Last year I received an invitation to join an investment club. I jumped at the opportunity. Why was I so eager? This wasn’t just a group of people pooling investment dollars. It was a cooperative investment club and would focus on supporting co-ops in my community and region.
Linking my money and my values, now that sounded interesting.
The Cooperative Principal is a new nonprofit organization that provides know-how and ongoing education to help start and run a local investment club—all with the goal of supporting cooperatives, organizations owned and operated for the benefit of their members.
Even though investment clubs aren’t as wildly popular as they once were, they still offer a great way to build your investment acumen. They can also provide the opportunity to learn about businesses, in my case co-ops in my community, and meet like-minded people.
How does a co-op investment club work?
All 14 members invest $50 each month. We meet 6 times a year. Not only do we learn about local co-ops and how they are impacting our community, we also make it a fun experience. We typically hold our meetings at a restaurant or microbrewery.
At every meeting a member of our club presents an investment opportunity. The state I live in, Minnesota, leads the nation in business related co-ops, so we have many options to discuss. Then we vote on where to put our pooled funds. We have invested in five cooperatives so far including food, maple syrup and an investment co-op that buys and develops real estate in our community.
A few important takeaways
- Systematic investing, whether through an investment club or on your own, is important for people of all ages.
- Supporting local and regional co-ops through periodic investments is a great way to link money and your values.
- Investment clubs can give you a forum to pool money with like-minded people and make a meaningful impact on your community and region.
The first step to starting an investment club is to find a group of people who share your interests and values. Discuss starting your own club based around businesses/investment ideas that link to what matters to you.
CO-OP ECONOMY WOW! The cooperative economy worldwide totals nearly $3 trillion annually. — United Nations