6 ways to get members on board with investing

6 ways to get members on board with investing

For many members, just getting started can be a challenge.

May 2, 2018

Investment services can make a critical difference to members’ financial well-being and a credit union’s bottom line.

However, many members may not see the credit union as a resource that can help them with their future plans and investments.

Here are six tips to change their minds:

1. Stress “financial security” instead of “wealth management.” Most members don’t consider themselves wealthy, so position investing as a way to build financial security instead. That’s a goal members at every socioeconomic level understand and endorse.

2. Help members understand it’s never too early—or too late—to start investing. The power of compounding is a millennial’s best friend. Simple math can demonstrate how important it is to start investing at a young age.

Conversely, many older members need investment help, too. According to a survey, 28% of people over age 55 have no retirement savings and 26% have less than $50,000 saved. It’s your job to convey there’s still time to take control—and your credit union is here to help.

3. Show members the advantages of working with a person. Roboadvisors and other online tools can provide valuable education. They also appeal to cost-conscious, Web-savvy members of all ages.

Therefore, position your program’s advisors as offering assistance a roboadvisor can’t: A holistic perspective on the members’ financial situation; help navigating complexities that may involve families, small businesses, and interactions with other financial professionals; validation of self-guided investment choices; and years of experience.

4. Connect with members—online and in person. Members rely on a variety of channels to manage their finances and will expect access to this same range of tools for investing. Use these channels to educate members and convey the full breadth of resources your credit union offers.

Leverage the benefits of events (like educational seminars) and create face-to-face opportunities to position the credit union as a financial thought leader.

5. Engage employees at every level. Your staff can be your best ambassadors, but only if they’re up to speed on investment offerings and appreciate how credit union solutions meet member needs. Everyone—from tellers to senior loan officers to the C-suite—should know your offerings and be comfortable referring members to your investment advisors.

6. Emphasize the benefits of responsible investing and encourage members to take control. Members might fantasize about beating the market or having invested in Amazon at just the right time. But for most people, financial success is the result of time-proven concepts like periodic investing, yearly financial reviews, and planning for short-, intermediate-, and long-term goals.

Help members see the benefits of this approach, the value of getting started, the empowerment of taking charge of their financial futures, and the many ways your credit union can support them.

The takeaway? Your credit union, working in tandem with the investment services program, can be a complete financial resource for members.

True to your mission, you can help members get on board with investing and take advantage of opportunities for better financial security.

ROBERT COMFORT is president of CUNA Brokerage Services Inc., the broker-dealer arm of CUNA Mutual Group.