INVESTORS clubs can be a great way for the not-so-wealthy to pool their finances and knowledge for their mutual advantage.
Investors pool money,
minds in quest for
Iolani students and other
Hawaii residents will be able
to learn about financial clubs
at an upcoming seminar
By Russ Lynch
And, for 35 high school students from Iolani School, the Nov. 17-18 Investors Fair in Waikiki will be an opportunity to get a close-up look at the process.
"They'll learn how to start stock-market investing clubs in school. We'll introduce them to stock investing. We'll teach them how to use our tools," such as the stock selection guide, said Ryan Muraoka, a spokesman for the fair's organizers, the local chapter of the National Association of Investors Corp.
The fair is aimed at a broad general public audience which can be educated about investors clubs while they learn more about investing. Dozens of Hawaii groups have formed clubs, often adopting cute names such as Friends Investing for Resource Enhancement (FIRE), started, of course, by Honolulu firefighters, or Wiki Kala, for "fast money" in Hawaiian, started in 1961 by women at the University of Hawaii.
Typically, each member invests a set sum at the start, perhaps $1,000 or $3,000. The money is then pooled and the members gather once a month to decide how to invest it. Muraoka, who helped start Millionaires in Training in 1994, said the clubs generally stick to a long-term policy -- invest regularly, regardless of ups and downs in the market, reinvest all dividends and stay with companies that show growth.
That is some of what the school students will learn -- how "the miracle of compounding" can enable them to build for a solid financial future by investing wisely and reinvesting their gains, Muraoka said.
At the same time, the fair will give them a chance to meet investor relations executives from leading companies. The youngsters already have a start in the field. They are taking a money management course at Iolani with instructor Dick Rankin.
NAIC plans to follow up with a seminar for high school students early next year and provide classroom materials and follow-up support through the year, Muraoka said. Alexander & Baldwin Inc. is providing valuable support for the youth project, he said, paying for supplies and providing people to help.
John Kelley, A&B's investor relations chief, said his company is helping to sponsor the students because of the company's ongoing belief in economic education.
"We think that the NAIC represents such a positive force," Kelley said.
"They're very well grounded. Their approach is very logical and orderly, so it teaches students more than a perception of the stock market as a place to make a quick buck," he said.
"And it also fosters the idea of working together with other people so you can make economic decisions jointly."
Next year the organizers want to expand to more schools.
Meanwhile, the youth project is only a part of the Investors Fair, which will offer seminars and a lot of other information to the general public at what NAIC sees as bargain prices -- $60 for both days, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, or $50 per person just for the all-day Nov. 18 activities.
For example, there are free seminars both days, repeating the same information so attendees can pick at least three different topics each day. "These would normally cost $15 to $20 each by themselves," Muraoka said.
Topics range from the fundamentals of how stocks are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, to how to analyze technology and high-growth companies, from how to use the Stock Selection Guide to using Value Line, economic indicators and a wide range of other information sources to make informed stock picks.
One of the seminar sessions is about questions to ask investor relations officers about their companies. The attendees won't have to wait long to put that knowledge to work.
Investor relations managers from four well-known public companies will be on hand to take questions: Intel Corp., the world's largest computer chip maker; Newell Rubbermaid Inc., a multinational manufacturer of thousands of household brands; Plantronics Inc., a world leader in lightweight communications headsets; and Robert Mondavi Corp., a publicly held California wine business.
Mondavi brings an added benefit to the show, a wine-tasting at the end of the day on Nov. 18.
The fair also will feature exhibits from local and national companies, with representatives on hand to answer questions.
And the admission price also includes a Saturday luncheon featuring investment club expert Gary Ball.
Ball, who has been a personal investor in the stock market for 25 years, has been affiliated with the NAIC and a typical member club, the Golden Years Investment Club in Seattle, since 1984.
His topic sums up what investment clubs are all about, long-term investing for fun and profit. His speech is titled "When to Sell . . . Besides Never."
What: Investors Fair
of investing clubs
Where: Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
When: Friday, Nov. 17, noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Who: Aloha Hawaii Chapter, National Association of Investors Corp.
Cost: $60 per person for both days, $50 Saturday only. Included: Meals and refeshments; Choice of seminars, both days; Talks by investor relations executives from Intel Corp., Newell Rubbermaid Inc., Plantronics Inc. and Robert Mondavi Corp. (Mondavi Wines); Exhibits by local and national companies; Saturday luncheon keynote speaker: Gary Ball, NAIC; Mondavi wine tasting
Contact: NAIC at 521-1799, Patt at 545-3977 or Ryan at 523-0033
On the Web: www.better-investing.org/regions/hawaii