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Strength in Numbers

5 Jun 2018 8:55 AM | Andrew Shulman (Administrator)

**For a more robust explanation of how to form an investment club, please reach out to ‘Invest Local Colorado.’  In the coming months we will be releasing a how-to guide on how to form your own investment club -- stay tuned!

My name is Andrew and I am a twenty-six year old law student who, in two years times, will leave law school with around two-hundred thousand dollars in debt and a small nest egg I have been building since I was a kid.  My ability to mitigate this debt, and my general lack of spending power, make it nearly impossible to climb out of such a hole until I am in my thirties!  A friend of mine just finished paying off his law school loans at the age of forty. 

So, I decided I wanted my money to get to work for me.  However, the first investment opportunity that interested me is a private placement that has a minimum investment of $1,200.     For a lot of us, whether its school loans, or supporting a family, or putting food on the table, twelve-hundred dollars is out of the question. 

But, lucky for us, there’s another way we can put our money to work when we don’t have too much to spare; we can form an investment club.  An investment club is a group of people legally bound together for the purpose of investing in securities.  Depending on the state you are in and the rules of the club, five-dollars may be all that is needed to join an investment club.  Investment clubs allow people with little money to pool that money so that they have enough to meet the minimum investment level set by the business, or state, seeking funding.  I may not have twelve-hundred dollars to spare, but I can certainly forego a few burritos and coffees and wrestle up fifty or a hundred dollars.  If I can get some friends to match my money by becoming a member of an investment club, we can make the investment as a group.

            There are considerations people must take into account before either entering into, or forming, an investment club -- this includes considering applicable laws, what type of taxes will apply, how the club should be managed, how frequently meetings are held, etc.  But this lengthy list is not a reason to not get involved in investing.  You just need to do a little homework.  The information is out there, the experts are out there, and soon enough you will have access to our ‘how-to form an investment club’ blueprint.

            Investment clubs were all there was before the recent passage of new laws that authorized  investment-based crowdfunding.  Investment clubs, like investment-based crowdfunding, empowers the ordinary person (technically called a ‘non-accredited’ investor)  and encourages the cooperation and codependence between club members.  While returns on investment in real dollars may not be high, the benefit of learning how to invest and how to team up with like-minded people from the community are immense. 

Do not let the number in your bank account make you think that you have no chance to become a part owner of a local business.  Sure, by yourself, it may beyond reach, but joining an investment club will give you a lot more options.  Empowerment goes beyond the dollar -- to the bonds we hold in common with our fellow citizens, and to the know-how of managing your limited pocket-money.

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