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Investment clubs offer many benefits with few drawbacks. The individual investor joins with a group of peers to invest in stocks and other securities. The clubs focus on education: each member learns from and teaches the others. The monthly meetings create a comfortable social setting to help the individual stay focused on investment goals. Members are usually required to contribute a minimum amount each month to the investment pool as well as commit time to do investment research. And the clubs' financial returns are often very successful. To get started, contact the National Association of Investors Corporation (www.better-investing.org), which offers guidance to new clubs, or visit www.bivio.com and register to connect with others.Sharon Rich, Financial Planner, WOMONEY, Belmont, MA
If you're part of an investment club, you and the other members jointly choose the investments the club makes and decide on the amount each of you will contribute to the club's account.
Among the reasons that clubs are popular are that they allow investors to commit only modest amounts, share in a diversified portfolio, and benefit from each other's research.
While clubs may establish themselves informally, many groups use the resources of BetterInvesting, an investor education membership organization.
Its website, www.betterinvesting.org, provides information on how to start an investment club and support services to existing clubs.