Why Start An Investment Club?
An investment club is a great way to gain insight and experience into the world of finance. You will learn about investing money, playing the stock market, and pursuing careers in finance. You might also even gain some experience with trading, whether through simulations or, in rare cases, the investment of real money.
Starting your own investment club is a great idea if you have an interest in finance but no club at your school available to develop these interests. In an investment club, you can expect to learn more about making smart financial choices from like-minded peers, mentors, and guest speakers.
Furthermore, starting your own club reflects well on your college applications by showing your ability to take initiative and lead effectively.
How to Start a Club
Starting a new high school club isn’t always easy. Generally, you will have to follow your school’s prescribed path to find a faculty adviser, apply for club status, and outline a budget and operations plan.
You’ll also need to recruit club members. In the case of an investment club, you will probably find club members if you advertise your club heavily through math, econ, and other quantitative classes. You can also recruit members by pointing out the positives of careers in finance, namely that you can rise quickly up the pay scale after only four years of undergrad studies.
For more information about forming your own club in high school, read College Vine’s How To Start a Club in High School.
What To Do At Your First Investment Club Meetings
You might think that cutting through the red tape to actually form your investment club is the hardest part, but that’s only the beginning. Once the club is approved and operational, now you’re suddenly responsible for running it.
At your first meeting or two, the focus should be on introductions and team-building. Make sure that your club members are growing as a team and bonding together. Ensure that everyone knows everyone else’s names and a little about each other.
Once that’s happened, your focus can move on to electing or appointing club leadership. After you have a solid leadership team in place, you’ll no longer be the sole person responsible for planning every club meeting.
Club Activities – Build Common Knowledge
Most likely, your club will need to begin with some background information to ensure that all members of the club are fluent in certain content-specific vocabulary and are familiar with the most basic elements of investing.
Towards the beginning of the official club meetings, be sure to give a broad overview of the field of investment. Then, move on to the specific vocabulary and concepts that every member of the group needs to know in order to be able to participate. You should assume no common knowledge to start with if you want all members of the club to be on even footing.
The introductory concepts that you cover should at least include: what the stock market is, what a stock represents, equity, ways to trade, strategies, indicators, and reputable places to do research on stocks.
You should also consider watching some informational videos about investments and smart financial decision-making. The Bill Ackman video is straightforward and gets good reviews for approaching the topic of finances from a beginner’s perspective. At around an hour-long, it’s probably the right length to spend an entire meeting watching and discussing. Another good place to start is the shorter video from Warren Buffet.