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My investment club is looking to add more members.  We currently have 10 members.  We can have a maximum of 15.  If you are in the San Diego area and are interested in joining my investment club, or would like to know more about investment clubs before making a decision, let me know.  Our meetings usually take place in the Greater Mira Mesa area.  You would need to be able to physically attend the meeting, (no teleconferencing allowed), which is why membership would be limited to people in San Diego County.  Starting donation is $560 and the monthly donation after that is $100.  $500 of the initial donation buys you shares in the clubs holdings, as does all of the subsequent $100 monthly contributions.  We only take long positions in stocks, (though we could take long positions in mutual funds, ETFs or bonds if we wanted to, though we have never done so).   We do not short.  We do not buy on margin.  We do not daytrade.  All of our trade decisions are made at the meetings, except for on occasional extraordinary circumstance that I think has happened once in our 5+ years of existence.  Therefore, our shortest holding period is one month, though we would rarely sell a stock in less than a year unless something major happens, (corporate accounting scandal, accepted buyout offer, investigation by the SEC or the Justice Department, etc..)  Our goal is to hold each stock we purchase for 5+ years.  We usually meet the second Thursday of each month.  

If you are interested, you can contact me by email and I will arrange to meet with you to discuss the club.   We can then discuss the club, how it is run, and I can get a feel for if I think you would fit into my club, and you could get a feel of my personality to see if you could get along with me.   After that, you would be free to attend a meeting to see how our meetings are run and to see if you think our club would be a good fit for you.  You would also be able to meet all of the members to get a feel for them and their personalities.  After that, you can make your decision.  If you still want to join the club after all that, you can petition to join the club at the next meeting you attend.  We would then have a secret vote on whether or not we would let you in.  The vote needs to be unanimous for your membership to be approved.

If you have any other questions, let me know.  If you want to know more about investment clubs and what they are, I have a fairly long blog post on investment clubs that I would invite you to read over to see what you think.  Take care and have a nice day.

Craig 

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Tell you club you have a "hot tip":

SKF, SRS and GLD are my five year picks. UNTIL the FED raises rates to double digits then buy foreclosures for 10 cents on the dollar.

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Unfortunately I live in Ohio otherwise I'd be interested. 

The rough market this year cause some of your members to cash out? you guys had a very impressive year last year if I remember correctly, you would think that wouldm keep people . :-)

just out of curiousity what was the emergency decision about?  An emergencey sell perhaps? 

Best of luck finding good people Craig! 

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Abit,

I passed along those ideas to one of our members that was presenting at this past meeting.  He decided he didn't want to present them, and I prefer to invest in individual stocks, so we have never really thought about them.  Thanks for the suggestions though.  Maybe someone will present them in the future.

 

Tasty,

Our most recent member losses were do to 1) one moved about 150 miles away due to his job, so that made commuting difficult and he decided to resign from the club; 2) one had a new baby and new responsibilities at work, both of which took up most of his time, so he said that he wasn't able to devote time to the club, so he resigned; 3)  one went on the night shift, so couldn't attend meetings anymore, so he had to resign.  We lost one a couple years ago when we had a bad year and underperformed the market.  She decided that she could do better on her own, (since our earnings were flat that year), so she quit.  After she left, we had two VERY good years, so bad timing on her part.  Also, she travelled a lot so found making meetings difficult, so that was another problem.

Our emergency discussion, as I remember, centered around a financial scandal and SEC investigation of one of our buy decisions.  We discussed through email what impact we thought that would have on our company and what long-term changes that would make to our forcast for the company.  We ended up not buying that company after all.  The big discussion came about because the news hit the day after our meeting, so we hadn't purchased the stock yet, (or we probably would have just held it till the next meeting), and we wanted to decide whether we should just cancel the sale, (which we did).  

Thanks for your good wishes.

Craig 

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Hey Craig~

Thanks for leaving a nice comment about my blog.  I'm flattered you took the time.  I did response to your comment on my blog.  I wish you plenty of success on here.

There is plenty of professionals on here.  But that doesn't scare me at all.  I feel pretty good with my choices.  We shall see what the market brings us in the next few months.

Thanks for the attention~  Dana   Stillwater, Oklahoma

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Craig,     I know I took a hard tumble on my first day on here.  But I'm not giving up on my picks.  I'm not a quitter in life.  So I'm going to "dig in" for the LONG RUN and pray it all works out.. I know we are dealing with "hard times" right now.  But if everyone would just take a good look at themselves in the mirror and make some sound changes in their lives, we might all recover from this successfully. So I might make all of you laugh on here at me, but that doesn't stop me in believing in something so strong, that I will not turn my back on them for a quick fix.  Ada is two hours straight south of Stillwater on Highway 177.  My father retired from the Air Force and moved back to his hometown from Rohnert Park, California.  He was stationed twice at Hamilton Air Force Base in Marin County, California as a Fighter Pilot.  I graduated from Novato High School in 1976.  Good year indeed. I spent more time down at concert halls such as "Winterland" than I did at home. I appreciate the info you give my on the stock market and I will take notes on your experiences with it. If I fall again tomorrow, I will just brush myself off and try again... xo 

Thanks Always ~  Dana  

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Bah, I posted in your blog but it did not seem to take.  Did you receive an email from me?

 

 

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Killim1,

Got your email.  Sent you a reply.   Let me know if you do not recieve it.

Craig 

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Craig,

 

     No love brother.  I didn't receive your email.

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Craig,

 

     Check your email.  :-)

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Craig~  Thanks for stopping by to write again with your thoughts of wisdom. I'm honored.  What a nice rating to have.. I'm impressed.  I have ED on my watchlist.  I could look to see if OG&E is not a private stock. I agree with you totally that utilities are very important  to us.  I can't see using candles and blankets 24/7. I guess I could hook up my computer to my hamster while he is on his exercise wheel. He might be able to power it for the night. The day time I'm out of luck while he sleeps.  I will look into it... xo Write again~  Dana
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Hey, I like the idea of your club, is there one or do you know of any in the NY City area?

 I think it's great that you sorta create your own Fund, and that everyone has an input and that decisions are made by the group as a whole.

 Thanks in advanced!

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BoringIsNormal,

 

     If you follow the link below it should get you started in the right direction.  It will lead you to seminars being held within your area based on zip code.  I joined NAIC based on attending one of their teaching seminars in my area.  I am sure Craig will chime in any second now…..

 

http://www.betterinvesting.org/Public/Our+Members/Chapters.htm

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Craig,  SD huh?  I'm in Encinitas.  The thing is, I'm actually looking to start a corp. to manage cash for others...so I gots no capital to spare.  I'll drop you a line though in case things change.  How many people are in your group?  I'd love to see what a meeting is all about. 

Cheers
Josh

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Boring,

Follow the link that Killim1 gave you and you can find local chapters that might be looking for new members. 

You can also form your own club with a group of friends.  (That is what I did.)  I recommend 5 - 8 friends to start with, as it make it easier to get everyone together and make decisions.  You can always add more people later.  It would be nice if at least one of you are fairly knowledgeable about investing, but it is not necessary.  (You always got the CAPS group suggestions to fall back on as you learn how to research, what things to look for, people to bounce ideas off of, etc..)  You would probably also want to have a maximum number of members, (like 15), so that it doesn't get too big.  If it is too large, it is too hard to get everyone together to have a meeting, finding a place big enough to hold your meetings, etc..  If you get a group of friends that might be interested, let me know and I can send you a copy of my club's charter to look over.  It will show you the foundation of my club and could be a good starting point for your new club to come up with your own charter to form the foundation of how you would run things.  Listing out responsibilities and stuff assures that nobody would have a valid gripe in the future about not knowing what they were getting into, didn't think things would operate that way, etc..  Cuts down on the number of potential disagreements in the future.  

The NAIC is a good site for investment club ideas, software to run your club, (stock research software, accounting software, tax forms software, etc.), etc..   Their website is the one that Killim1 gave you the link for.  If you have any questions, let me know.  I'm almost always glad to help.  (If you piss me off, then I stop being helpful, but it is pretty hard to piss me off.)

Hope you form/join a club.  I think you will find it interesting.  For more on investment clubs, read my Sept. 25th blog post "In Praise of Investment Clubs".  I think you will find it very informative.  I would also recommend it to anyone that is curious about investment clubs.  I put a lot of time and effort into organizing and typing it all up, so I think it is well worth your read and would answer a lot of your questions regarding investment clubs.   

Thanks for all the responses and have a nice day.

Craig 

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Craig,

 I just have a few questions concerning the structure of your investment club.  I am not in a club, but I do invest pooled funds from multiple parties, so I come across some of the same types of issues.

1)  How do you handle deposits/withdrawals.  Do you pretend as if the account has been entirely liquidated, distribute the appropriate cash shares to each party, add net contributions to those totals, and then figure new percentages?

2)  How do you handle taxes?

3)  I think you mentioned that you do not invest in options, but I would like your take on handling options or other possibly low-volume securities per my first question.  If you were to determine the liquidation value of a portfolio, what do you think would be the fairest way to value options that may not trade daily?  i.e. an option might have a (Last, Bid, Ask) of (3.50, 3.30, 4.10) or (6.00, 3.30, 3.90).

 

Thanks,

Nick 

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Nick,

1a)  For deposits, we make checks out to the club or to the club Treasurer.  (Usually in the name of the club.)  My club has its own checking account, so the funds are first deposited into that account.  (If the check is made out in the Treasurer's name, the Treasurer will deposit the check into their personal account and then write one out to the club to deposit into the club checking account.)  We have accounting software that we use to keep track of all the deposits and the percentages of the club's assets that each member owns.  (Our holdings are configured as a mutual fund, so you buy shares in the club's holdings with your monthly contributions.  As the value of the holdings increases, the value of the shares increases.  That means that each month's contributions will buy you fewer shares when the value is going up and more shares when the value is going down.  The initial share price was $10 a share, now they are worth more than $25 a share.)  Once the money is deposited into the club's checking account, the Treasurer writes a check from that account and mails it to our brokerage.  (We use FolioFN, an online brokerage, so we need to mail it in.  If we used a bricks-and-morter brokerage,  we could just take it to a local branch and give it to them in person.  Our money would be in our account faster that way, as it wouldn't need to go through the mail.)  Once the moneys are in the brokerage account, the Treasurer will buy the stocks we voted on at the last meeting.  The accounting software will calculate the new share amounts that each member holds and the new shares purchased with the new money.  (There is no maximum amount each member can contribute, so sometimes one member will buy more shares on any given month than other members do.  The accounting software keeps track of all of that.  We got our accounting software from the NAIC, if you would want to look into you getting a copy.)

1b)  For full withdrawals, we will calculate the value of the member's shares at the meeting at which we are notified they are withdrawing, (or if it is between meetings, at the next meeting we hold).  That value is then frozen at that time.  We will then give the person their money, minus a withdrawal fee to cover taxes incurred, if any, brokerage fees, etc..  (Usually, we will first sell any losers that we have, and then sell our winners, so so far, the taxes have not really been a concern.  We have a flat monthly fee for something like 500 trades monthly, so broker commissions also have not been an issue.  That just leaves the withdrawal fee as specified in the charter.)  We can either sell stocks to pay them or we can transfer title to an equivalent value of shares into an account they have and they could then either hold the shares or sell them themselves.  (So far, we have always sold shares and paid them.)  Once we sell the shares, a check will be sent from the brokerage to the Treasurer, made out in the name of the club.  The money would be deposited into the club's checking account, and then the Treasurer would then write a check from that account in the name of the withdrawing member and mail it to them.

As stated before in other blogs, my club is a registered general partnership with the State of California and has its own Federal Taxpayer ID number, so the club is operated as a partnership/corporation, with all funds being handled by the Treasurer and the money flows into and out of the club account, all of which is tracked by the Treasurer using our accounting software.   (You could visualize it as club member -> club account -> brokerage account -> club account -> club member as the flow chart for the addition or withdrawal of money.)

2)  We have software that prints out a K-1 form for each member.  Copies of the members' K-1 forms are given to each member and copies are sent to the IRS.  The K-1 form will list all data that a K-1 form lists, with all the appropriate boxes filled, (long/short-term capital gains, foreign taxes paid, etc.).  The members then use their K-1's to fill out thier taxes just like you would for any other entity giving you a K-1 form, (general partnerships, master partherships, limited partnerships, etc.).  Our tax software that prints the K-1's is also from the NAIC.

3a)  All of our holdings are tracked according to market value.  I will have to guess regarding options, as we have never invested in any, but this is how I think we would handle it.  Any option you have has a resale value in the market up until the time the option expires.  Say that originally, when purchased, your option had a (Last, Bid, Ask) of (6.00, 3.30, 3.90).  Three months later, as it gets closer to its expiration date, the option has a market price of (Last, Bid, Ask) of (3.50, 3.30, 4.10).  Since we calculate values as of close of market at the meeting in which the resignation is tendered, the value of that option would then be calculated as the last price that option was valued at on that date, (which as I understand it would be $3.50 for 100 shares, or $350).  Since the option is held by all members in common, only part of that value is realized by the withdrawing member, based on the number of shares they own in the club, and the percentage of ownership that those shares entail.  For example, say the present market value of all the securities in the club's holdings, (including the $350 value of the options, as of last market close), was $10,000 and the withdrawing member owned 10% of the shares of the club.  The withdrawing member would then have an account value of $1,000.  The member would then be paid $1,000 less commissions and fees.  The club would have the option of transferring the options contract to the withdrawing member as partial payment of his account with an attached value as of last market close, (which the withdrawing member could then sell or hold to maturity), with the balance to be paid either by transferring additional shares or by selling some of the club's holdings to raise the cash necessary to pay off the withdrawing member.   According to set precident of my club, we would sell the contract and/or other securities to come up with the cash to pay the withdrawing member and then write the member a check. 

3b)  If the item in question is an infrequently traded stock or other security, then we would still use the value of market close as of that club meeting.  For lightly traded securities, it is possible that that value was due to a trade several days ago, but if that is the listed market price of the security as stated by our broker, then that would be the value that we use. 

Regarding the purchase of the lightly-traded security, it would also go the same way.  The pooled contributions are used to buy "stuff", which could be stocks, bonds, gold coins, whatever we want to buy.  FolioFN lets us buy dollar amounts of securities, (for instance, our buy order would be "Buy $1,000 of stock symbol XXXX" and that order would be converted into the appropriate number of whole or fractional shares to make up that $1,000.  That number of shares would then be entered into our accounting software, (which can poll the internet for current market prices of stocks), and then values would be updated when requested by the Treasure by telling the software to go to the internet and find the current market prices for our holdings.  This is done before each meeting so and the values are reported at each meeting and a spreadsheet of our current holdings and their values, as well as the current amount of shares in the club held in the name of each member and the value of those shares, are given to us in spreadsheet form so that we all know the total value of the club's holdings and the total value of our individual holdings in the club.

One note should be mentioned.  According to our charter, we have 45 days from the meeting at which the withdrawal annoucement is made to pay off the member.  (Remember, if the member announces between meetings that they want to withdraw, the announcement isn't effective until our next monthly meeting.)  Once the accounting is done for that meeting, seting the closing prices as of market close that day, then the ammount the withdrawing member gets paid will not change.  Thus, if our stocks go up between the time that the member withdraws and they get paid, they will not get any more money.  In the above example, at the meeting that the member announces their withdrawal, the value of the club's holdings was $10k total and the value of the withdrawing member's shares was $1k.  We would sell $1k worth of stocks to pay off the withdrawing member.  Since the brokerage, (being online), would have to mail us a check, (which could take a week), and then we would have to deposit the check into the club checking account and then mail a check to the withdrawing member, (which could take another week), it might be two weeks or more before we could pay the withdrawing member.  (We could wait the full 45 days if we wanted to, and still not violate the terms of the charter, but we don't do so.  We get the money to the withdrawing member with all reasonable haste.)  If during that 14 - 45 day interim the value of the clubs remaining holdings increased from $9k to 10k, (which would have driven the original value of the account from $10k to $11.1k and effectively the withdrawing member's $1k to $1.1k), the withdrawing member still only gets their $1k that their shares were valued on that meeting date.  Conversely, if the market drops the next day, the withdrawing member will still get the same $1k that their account was valued at at the close of the market the previous day, so they are protected from losses just as they forfeit any gains.  

Out of curiosity, if you are investing pooled amounts of money without the structure of an investment club, how do you avoid taxes currently, not to mention falling foul of SEC regulations regarding mutual funds, (since according to SEC rules, if the members don't attend the meetings, (and are known as "silent members" or "silent partners" in SEC parlance), then the SEC considers the club to be acting like a mutual fund and can file charges against the club for violating filing rules and other regulations regarding the operation of a mutual fund)?  

If you want to explain this in an email to me instead of on my block, that would be fine with me.  Of course, you could also tell me it is none of my business, but since I am answering your questions, I figure it is only fair that you answer mine.  

One last thing.  Most of these issues are outlined in our club charter on how they will be addressed.  Therefore, all club members know how we will address these issues before they join the club, (as they will be given a copy of the charter to read before they join the club and then have to sign the charter acknowledging that they agree to it, (whether or not they bothered to read the charter), before they can join the club).  Other clubs might handle things differently.  (For instance, I have read that not all clubs set up a club checking account.  Not all clubs file the paperwork to be registered as a general partnership.  Etc..  When I set up the club, I set it up the way that was recommended in the materials I read regarding investment clubs.  I wrote the charter based on about 10 different club charters I downloaded from the internet and took what I liked from them, didn't keep things I didn't like, and added a few other things in there that I though should be there.  It was then put up for a vote of the people forming the club, they made suggested changes, I made the changes and then we adopted the charter.  We have also amended the charter to either change things we wanted to change or to incorporate other things that we felt should be stated in the charter but were not included in the original charter.  Therefore, I just wanted to point out that the way my club does things may not be the way most investment clubs do things.  Our practices and proceedures may not be the norm for investment clubs.  We do what we do because that is the way we decided to do it.  It works for us, we are happy with it and we have all agreed to it.  Other clubs may do things differently.  You asked me how my club did things and I told you.  I am not saying that these are the only way to do things or the best way that things should be done.  I am just stating that this is the way we do things, they work for us and we are happy with them.  If in the future we decide we want to change how we do things, we can amend the charter to incorporate our new proceedures. 

I think I answered everything.  Let me know if you have any further questions.

Craig 

 

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Thanks for your detailed response Craig.  It certainly answered all my questions and then some. 

Essentially what I do is make investment decisions for some close friends of mine.  I thought about structuring it as a club but it just seemed too much of a hassle at the time.  Each party has its own trading account, but I track the investments as a single combined portfolio.  Among the reasons for this are the fact that each party does not have enough funds to fully diversify without being hurt by excessive trading costs, and the fact that since I am making the decisions, I would rather see each involved party recieve the same returns.  I was unaware of any SEC regulations regarding such a situation.  As of right now I handle taxes by having each party pay the taxes according to their trading account and then we make any internal transfers necessary to allocate the total taxes in the fairest way.  I guess if the SEC wanted to come after me they would have to prove that I was indeed contolling all of the trading accounts. 

I do not have any fancy software, but I track deposits and withdrawals in the same manner.  My tax situation is much trickier, especially since I have to try and fairly distribute taxes to people in different tax brackets (though I have developed a statistically unbiased method).  I will look into the 1-K, and see if it makes me want to form a club after all.  I was just curious about the options because I run into situations where say the last trade price is $2 but the (Bid, Ask) may be more like ($4, $5) or ($0.30, $0.70).  Due to a major move, the option's last trading price is clearly not indicative of its true value (sort of like Mortgage Backed Securities I guess).  I have not decided how to deal with this situation yet as it only matters when a deposit/withdrawal is made while the portfolio holds such options.

 Just changed your name I see.  You work for the Fool?

 Thanks again, Nick
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I used to work for the Fool as a Community Analyst Team Member, (helping follow certain stocks and putting my input in on the member-only boards for that stock).  I started around last September and my name changed at that time.  (Guess you don't pay much attention to me if you didn't notice the change before today.  Not good enough for you I guess.  Where is the love?  )  In January, they decided to give my job to someone else, so I no longer work for the Fool.  Some parts of CAPS have refflected that change and my username has reverted back to my original Stockspreadsheet username but other sections of CAPS have not reflected that change.  (For instance, if you look on the Top Ten list of Most Recommended Bloggers, you will see me listed as Stockspreadsheet, which is also the name I see when I log in and it says "Welcome, Stockspreadsheet".)  I figure that it will perculate through the system eventually that I no longer work for them, (due to their choice), and haven't bothered bringing to their attention the discrepancy between some parts of CAPS and other parts.  All the blog post replies I have submitted on all the different blog posts that I have responded to list me as "Stockspreadsheet", so that is important to me, as then I am not misrepresenting myself in all the blog replies.  If they haven't changed it on my home page, I don't worry about it as much, (maybe I should?), since in that instance my performance is what people look at more instead of my comments, and my current performance is nothing to write home about, so I don't think it gives me any undue influence if my homepage says TMFSpreadsheet instead of Stockspreadsheet.  (This poor current performance is probably why you haven't paid much attention to me in the past and so didn't notice the name changed last year.)  Most of the time I don't even notice which it says, unless I am looking at a blog post reply that I submitted.

You are welcome regarding the responses.  I have been told many times in my life that I am very verbose.  At  my former work, when writing reports, I was told to tone it back some.  In the rest of my life, I don't bother.   I figure I will say what I want and they can read it or not.  I have been told many times that at times I can go into excruciating detail when answering a question, (often giving far more information than requested), but that is the way I am and am not going to change.  I would rather answer a question to the best of my ability than only give what I consider a partial answer and deprive the person asking the question of any data that I feel is relevant.  I figure they can always sort through my answer and take away what they think is important and disregard the rest.

I personally don't feel that you structuring what you are doing in an investment club format would be that much of a hassle, but it would put you on a slippery slope that you would have to pay attention to.  If you were structured as a club, but the members never attended meetings, then there is a legal basis for the SEC to consider you as acting as a mutual fund and they can have more legal recourse to come after you.  If you do it on-the-fly as you are, then there is less structure, so less legal recourse that they would have to quibble with.  If you don't mind doing it your way, then that works for you and that is fine.  If you set up a club with your friends, then maybe you could share the work and so it would be less work for you plus they could learn more on the way, since they would be more involved in the decision making and could understand more why the decisions are made.  I really like my club, and enjoy it a great deal, (even though I consider myself the most knowledgeable member of the club, whether true or not, and feel that I teach a lot more than I learn most of the time), so I always think that people should form clubs and participate in them as I think they are a great way to get friends together and a great way to learn about investing.

To run the K-1 tax software I believe you have to own the accounting software.  I don't think the combined cost of both of them is too much, (I think the total cost would be about $300, but I haven't checked the prices on the NAIC website so I could be wrong), and it would save you a lot of hassles trying to figure out all the tax stuff, what to allocate to whom and whatever, so it might be worth you looking into.   As they say, time is money.  Our Treasurers used to figure out all the tax stuff by hand, which they found very onerous and was a major reason none of our Treasurers wanted to hold the office for more than a year or two, but with the new tax software, it takes less than an hour to print out all the forms for all 10 members of my club, so you might want to consider that fact in regards to how much time it takes you now to do it all and what your time is worth to you.

If each party has their own trading account, then the taxes for each party should be based solely on the returns of that party.  Otherwise, you would run afoul of IRS regulations.  (For instance, if both you and your minor child had trading accounts, and you had large gains in your account, you could not allocate those gains to the account of your minor child for tax purposes.  You would need to pay the taxes on any gains in your account at your own tax rate, and pay any gains in the child's account at thier tax rate).  For the way it sounds like you are doing things, I think you should at least look into getting a Federal Taxpayer ID Number from the IRS, (one form and about a $50 filing fee), and open an account at a brokerage using that Taxpayer ID Number and then do all of the trading through that account, allocating out all gains and taxes from that account depending on the value of each persons contributions.  That would clear your legality through the IRS, but could run you afoul of the SEC.  I think right now, you are possibly violating IRS laws, from what I understand what you are doing, but I could be wrong and since I am not a lawyer, it could be grossly mistaken in this assumption.  It is something you might want to look into though.  I would hate to see you get hurt for doing a good deed for your friends.

Sorry I couldn't give you a better response regarding options.  As I have stated, I have never used them, so don't know much about them, (other than that I am not interesting in trading them).  There are a lot of other people on this site that do trade options though, (I believe DarkFlame is one, as well as Camistocks, TDRH, TheGarcipian, GS751, FourthAxis and others), so you might want to run your questions by them to see if they can corroborate my thinking or if they disagree and then can set you straight on the true way to value them. 

Craig 

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Haha, verbose would be an understatement.  I am guessing you were one of those kids in school who always had to ask if it was okay to go over the recommended page limit on essay assignments.  In all seriousness though, I agree with you that completeness is preferable (people can skip over what they do not want to read). 

I do not really use CAPS for the game anymore (I was top 20 back in the day) ... just not enough time.  I mostly use it for reading blogs and as a tool for running background checks on stocks that I might purchase.  Thus the TMF name caught me by surprise.

I will look into the federal taxpayer ID # when I get a chance.  Orginally I did all the trading in my account... I just recently had the other accounts opened to come closer to complying with IRS rules.  I originally wanted to structure the whole thing as a club, but I quickly realized that it was not in my best interest.  The others knew very little about investments and did not have the motivation to learn.  They would have been the type of investors who would buy stocks based solely on CNBC pitches and personal product biases.  Nearly every new investor I see starts out down this path, including myself at one time.  I try to steer them towards better sources of information as best I can.

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Nick,

"Haha, verbose would be an understatement.  I am guessing you were one of those kids in school who always had to ask if it was okay to go over the recommended page limit on essay assignments."  I do believe I have been insulted.  I know I think I should feel insulted.  See if I answer any more questions for you anymore!!  (jk )  The insult wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't guilty as charged.  (My book report in English class on "A Separate Peace" was over 10 pages long and that is after I decided to cut it short.  The teacher was not pleased, (though I did get an 'A' on the report), and told the class, (staring at me the entire time), that in the future, book reports should not be more than 5 pages long.  (I think she made some comment to me in private that my book report should not be longer than the book, but I could be misremembering this fact.  I know someone in the class told me that.)  Anyway, I would seriously recommend the Taxpayer ID #/Separate account route.  It's too bad you couldn't get your friends interested in forming a club and learning from you.  Eventually, maybe they could have taught you a thing or two.  Maybe you should find another group of friends that you can form a club with.  They would make your research easier.

Anyway, I'll cut this short so I don't get insulted again regarding my verbosity.  Good luck with your investing.  May all your picks be winners.

Craig 

 

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