Monday, December 31, 2012

ding free® from sea to sea

From BC to Newfoundland, credit union members have access to over [2,400]* surcharge-free ATMs. Added up, that’s a bigger ATM network than most banks. And it’s all ding free®.

Leave ATM surcharges behind you.
We’ve all been dinged by surcharge fees at an ATM that wasn’t our own. But as a member of Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, you don’t have to rely on our ATMs to keep from getting dinged ever again. In fact, you’re part of one of the largest surcharge-free ATM networks in the country.

Any credit union ATM is your credit union ATM.
Belonging to a national ATM network means you can bank ding free from sea to sea, with access to a national network of surcharge-free ATMs – a network bigger than most banks. Just look for a ding free sign on your ATM, and say goodbye to those pesky surcharge fees.

Get the ding free locator app today.
Available for iPhone, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices, our new ding free® locator app can help you find the nearest surcharge-free ATM – wherever you are. To get yours for free, visit

Want to know more about the ding-free campaign? Watch the video below!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Real Estate Seminar!

Купуєте нерухомість вперше?
Дізнайтесь про нові державні програми для новоприбулих.

Плюс! Сертифікат на $300 для кожного*

* У формі купона на безкоштовну технічну інспекцію. Дарує купон Сергій Рибітський.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From everyone at the Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, we hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas this year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Flowers for Christmas

Angela Andlar's car overfloweth with floral goodness
It's just not Christmas without heart warming stories of doing something for others. And thus it came to pass in Sudbury, that angels smiled upon those whose years of hard work has earned them a restful retirement.

Today the Sudbury Branch delivered 35 poinsettias, one for each resident of the Ukrainian Seniors home in Sudbury. Angela Andlar, UCU's branch manager in The Nickel City, says they had the most fun trying to fit them all into her teeny car to drive them over.

What a nice thing to do Angela, and Kathy and Natalia, and Maria, and Jennifer! I bet it was a very nice surprise for the folks at the Ukrainian Seniors home.

Kathy Hall, Loans Officer at the Sudbury Branch, sets up the flowers at the
Ukrainian Seniors home so that each resident would be able to come down
and select their favourite colour.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

People everywhere are decorating their houses and workplaces for the holidays. At UCU our branches have put up traditional Christmas trees - Yalynkas - and other decorations. We thought it would be fun to see who has the nicest tree of them all!

To see all of the Christmas Trees and vote for your favourite, please go to our Facebook album titled "Yalynka".

You can vote up till January 8.

Pictured are staff from our Bloor West Branch wishing everyone
Веселих Свят and Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Have Our Winners!

It has been a very interesting ride these past 9 weeks, and our UCU Investment Challenge III has now come to a conclusion.

Lots went on during these past several weeks - with Europe struggling to resolve the financial crisis gripping Greece and other its southern countries, the US Presidential elections came and went, corporate 3rd quarter earnings results were released and US fiscal cliff discussions ensued.  All of this and our own Trading Day had its impact on the portfolios our contestants were managing.

We are extremely pleased with the developments throughout the contest, as many portfolios moved in and out of prize position, although one portfolio benefitted from a very shrew stock pick at the very start, and followed up with a conservative trade to lock in gains and maintain the lead.  Here, George F. was able to deliver a very impressive 132%+ gain over the 9 week period, which was driven by a highly weighted position in Groundstar Resources (at 80% of his portfolio), which was followed up by a switch out of stocks and into bond ETFs and cash to preserve the gains.  To George goes our 1st Prize, $1,000 into an investment account with Credential Securities.  Congratulations George!

2nd Prize, $750 into an investment account with Credential Securities goes to Peter Tr., who just edged out our 3rd place finisher.  Peter's portfolio delivered a very impressive 39% return over 9 weeks.  Peter made some very good trades on Trading Day, where his portfolio was doing well in the first 4 weeks, but by picking up Research in Motion, Peter was able to crank up the beta in his portfolio.  His original Galway Resources position held on to solid early gains.  Congratulations Peter!

Our 3rd Prize goes to Andrew R., whose portfolio delivered a 36% return over the course of the challenge.  Andrew's portfolio was concentrated in 3 positions, which he held throughout the contest, not taking advantage of the opportunity to trade.  Positions in Air Canada and Research in Motion provided the driving force for his portfolio.  Well done Andrew!

We were very impressed with all the portfolios, as the majority generated positive returns over the course of the challenge and 25% delivered double digit returns.  Honourable mentions go out to:

Oleh F., whose solid 5 stock portfolio returned almost 29% (Green Mountain Coffee and InterMune led the way);
Ihor D., whose equal weighted 5 stock portfolio delivered just under 20% (with RIM providing the bulk of the alpha);
Roman B.'s portfolio returned over 15% (Rifco and Pilot Gold leading his equal weighted 4 stock portfolio);
Shahan B.'s portfolio divered over 14.5% return (again, equal weighted 5 position portfolio driven by RIM);
Thomas W.'s portfolio delivered 14% return (Thomas was active on Trading Day, moving from a 5 position equal weighted portfolio to a heavily skewed portfolio, switching out of all original positions into a 3 position portfolio), and;
Volodymyr T.'s portfolio that returned over 13% (5 ETF positions, equal weighted led by two leveraged gold bear ETFs). 

To round out the top 10, Nestor S.'s portfolio delivered a 9% return (RIM driving the results in a 5 position equal weighted portfolio).

With that we wrap up our UCU Investment Challenge III.  We certainly enjoy running these contests and we hope that those that participated also had a lot of fun with it.

We look forward to running it again next year, so stay tuned for future announcements!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Recognizing UCU Builders - Jaroslaw Bilak

Marie Stamler and Marika Dmytriak bring out a cake for
former UCU Board Vice-President Jaroslaw Bilak
On Saturday December 9, the staff and directors of UCU had the opportunity to fete a man who served his community for many years.

Jaroslaw Bilak was the former First Vice-President of the UCU board of directors (today the position is called Vice-Chair). Mr. Bilak recently turned 85 and is still going strong!

We wish him many more good and healthy years.
A very nice cake

Різдвяна Містерія - Nativity Story

Svitlo’s 6th production of the Christmas Mystery will be held at the Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street (Bathurst / Adelaide) on Sat Dec 22 – (3pm) and Sun Dec 23 (2pm).  

What a great venue to take some time away from our day to day activities and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. This production takes you through a journey on the key events around the birth of Jesus Christ. It is performed in the Ukrainian language, with both liturgical music and traditional Christmas carols. Come and celebrate with your community - Jesus the reason for the season!  

For more information please call 416.294.7853.

The cast of last year's show
You can find more pictures on our FB page in the Різдвяна Містерія - Nativity Story album

UCU $1,000 Shopping Spree with a Personal Shopper Update

Maybe you already know but Marta Tryshak who was our spokesperson for last year's UCU $1,000 Shopping Spree MasterCard campaign, was recently named by Marketing Magazine to their inaugural Top 30 Under 30 program.

Sorry, Andrew Kukurudza already won the shopping spree!

You can read Marta's profile, see all the winners and other nominees, and learn how the Top 30 under 30 selection process worked on the Marketing Magazine website.

Pictures from the photo shoot are on Marta's Facebook page. You can read more about what Marta has been up to on her blog:

Wishing you all the best Marta and glad to see a young member of our community make a name for herself through her hard work and dedication to her passion in life!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vesnivka and guests - Annual Christmas concert

This annual Christmas concert will feature the various genres of carols sung during the Christmas period, with religious carols (which are sung between January 6 to 13), New Year’s carols (typically sung after January 14) and ending with Theophany carols (sung on January 18). Guest performers will be the Dudaryk Toronto Boys Choir, a folk instrumental ensemble, and a special appearance by the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. We invite the audience to join the choristers in an after-concert reception.

Barvinok thanks UCU for our support

This summer Barvinok Dance Ensemble toured Europe, visiting many countries including Ukraine, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia. The group held a luncheon on Sunday December 10 both as reunion of sorts for everyone who went on the trip, as well as a way to thank the many sponsors and donors who helped the group fund their tour.

Ukrainian Credit Union is proud to have been a major sponsor of this tour. Our representative at the event was UCU Board Vice-Chair Andre Sochaniwsky.

Andre Sochaniwsky, Vice-Chair of the UCU Board sits with Fedir Danylak,
artistic director of Barvinok
Under the direction of artistic director Fedir Danylak, Barvinok has attained a level of technical precision and artistic excellence that wowed audiences everywhere they performed this summer. They already have invites to return to several festivals that will take place in Europe next year! You can read more about Fedir Danylak on wikipedia!
Everyone who went on the trip as well as all of the sponsors got this nice commemorative photo!
You can see more photos from the event on our Facebook page in the album titled "Barvinok Dance Ensemble thank you luncheon".

You can see some video of the event on our YouTube Channel.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holodomor Food Drive

In honour of the millions who lost their lives during Holodomor, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited held a food drive for the month of November. All food items were collected from the branches and donated to local food banks.

We want to send out a great big THANK YOU to all our members and staff and everyone else who dropped off food for those in need. Your donation will make a difference for families in need!

Some of the food items collected at our Toronto area branches which we are
donating to the Daily Bread Food Bank

Learning all about RESPs!

Last Thursday The Wealth Strategies Group Office held another seminar, this time the topic was all about RESPs! Thanks to Roman Mlynko Wealth strategies Group Consultant everyone learned some valuable strategies and tips on RESPs.

Monday, December 3, 2012

1st Might Be Taken, But 2nd to 4th is Very Close

Well, Week 7 of our UCU Investment Challenge III has come to an end, and it was a difficult week for stocks, as markets swung both up and down depending on who in the US was speaking out regarding progress on the "Fiscal Cliff" talks.  When Democrats spoke optimistically about reaching an agreement before year's end, markets ran strongly higher.  When Republicans spoke out that the two sides were still far apart, markets nose dived.  Europe also added to the volatility, as they struggle with helping Greece avoid default.

One bright spot in Canadian equities that has helped several of our portfolios has been the recent performance of Research in Motion (RIM).  With strong buzz developing regarding the Blackberry 10, RIM shares rose from $8.50/share mid November to around $11.50/share currently.  During the comparable period, Apple (AAPL) shares have also rebounded, from close to $520/share to about $590/share, after falling fairly aggressively during the first four weeks of our contest (approximately $640/share to $520/share).

Now for how our contest is developing, we see that George F. remains in 1st Place, whose portfolio is up 132% so far.  George made a good pick at the start of the contest, and traded well to lock in those gains, and seems to be in a position to coast to the finish.  In 2nd Place, Andrew R., has seen almost a 28% return in his portfolio since the start of the contest.  Andrew's portfolio has been fairly strong throughout the contest and has benefitted from RIM's recent strength.  In 3rd Place we see Oleh F., whose portfolio is in the Top 3 for the first time this contest.  He checked in to the end of Week 7 with a 25% gain, where Green Mountain Coffee has been the driver of his strong returns. 

Within striking distance of the Leader Board we have Peter Tr. (up 23% so far), Ihor D. (up almost 17%), Thomas W. (up 14%) and Roman B. (also up 14%).

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

So you want to make a New Year’s resolution. Maybe it is a different resolution than the one you made for 2011, or maybe it is the same one you have made for the past several years. Before you sign-up for another gym membership or purge your kitchen cupboards of any item remotely resembling a carbohydrate, consider this:  what is a “resolution”, anyway?    
Simply put, a resolution is an expressed and purposeful intention for change. We are hopeful creatures, we humans, driven toward bettering ourselves and our lives. We want to achieve, cure, strengthen, develop, build and overcome. We are remarkable in our capacity for achievement.  But we have a darker side, too. Human beings are prone to self-criticism, feelings of failure, despondency and disappointment. We can easily become disillusioned with our dreams.

How do we kindle our desire for change while keeping our tendency toward pessimism at bay? Our hopes for change can become easily overwhelmed by intentions which are too grand, or which don’t fit with our basic values and priorities.  

New Year’s Resolutions: Successful or Disappointing Solutions
Start this year by asking what changes you really want and why you want them. Change
for change sake is ill-fated.You must have ansense of how differences in your behaviors or
habits will bring about a meaningful and measurable improvement in your over-all quality of life.

Consider a very common New Year’s resolution; losing extra pounds. The idea of losing weight in order to look good is an understandable desire, but does it really reflect what you want? Perhaps what you want is to have a more positive view of yourself, or to find yourself in a new relationship in which you feel valued. Once you have understood what your underlying motivation is, you can imagine that weight loss might be only one part of the end goal.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sell, Buy, Hold - What Did You Do on Trading Day?

On November 16th the UCU Investment Challenge III had it's Trading Day, as the competion heads into the final stage.  Participants were allowed to switch out of any or all of their positions for new ones, or re-adjust their portfolios in any way, as long as they maintained a minimum of 3 positions (not including cash) and each position was at least 10% of the portfolio.

Although the contest at this point has a clear leader in 1st position (George F.), the battle for the remaining two money spots is still quite heated.  The 37 portfolios in the contest, only 6 were active on Trading DayPeter Tr., Pawel S., Simon C., Thomas W., George F. and Oleh M. were the active traders, looking for new opportunities to either secure the gains they've realized until now, or to re-gear their portfolios for the last push towards the Winner's Circle.  It isn't a surprise that George was active, as he shifted most of his portfolio into bond ETFs, putting on the biggest Risk-Off trade of the contest.  Peter, Simon and Thomas re-geared their portfolios, concentrating on stocks they hope to see win big in the second half.  Oleh took a balanced approach to reshaping his entire portfolio, and Pawel made one switch trade in the tech sector.

We hope to send out the portfolios shortly for review to our contestants, and we will re-post the performance chart early next week following today's closing values.

Good luck to everyone into the home stretch!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yarmarok 2012 Mississauga

Hundreds of people turned out over the weekend for the annual Christmas market at St. Mary's Dormition Ukrainian Catholic Church on Cawthra Rd. for Yarmarok. Yarmarok has everything from ornaments, handcrafted jewelry, embroidered shirts and pillows and ceramic artwork and more. There were also activities for children, including decorating gingerbread cookies and face painting while their parents shopped. Yarmarok usually draws about 1,500 people and raises more than $20,000 for the church.

 Want to see the rest of the event? Click HERE for our Facebook photo album.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UCU Training Day 2012

What a great Training day for UCU this year! Almost all the staff from our 12 branches, Wealth Strategies Group and Head Office gathered for a day of learning and networking. It was also a great day for everyone to get to know the staff from our newest branch in Hamilton.

Check out all of the pictures from the day on our Facebook  page HERE!

St. Joseph's Church Trivia Night

The highly successful trivia night took place at St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Oakville (home of a brand new UCU ATM).Over 25 teams participated! 

The team from Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, pictured below, didn't know what to expect since it was the first time any of us had participated in the Trivia Night. Well we were in for a good time. We had no idea how any people would be there and how knowledgeable they were! The food was amazing and the atmosphere was electric.

Team UCU: Diane Comtois, JEan Comtois, Yuriy Nesvit and Roman Babej. Not pictured Yuriy Diakunchak

After the first round the UCU team was in second place. We could not believe our eyes! In the second round we captured 1st place and hung on to it till the bitter end when in the 7th round, team #10 tied with us. A tension filled bonus round followed, but at the end we were still tied!

After a short break Team #10 and Team UCU got down to it once more. And finally we came out ahead by one point.  It was a tough fight and we take our hats off to the members of Team #10. We look forward to meeting them again next year for a rematch.

The second place team sitting they preferred the name "Team #1"
unfortunately that was already taken by team UCU

The award we received - The Myska Moodrosty or Bowl of Wisdom - alone was worth the trip to Trivia Night. We are already planning our return next year and recruiting eager new competitors to our team.

Myska Moodrosty (St. Joseph's kindly let us take it home for a bit to show the rest of the staff,
but we promise to bring it back!

A very well attended event. The banquet hall at St. Joseph's was pretty well at capacity.

More pictures of the event are available on our Facebook page in the St. Joseph's Church Trivia Night album.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

UCU IC lll Week 4 plus a day

With Rememberance Day falling on Sunday, most financial institutions were closed for Monday, and UCU was no exception.  Hence, we are a day behind in our post, and we have taken a snapshot of the portfolios following Week 4, plus Monday's market results as well.

Following 5 days of poor markets, we are happy to state that more than 50% of the portfolios entered into the contest are sitting with positive returns.  Some of these have actually performed quite impressively over the past 4 weeks.  Thins seem to be positioning themselves nicely for Trading Day, which is this Friday, November 16th - so if you want to make changes to your portfolio, positions will be sold and bought with pricing as at the close of November 16th.

Currently, sitting in 1st Place is George F.  He has been in this position since the start of the contest, and his portfolio generated a 16% return over the past 6 trading days.  Not too far behind in 2nd Place is Andrew R., whose portfolio returned 5% on the week.  In 3rd Place at the moment we find Peter Tr., as his portfolio returned 2% on the week.  Not bad considering it was a very volatile week, as the markets were displeased with the President Barak Obama winning a second term, and Greece struggled to raise $5 billion to pay off maturing debt.

We look forward to any changes that our participants wish to make in their portfolios, and we remind them again that midnight on Friday, November 16th is the deadline.  We will be posting updated stock screens for the TSX Composite, TSX Venture and S&P 500 Index by Thursday.