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The Role of a Credit Union in Your Investment Journey

Investing money is essential for anybody who wants to have a comfortable retirement. It’s the best way to be sure you won’t outlive your savings. Retirement planning can be complex and challenging, and you might be wondering if credit union investing can help you manage your money and get ready for retirement.

You may be wondering whether choosing a credit union as your financial institution is useful and what role a credit union can play in your investment journey. Here’s what you need to know about investing with a credit union:

Why Might Someone Choose a Credit Union for Their Investments?

Let’s start with why credit union investment services differ from what you might find at a bank and how being a credit union member can benefit you as an investor.

Credit Unions Have Lower Fees Than Banks

Working with a bank or an independent wealth manager typically comes with an array of fees, some of which may be prohibitive to young investors or people who don’t have a lot of money to invest. That’s not the case with credit unions.

Credit unions are owned by members. As a result, they usually have investment fees that are lower than what you’d find at a bank. For example, we offer investment planning services in partnership with LPL Financial. Working with an LPL financial advisor provides members with investment options and vehicles at a low cost, leaving them with more money to invest in their future.

Credit Unions Offer Personalized Services

One of the most essential differences between credit unions and banks is in the amount of personal attention they provide. Banks may not have the time or the inclination to sit down with account holders to discuss a financial goal and help them achieve it, but that’s not the case with credit unions.

Credit union members are owners of the credit union. That means that it’s easy to get personalized attention and services, including advice to help with investing. You can speak to an investment representative who can help you understand your risk tolerance and align your investment strategy with your financial goals. 

Credit Union Members Get Access to Free Financial Education

One of the most significant benefits of being a credit union member is that you’ll get access to an impressive array of financial education resources that you can use for free. Some examples of financial education content include the following:

These things are valuable for investors because they make it easy to understand investment risk and your personal risk tolerance, as well as different types of investment vehicles and how they work. And, if you’re someone who needs to get your financial house in order, financial education can help you work out a debt repayment plan and build your credit.

What Types of Investment Services do Credit Unions Offer?

Credit unions offer an array of investment services to help members choose the right investments for their short-term and long-term financial goals and manage their investment risk. Here are some services you might find at a credit union.

Personalized Investment Services

Because credit unions offer a level of personalization that banks can’t match, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that many credit unions offer their members personalized investment services. These typically include financial planning services from a financial professional and access to managed or advisory investment accounts.

Credit unions can help their members create a diverse portfolio that includes an array of investment vehicles, including the following:

  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Fixed and variable annuities
  • Unit investment trusts
  • Group Retirement Accounts, including 401(k), 403(b), Simple and SEP IRAs

Your credit union financial consultant may also be able to assist you with insurance, including life insurance, long-term disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.

Guided Wealth Portfolio

Another investment service that’s offered by some credit unions is the guided wealth portfolio, which combines automated investment advice with the personalized service that you can expect from credit unions.

A guided wealth portfolio provides credit union members with a personalized investment plan to help them meet their financial goals. It may also include a personal review of your asset allocation to minimize your risks, and tax planning services to help you avoid overpaying and maximize tax savings both before and after retirement.

Automated Investing Tools

Automated investing tools are convenient and allow credit union members to get financial advice and investment recommendations 24 hours a day. This makes it easier to get the guidance you need, when you need it. 

With automation, you can get an overview of a variety of investment vehicles and make informed choices about where to invest your money. Automation can also help you get a handle on your risk and make it easy to rebalance your portfolio when it’s necessary.

Financial Statements

One of the things that has become increasingly important in our digital world is having access to your accounts via online banking. With online banking, you can review your credit union deposits, transfer money from your savings account to your checking or investment account, and more.

The best credit unions provide members with access to investment and financial statements 24 hours a day. Choosing a credit union with a secure online portal will allow you to manage your investments and review your account at any time and from anywhere in the world.

How Do Credit Unions Help Protect and Grow Your Investments?

Choosing a credit union for your investment account isn’t just about getting the investment services you need. It’s also about protecting your money and growing it with help from people you trust–and who believe in you.

For example, the team at your credit union can help you create a personalized income plan for retirement and then, map out a personalized investment roadmap to help you save enough to reach your retirement goals.

You may know that bank account deposits are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. Credit unions have similar protection from the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which covers credit union deposits up to $250,000 and provides separate coverage for retirement accounts up to the same amount.

The financial team at your credit union can also offer advice about which investment vehicles to choose, how to balance your portfolio, minimize your risk, and provide you with free financial education resources to help you learn about investing.

How Can a Credit Union Help You Reach Your Financial Goals?

We all have financial goals and credit unions prioritize providing their members with the guidance and education they need to reach those goals. Here are some ways that they can help you turn your financial dreams into realities:

  1. Provide you with financial education and guidance to help you identify your most important financial priorities and set goals for your short-term and long-term financial health. These may include blog posts, calculators, free guides, and more.
  2. Give you access to personalized financial and investment services, so you can meet with a financial professional who will work with you to understand your needs and goals and help you create a personalized investment plan.
  3. Provide a suite of online and digital banking services that make it easy to invest your money, view your portfolio, rebalance it as needed, and get answers to your most pressing investment questions.
  4. Offer more advantageous rates and lower fees than banks to keep your money in your pocket. Because credit union members own their credit union, they usually pay lower fees and in some cases, may not pay fees at all. They also could get access to better interest and dividend rates.
  5. Work with you if you need to build or rebuild your credit. Banks often have strict and inflexible requirements for lending and credit, while credit unions are more likely to work with members to help them pay off debt and create financial stability.
Investment services are important, but they are most useful when they’re offered in conjunction with financial education and other services that make it possible to create financial stability and health. It’s only then that you’ll be able to invest wisely and work toward your long-term goals.

Get the Investment Help You Need from Leaders Credit Union

Whether you’re already investing your money or you’re in your first job and looking to get started, becoming a credit union member will provide you with everything you need to make wise choices and work toward your goals. Access to affordable fees, advantageous interest rates, financial education, and personalized investment services is something you can expect as a credit union member. If you are just getting started with investing, download our Investing 101: A Guide to Growing Your Wealth for more tips!

Are you interested in getting a personalized investment plan to help you reach your goals? Leaders Credit Union is here to help! Learn about our investment services and become a member today.