2013 Watch: Member Investments in the Year Ahead


The markets roiled several times this year scaring investors to pull out and wait on the sidelines.

It was likely one more obstacle that has prevented credit unions from growing their retail investment programs. Some say the top challenge has been a lack of awareness as most members might not associate getting their financial planning needs met at their local cooperative.

Social media platforms could continue to shape how credit unions can potentially educate members on services such as helping to save for retirement and college and establishing trusts and living wills.

As companies start to revive their 401(k) matching programs, credit unions could see an increase in members wanting to get back on board with their long-term plans.

In 2012, several credit unions overhauled their investment suites by switching to new firms and broker-dealers and by revamping traditional financial planning programs. Experts say that shift may continue in 2013 even as some members choose to participate in self-guided offerings.

Over the past two years, the SEC has cracked down on scams targeted at investors. Since 2011, the agency said it has charged said 887 individuals and entities in 359 actions involving retail investor fraud. Nearly $9.7 billion has been alleged lost by more than 1.2 million investors in those cases.

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