Karen Levingston Franklin, the founder of World Youth Foundation, is a student of education and also a mentor, life coach, and advocate for family businesses, adults, and children. She believes a person does not have to limit themselves to being only an employee. That same person equally has the ability to forge opportunities and plot their economic mobility.
To clarify, economic mobility is defined as the ability of an individual, family, or group to improve their economic status that is usually measured in the change of income and social status. In this article, Karen shares how both her family and friends improved their economic mobility through the establishment of family investment clubs.
Family investment clubs are a group of individuals who pool funds together in order to make investments that is mutually beneficial to everyone. Karen’s family investment club started over 10 years ago when a cousin learned about this strategy and asked one family member a simple question: “Would you be interested in an opportunity?” At the time, not all family members jumped at the opportunity. Some member was uneducated on the strategy and others simply didn’t have the tangible funds to contribute.
Whether a family member decided to forgo the initial invitation due to the fear of the unknown or simply didn’t have any spare funds, Karen shared there is still a position for every family member to mutually benefit. “You create your own rules. You can choose to bring in the people who are unable to contribute a tangible dollar.” Karen’s family investment fund was one that was innovatively customized to allow family members to join at any time with or without financial contributions. Today, there are nearly 20 family members in Karen’s club who are equally benefiting from this group strategy.
Many individuals further believe investments are solely limited to stocks, funds, or bonds; however, this is not true. Karen’s family investment club included investments intangible products, foreign currencies, gold, commodities, and more. As the value of the investments grew, each family member benefited mutually thereby increasing everyone’s economic mobility. So, how do the family members know what to invest in and whether it was the right investment? Karen shared her club’s first investment in the Iraqi currency, the Dinar. “You have to ask why and perform research.” At the time, the word was the Dinar was being revalued. This information was examined to ensure credibility. Each club member performed research, joined conference calls, and evaluated information from different sources. The same steps were also performed with every subsequent investment made. As the investments were made, the family members can then easily track the investments’ performance online providing each member full transparency and access to gains.
family member to mutually benefit. “You create your own rules. You can choose to bring in the people who are unable to contribute a tangible dollar.” Karen’s family investment fund was one that was innovatively customized to allow family members to join at any time with or without financial contributions. Today, there are nearly 20 family members in Karen’s club who are equally benefiting from this group strategy. When it comes to successful investing, there are two things that must happen: Be in the room and apply the knowledge. Karen shared a key to her success included taking the risks associated with the gained information because, without risks, there are no opportunities to be become bold, to scale, to transform, or to see something new that is normally not visible. “Don’t be afraid. Go to places that you have never been and participate. Follow your heart.”