Grow Your Money With New Investors Club

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Learn about investing and grow your money by pooling it with a group. Those are the goals of a new investment club.

An organizational meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Mogollon Steak House (the old Black Bear Restaurant) in Strawberry.

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Karen Blake was one of the original members of the Strawberry Investment Club. The group disbanded in October because it was too expensive for new members to join. Now, a new investment group is organizing with more affordable membership.

Getting the new club on its feet are members of the Strawberry Investment Club, which disbanded recently.

"It had become too expensive for new members to join," said Karen Blake, one of the founding members of SIC, and the person spearheading the formation of the new club. "It cost somewhere around $2,000 for a new member to buy in."

The group formally disbanded in October and the 15 remaining members were cashed out, she said.

About half of the members of the SIC will be participating in the new group, Blake said. The new club will have a startup fee of $50 per person, with $25 per month due each month for the investment pool.

The SIC operated for about eight years before disbanding. It started with the members getting an education on the fundamentals of investing from Pete Sills, who was then a stockbroker with Morgan Stanley and another stockbroker.

"We were babes in the woods when we started," Blake said, and she said those joining the new group can be just as inexperienced as the SIC founders were.

Sills, who has since retired, is one of the SIC members that will be part of the new group, Blake said.

"We will not be using a broker this time," she said -- or at least that is the plan. The exact methods of operation will be decided by the whole membership as the new group is organized. Blake said the veteran investors will suggest making purchases and sales online.

"We feel we have enough experience to do that now," she said.

Among the lessons learned through SIC that contribute to the experience the veterans will bring to the new group:

  • Watch the trading and selling -- "That's where you can mess yourself up."
  • Learning to create a portfolio -- "Have a good balance of stocks.

"We were very conservative and the majority of our investments were with big companies."

  • No fear -- "We are working with fairly small amounts of money, so there really is no fear involved."

The investments SIC members made were first studied by its research committee, then the whole group would decide whether to go with the committee's recommended action.

"It was always majority rule," Blake said. "If you missed a meeting and didn't agree with the investment, you still had to go along with the decision."

The SIC met every month, but the new group will have to decide its own meeting schedule and length of meetings, as well as create bylaws and elect officers, she said.

People who already have stocks are invited to participate as well.

"We share lots of information and learn to deal with things like taxes. And the feedback from one another is good too," Blake said.

The new investment group will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Mogollon Steak House. For more information, call Blake at (928) 476-3658.

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