Q: I am interested in finding an investment club in my city, but I’m not having success locating one. Can you provide me with some ideas on how to locate a club to join?
–A. May, Cleveland
A: If you want to find an established investment club to join (see “Finding the Right Fit,” Moneywise, this issue), you’ll have to be committed to networking and relying on word-of-mouth referrals from friends, colleagues, church members, and other professionals. The Securities and Exchange Commission prohibits organizations such as the National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC), the national investment club trade group, from helping people find clubs to join. At best, you can contact the chapter of the NAIC (www.better-investing.com) in your region to learn if any clubs already exist.
You may also consider contacting The Coalition of Black Investors (COBI) to see if it has a chapter in your area (www.cobinvest.com). Some of their members may know of clubs that need members. And don’t limit your networking to the real world. Used properly, chat rooms, message boards, and e-mail over the Internet may also be effective in finding out about investment clubs in your area. But be careful when revealing your personal information over the Internet and take precautions if you decide to meet someone you’ve met online in person.