Navy Federal creates an online investment tool

Federal Navy Branch in Douglasville, Ga.

The Navy Federal Credit Union is offering its members monthly subscriptions to a new service that allows them to manage their investments online.

Digital Investor was launched on Tuesday by Navy Federal Investment Services (NFIS) and its investment technology partner DriveWealth LLC of Jersey City, NJ NFIS is a subsidiary of both Navy Federal Financial Group and the Vienna-based parent credit union , Virginia, the largest in the country. with $153.4 billion in assets as of December 31.

It features two platforms meant to match the investment style of users: one allows for more automatic investing and another offers more convenient options.

The Automated Investing platform helps people interested in technology choose their portfolio investments by matching predefined portfolios to their goals and risk tolerance. This tool automatically rebalances every quarter.

The “Self-Directed Investing” platform allows investors to choose their own securities and directly manage their portfolio. They can choose from over 1,000 pre-selected investment options or choose from a pre-defined set.

Mathu K. Mathu, vice president of operations at Navy Federal Financial Group, said Navy Federal is not trying to encourage speculative investing, but rather trying to educate members about how the stock market works and possible returns. long-term investments.

“The overall goal is to teach members that investing is something they can and should do as soon as possible,” he said. “We tried to create this tool to be as simple and easy to use as possible.”

Mathu K. Mathu Mathu K. Mathu

Navy Federal charges members a flat rate of $3.50 per month. Active duty members, who make up 871,928 of the Federal Navy’s 11.1 million members, can use it for $2.50 a month.

Fees may not be much of a driver of revenue growth, but Mathu said they’re enough to be “economically viable for us to provide that for the long term.”

Offering an easy-to-use investment tool allows Navy Federal to extend the trust it has developed with its members in traditional services, from verification to auto loans, into the realm of investment services, Mathu said. .

“We want to build relationships with members as soon as possible,” he said. “We offered it at a price that we thought would be very attractive to many of our members. And the pricing model is very simple and easy.

“We’re seeing more people who want to take a more active role in their retirement savings,” Mathu said. “Digital Investor is well suited for these kinds of people, especially young and very digitally savvy people.”

Despite this tool, Mathu said people should first sit down with an investment adviser before they start investing on their own.

The program begins by asking members to complete a questionnaire that helps them determine the level of risk they are comfortable with. “We will invest within the parameters of that risk profile,” he said.

Navy Federal offers investment and advisory services digitally, over the phone, and on-site at more than 150 Navy Federal branches.

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