I’ve always been a bit of a finance nerd. I studied economics and read the Wall Street Journal in college. I had an internship with the Federal Reserve. I enjoyed learning about the stock market and theories on investing.
I also recognized the value of actually starting to invest early. I signed up for my employee 401(k) and funded it monthly from my paycheck. I invested savings in the stock market when I could, applying what I had learned.
I feel like I’ve done ok on my own. But investing can be stressful, particularly if you’re doing it solo. The most fun I’ve had investing was when I decided to stop going it alone and team up with others to form an investment club.
Essentially, an investment club involves pooling money with other individuals and collectively deciding whether to buy or sell a stock, mutual fund, or exchange traded fund (ETF). No one individual determines whether a trade takes place. Any club member can propose a trade, and then the club members discuss the proposal with the trade only going forward if at least a majority of members vote in favor of it. The process facilitates financial health and wellness – both in terms of money and stress – because it lowers the barriers to entry and you’re all in it together, learning along the way.
It’s been beneficial to have my own circle of trusted advisors to navigate the stock market with me. I now have an outlet to talk about money and investing with others. It’s also nice to have a sounding board on investment ideas. And it’s not all on one person if a trade doesn’t perform as expected. I never thought I’d use the words “investing” and “fun” in the same sentence, but being part of an investment club has changed my view of investing, and I’m glad I did it.