A dozen heads can often be better than one, which is why we love and recommend investment clubs. In investment clubs, folks pool their money, their brains, and their time, and make investments together.
There are gobs of clubs across America, with more than 20,000 alone registered with the National Association of Investors Corp. (NAIC). Clubs typically have 10 to 20 members and meet once a month. Members each contribute about $20 to $75 monthly to a pooled account, research stocks individually or in small groups, present their findings to the group, and vote on investments.
Clubs are ideal for beginning investors, since members can learn together in a comfortable group setting. But even savvy investors can benefit from clubs; they leverage valuable resources such as time. Imagine that you're an experienced investor and you have only enough time to research one company per month -- 12 per year. If you band together with a dozen similar investors and each of you researches and presents a dozen companies per year, you'll each learn about 144 companies, not just 12. That's leverage!
Many folks who go about investing on their own fall prey to un-Foolish ways. They may act on an acquaintance's hot stock tip or try to time the market, jumping in and out of stocks on hunches. Investment club members, meanwhile, are more circumspect. They're usually bound by their partnership agreement to study a stock carefully before voting on whether to invest in it. Clubs tend to own such solid, leading enterprises as ExxonMobil