As investors recover from the economic meltdown of 2007 through 2009, they are anxious to find attractive investment returns. Unfortunately, most are unaware of the army of scam artists, reckless advisers and inept bunglers who will promise those returns but deliver only financial devastation. Budget crises at the regulatory agencies and sheer demographics have created a perfect storm that threatens to make us forget Bernard Madoff. But credit unions can shelter their members with an active approach to education and commitment to member protection.

Teach members about the scope of the challenge. The securities industry and professional investment criminals have been anticipating this time in history for decades. Beginning in May 2011 and continuing for 19 years thereafter, 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day. Shortly thereafter they will retire and move their 401(k) balances to self-directed accounts. Financial advisers and scam artists will battle for those assets like NBA centers. Especially given the uncertainty surrounding Social Security, credit union members must start now to protect their personal savings.

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