Running an Organized Investment Club Meeting
One of the most common problems that investment clubs face is club meetings that are endless. If a club has no plan of attack when it comes to its monthly meetings, the meetings tend to wander. When that happens, members lose interest and stop taking the business at hand seriously.
Many clubs start out successfully because there is a person who has the drive to see the club succeed and runs the club. At some point, the driving force in forming the club needs to step aside and allow others to participate in the running of the club. Unfortunately, when this happens there may not be another person with the organization skills necessary to keep the club from losing focus. At this point, it is even more imperative that the club set an agenda for each meeting. It is usually a good idea to work out the basic meeting agenda when the club is initially formed. That way, by the time the club undergoes a transition of leadership, the agenda is ingrained in the club's operations.
- Roll Call and Call to Order.
- Approval of Prior Minutes. (Hint: This is not the time to debate any decisions made at the last meeting).
- Treasurer's Report. Collect the monthly contribution and distribute the club valuation statement.
- Economic Report. A brief description of what is going on in the economy, given by one of the members.
- Old Business. (Unresolved items).
- New Business. Both new business and old business usually deal with club operation issues.
- Stock Committee Reports. A report on the industry and companies being studied.
- Portfolio Update. News and changes to companies the club owns or that are on the club watch list.
- Buy/Sell Discussions. (Hint: Look at whether you are going to sell anything first, then you will know how much money you have available for buying).
- Assign Industry & Economic Report. Determine who will be responsible for presentations at the next meeting.
- Education. This is the most important part of any investment club meeting, where all can learn more about investing.
- Set next month's meeting.
Your club might consider having a parliamentarian in addition to all the other officers that a usual club has. The task of a parliamentarian is to assist the partner who is running the meeting to ensure that the meeting and decision making follow Robert's Rules of Order.
- Besides being educational, the club is a business. You may have fun, but you should consider it as seriously as you would a business.
- You can save a great deal of time if everyone is prepared. Each member should have a loose-leaf binder containing all the important documents. For any presentations, copies of the documents should be made for each member.
One final thought: not everyone will always agree. It may make sense to sometimes vote by secret ballot. This reduces the risk of bad feelings and also of calling in favors or pressuring someone to change their vote.
If you follow these guidelines, your club meetings will soon be running smoothly and profitably!