credentials where they will gain access to your email account. At that point, they will send emails to the bank appearing to be from you to initiate ACH and wire transactions.

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5 Signs It's Time to Refinance Your Mortgage

Over the past year and a half, record-breaking interest rates—slashed by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy—have remained low with some fluctuation. Many prospective homebuyers and homeowners who are interested in refinancing their mortgage are likely wondering if the low rates will persist and whether now is the right time to take advantage of the low rates. 

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6 Ways to Protect Your Business from Business Email Compromise Scams

Companies of all sizes are being targeted by criminals through business email compromise scams. In these scams, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s legitimate business email through social engineering or computer intrusion. The criminal then impersonates the employee often a senior executive or someone who can authorize payments and instructs others to transfer funds on their behalf. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, over $10 billion has been lost by victims in the U.S. due to these scams.

“Any business that conducts transactions overseas or regularly performs wire transfers should stay alert for these scams,” said Certified Information Security Manager Margo Leiter. “Companies can protect themselves and their employees by using alternative communication channels to verify any large transaction requests and by educating their employees on potential red flags of fraud.”

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Community Banking: Personalized Services with No Hassles

What are you looking for in a bank? We’re willing to bet it’s not long lines, advisors who tell you what to do without listening to your needs, or lengthy call menus to navigate when you need help. Charlotte State Bank & Trust has been around long enough to know what you want in a community bank, and we’re committed to providing that personalized service to each of our clients.

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Choose Local: 10 Benefits of Community Banks

Community banks are threaded into the local economy of many towns in the country. By serving the local residents and businesses with necessary financial services, community banks help them get ahead in their corner of the world. 

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Third Quarter Ups and Downs

The S&P 500 Index is consolidating as Washington policymakers postpone important decisions on the budget ceiling and the infrastructure bills. The S&P 500 Index has grown this year as earnings and growth have supported valuations, but now, as fiscal and monetary policies change, we are seeing investor concerns. With fiscal policy, there are many supportive benefits of spending $500 billion on actual bridge and road infrastructure. However, the massive $3.5-trillion “human” infrastructure package is concerning due to higher taxes and escalating inflation. This plan is likely to be debated and downsized before passage – if at all.

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