Join The Club

I’m interested in starting an investment club with a couple of friends and family members. How can we get started?
-G. Bowden Jr. New York City

For starters, be aware that an investment “club” isn’t as casual as it might sound. After all, your aim is to build wealth, and whenever you’re talking about money, it’s critical to have the rules and procedures established from Day 1. According to Better Investing, a nonprofit that provides investor education materials, most investment clubs are organized as general partnerships.

While there are several steps and considerations to make before starting a club, you shouldn’t be put off. To get a quick overview, I suggest visiting www.betterinvesting.org and downloading its brochure, How to Start an Investment Club.

Perhaps one of the most important steps is to have constructive conversations with all of the club’s potential members. How much is each person expected to contribute? If one member sees a stock drop 10% and wants the club to sell its shares, but you think the stock is primed for a comeback, are you ready for the potential conflict?

Setting up your club with the requisite rules and bylaws will help bypass some of those potential issues, but a club with a faction of “bet the house” risk takers versus “not with my money” conservatives is unlikely to be very successful or enjoyable to be a part of.

ATTENTION BARGAIN SHOPPERS

Fund Name (Ticker) Share Price Discount Total Return 2007
Advent Claymore Convertible Securities & Income (AVK) $22.90 -9.74% 6.02%
Eaton Vance Enhanced Equity Income II (EOS) 17.71 -5.90 9.53
Nuveen Equity Premium Opportunity (JSN) 16.31 -10.19 11.96

Data as of 1/09/08 source: ETFConnect.com

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