Investing: Member Guide

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Now that you’ve learned to cut expenses, save money, and budget, you’re ready to learn about investing. Investing can seem like a daunting topic-but we’ll cut it down to size.

Icebreaker
If your current investment style were an animal, what animal would it be? An ostrich, a cheetah, a turtle, a hare? Go around the group and explain how this animal illustrates your current investing style.
Things to Talk About
Investing is not some strange, complicated science that only big Wall Street brokers can understand. It’s something we have all done, on a scale large or small. We invest when we sign up for a 401(k), buy a savings bond for a birthday present, or save for college.Pick the question your Club finds most interesting. If there’s still time, pick another one — or make up your own!

  • What was the best investment you ever made? The worst?
  • What did your parents teach you about investing?
  • How have your life experiences influenced your investing style?
  • Have you ever taken a big risk when investing? How did it turn out?
AS USUAL.
Catch Yourself Doing Something Right
Share your success with your fellow Club members:

  • What Money Miracle (unexpected good fortune) did you have since last meeting?
  • What did you do since last meeting to become a Money Star (a money-savvy gal in charge of her finances)? How did you further your financial goals?
What Will You Do Today?
Choose one Small Step to do before next meeting, and pledge to the group to do it. To select that 15-minute exercise, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your money challenges before the next meeting?
  • What do you need to focus on?
  • What is the next step in your life — and what can you do before the next meeting to achieve it?

Don’t drive yourself crazy. Remember, you can do anything for 15 minutes! For example:

  • I will spend 15 minutes letting go of any negative thoughts about previous investments. I will relax and release the energy of worry and upset over past events that cannot be changed, and think about how I can act more positively in the future.

Or

  • I will spend 15 minutes reviewing the brokerage or IRA statements that have been piling up on my desk. I will call the company if I have any questions about what I see.

Or

  • I will spend 15 minutes focusing on my investing objectives. What do I want to achieve? What are my goals? I will brainstorm ideas to investigate later.

You get the picture. This is like Goldilocks. Don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to do too little. Do it just right.

More Cool Ideas for Small Steps.

Money Attraction Affirmations
Choose one affirmation to motivate you to achieve your goals, something like:

  • I am investing wisely.
  • I am knowledgeable and skillful with my investments.
  • I am financially wise.
  • I know how to handle my money well.
The Money Zone for Next Meeting
Cast your vote: Does your Money Club want to stay in this Money Zone, or do you want to move on to the next Money Zone?If your group decides to Stay in the Zone then, future Money Star, check out these fun articles so you can discuss them at your next meeting. Even if your group decides to move to the next Zone, you still can explore these on your own.Picking the Right Mutual Fund
Discussion questions:

  • Name one thing you can do to improve your investment program this year.
  • What changes can you make to your asset allocation to improve your investment performance?

No More Chicken Little 
Discussion questions:

  • What can you tell yourself to stay the course during hard times?
  • What do you think is the best thing to do when the market goes down?

Emotional Investing
Discussion questions:

  • Do you agree with the ideas in this article?
  • Do you see yourself as a risk-averse or aggressive investor?
Just For You
Before the next Money Club meeting, do the Just for You Exercise called Evaluating Your Risk Factor.Don’t skip a meeting if you don’t get this done. Half of life is showing up, Money Clubs included. You can tell the group you didn’t get it done, and they will encourage you (not bug you) to make a date to do it soon.Discussion questions for your club meeting:

  • What kind of investor are you?
  • What can you do today to improve your investment knowledge?