Magazine article Black Enterprise

Working It

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Working It

Article excerpt

Band together with fellow employees to accumulate wealth

The number of investment clubs has doubled in the past four years. In 1995, there were 16,000 clubs with 220,000 members in total compared to 36,000 clubs with 550,000 members in 1999, according to Jonathan Strong, manager of membership with the National Association of Investors Corp. (NAIC: www.better-investing.org; 877-275-6242). Strong notes member surveys show more work-related clubs being formed than family ones, as was the case in the past. This stands to reason since more women and younger people are entering the workforce and are looking for ways to grow their income.

Besides, forming a club at work is a lot easier in some ways. The biggest complaint among members is finding a convenient rime and place to meet each month. Well, you can catch up with the people at work--you see them all of the time.

"Those interested in starting clubs should let their employers know what they are up to and if it will be okay to meet on company property," advises Chris Wilson, editor and publisher of Ebonyinvestor.com. "Most companies will be advocates of employees learning about investing. After all, corporations are putting more of the burden of retirement planning on their employees' shoulders as pension plans are being phased out in favor of 401(k)s and cash balance accounts," adds Wilson, who is also the co-founder of the New Freedom Investment Club in Durham, North Carolina.

It is fine to mix staff members and managers as long as everyone gets along. But "try to keep the boss out of the club," advises Wilson.

Shortly after the break up of AT&T in 1982, the Alliance of Black Telecommunications Employees Inc. (ABTE) was formed as a national organization. In 1994, the New Jersey headquarters chapter voted to form an investment club as part of its economic development strategic thrust. …

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