The national financial news has not been very good lately. Failed investment firms and declining values among traditional banking organizations has generated concern among consumers nationwide about the safety of their money. North Alabama Educators Credit Union has not seen a decline in stock value because we don't have stockholders. We don't issue stock and we are not part of the New York Stock Exchange. Our owners are our members who deposit their hard earned money into their accounts at the credit union. Our primary investment objective is safety over yield to protect the assets of the credit union's members. This is the reason why the credit union has not engaged in sub-prime lending, commercial lending, exotic adjustable rate loans, speculative land investments, or any other number of asset investments that have created the problems being realized by these other institutions. Our net worth has increased throughout the year and is expected to continue increasing as we move forward.
Credit unions largely began their popularity after the Great Depression because consumers were eager to deal with institutions that were more concerned with the consumer's best interest than those of the institution. Credit unions are financial cooperatives that are owned and directed by the very people using the credit union. It is this unique structure of credit unions that translates into a very safe haven for member deposits.