As I’ve become more experienced in life (I’m trying not to call myself old here), I’ve managed to save some money in my checking and savings account; money I’ve considered investing. However, I’ve held off on getting a financial planner as I fear they might laugh at the small amount of money I actually have to invest. Thinking about my investment options made me wonder though, should my credit union be helping me make money? Could the money in my checking and savings account be invested by a credit union service to help the credit union and myself? If so, why isn’t it something credit unions are talking to their members about today?
From week to week, the money in my account doesn’t fluctuate much, and it’s been like that for a few years. During this time, I’ve had multiple conversations with my credit union while transferring money within the organization and outside it and when I obtained a new car loan. Even though there are services that allow the credit union to see data related to my account balance and how long that money has been there, not once did a credit union employee ask me if I would like to do something with the money sitting in my accounts. Nor did I receive any communication from them notifying me that I’ve had $5000 in my savings for three years that would be much better off invested through a service offered by the CU.
However, I know that everything I’m asking of my credit union I could also be asking of myself. Why didn’t I ask about getting a certificate of deposit or an interest rate swap? Why didn’t I see if the credit union had anyone on staff to help me invest? The truth is, I feel I should take as much or more of the blame, because I am more responsible for my financial future than my credit union.
On the other hand, I don’t necessarily need the credit union as there are many other services offered by other institutions. If credit unions want to keep members from finding those other institutions, they should consider what more they could be doing to help their members succeed. I constantly see ads on TV about how companies such as Liberty Mutual want me to join their investment plans while using comforting words such as “teamwork” and “success.” The truth is, I want me and my credit union to have teamwork so we can both be successful together.
With that being said: calling all credit unions! Do you have a plan to start helping your members invest? If you support your members and help them find ways to make the most of their money, they’ll be much more likely to keep supporting your credit union. So, reach out to your members and ask if they have an investment plan and how you can help them be successful!