Playing to Win Members’ Investment Balances

Changing demographics and heated competition are rewriting the rules of investment services program success. Is your program up to par?


It looks like a frenzy. As the baby boomer leading edge progresses into retirement, financial services firms are hustling to snag newly mobile retirement account balances. Boston’s Financial Research Corp. estimates that investors will reallocate $2 trillion from accumulation-oriented vehicles into capital preservation and income-oriented investments over the next ten years—often by changing the investment provider.

Marquee firms vying for greater market share are driving costs lower and adding new products and services to serve this next round of baby boomer investment needs. Fidelity Investments has deployed next-generation technology that stealthily snared more customers than Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch. The Vanguard Group, whose mutual model and emphasis on self-reliance has much in common with credit union philosophy, has doubled its staff of financial planners. Major firms have rolled out vastly more sophisticated portfolio and planning advice—much of it for free.

In this realm of hungry Goliaths, there is opportunity for nimble and skillful Davids. The majority of investors seek advice, and even do-it-yourselfers are looking for help in reworking their financial strategies to enter retirement. Credit unions’ relationship orientation and trusted role in many members’ lives can provide an entrée to an expanded relationship as the member enters retirement. Research shows that members who invest through the credit union’s brokerage program have higher deposit and loan balances than members who do not.

But to succeed in this rapidly transforming segment of financial services, credit union investment programs need to perform at the highest level. Management can set performance expectations and drive results by establishing benchmarks for the investment service program. These benchmarks should evaluate the program as both a standalone business line and as a contributor to overall credit union performance.

To learn how to achieve optimal results from your credit union’s investment program, please join us for a webinar entitled Performance, Productivity and Profitability Metrics for Investment Services Programs.