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Author: mac750 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 7258  
Subject: How to evaluate participation in a club Date: 10/8/2000 8:52 AM
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I would like to hear the opinions of club members on the following questions:

1) What constitutes participation and commitment in your club?
2) How do you fairly evaluate a club members participation and commitment?

Our club has outlined, within the partnership agreement addendum, what participation and commitment means and all new members are presented with expectations. It is fine to have it written on paper, get someone to sign, etc....basically going through the motions. But in reality, the officers of the club have found that it is just not being practiced at club meetings nor outside the club where members are expected to do their own work in between meetings.

Couple of examples:
1) Our club has an excellent web site where everyone can find some resource to learn about our current holdings, review updated SSGs, club performance, etc. It also includes all kinds of links and articles of interest. However, it is obvious that no one visits the site except for possible new members. At club meetings, it is mentioned that they "did not have time" to review the meeting info.
2) Out of 9 people, only 3 consistently review possible new stocks and have done so over the past year.
3) Members select a stock to follow that we hold and are asked to update members via e-mail and at club meetings. A simple task when you consider the effort it takes to go to Yahoo! Finance and request News (or one of the other links that is on the club web site).
4) Learning the SSG: We have an ongoing process of learning and interpreting the SSG info, but people do not show any sign of "interest".

I thought by building the web site and providing the tools it would encourage people to explore and learn (there are even links to resources discussing how to analyze a stock, beginning investor tools, etc.). The "Build it and they will come" theory.

Here is what I have summarized as participations and commitment:

Investment clubs are formed principally as a means to:
1) Participate in a team environment and ultimately profit from the
experience.
2) Pool resources (Money, knowledge and people)
3) Learn from each other's knowledge and experiences
4) Form a "legal business" -- a partnership -- to which each person
contributes their money, thus having direct ownership in a business. This
is done with the knowledge that each member has an impact on the business.
5) Have fun in a social setting on a topic we all share as a common bond
-- investing.

Participation means:
1) Contributing on a regular basis, both at club meetings and on an
individual basis, to club goals and activities. Attendance at meetings is
an important element.
2) Taking the initiative to do outside reading and research for the
benefit of your own knowledge, which in turn can be shared with the group.
This includes finding new investment opportunities and news/issues on
current stocks held.
3) Communicating with the group, via e-mail and in meetings, about
developments in the market that would benefit others.
4) Offering suggestions for topics to discuss at meetings and areas that
you would like to learn more about in investing.
5) Being prepared for meetings (doing your homework) and making a "best
effort attempt" to be a part of group discussions.
6) Being an informed voting member. On issues relating to stock
purchases/sales, amendments to club rules, etc., each member should
understand the reasons why they are voting "for" or "against" an issue.
7) Knowing the partnership agreement you signed.
8) Contributing to the "fun".


Are we expecting too much from members? Obviously participation will vary (for example, I am the treasurer and upadte the web site and thus do morethan my fair share, but I chose to take on the additional duties). My concern is that we, the officers, may be raising the bar too high for new investors. I struggle with this as well since I find the entire club experience my hobby. But I cannot expect hardcore investors like myself.

Sorry for the long post but as you can tell, I am passionate about getting this club to "gel".

Mike


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