Guest Speakers Keep it Interesting
February 19, 2001 -
by Joe Pulizzi
Guest speakers can really
liven up your club atmosphere. I would recommend having a guest speaker come to
at least 2 meetings per year, if you meet monthly. I get a lot of questions
about the kinds of guest speakers to invite, so below is my list.
Do any of your members know a good accountant? Have your accountant come in and
talk to the club about the tax consequences of investing. Prepare some questions
before hand - things you have always wanted to know.
If you use an online broker, this may be more difficult. Have your broker come
in and give a speech about investing and investment clubs. Ask about what
qualifications are needed to be a broker. Ask about the pitfalls investors get
into, and how to avoid them. If your broker is an online, discount broker, you
will have to ask around - check family and friends to find a possibility. If you
have a retirement account, ask the brokerage who oversees that.
This may be the best guest to have. Bringing in members from other clubs is
an enlightening experience. Our club recently brought in two members from a more
experienced club. They explained to us how they pick their stocks, and how they
handle difficult situations. If you can find another club, offer to come in as a
guest speaker if they do the same for you. Trust me - it's worth it.
These guests do not have to be involved in investment clubs. Try to find a
person who is retired but has developed a nice retirement nest egg through
investing. Have him or her share their investing challenges and mistakes. You'll
find that most of these people will rejoice in the buy-and-hold mentality -
which should help your club's philosophy.
Is your club looking at particular industries. If so, try to bring in
someone from that industry. Our club was recently investigating the print media
industry, so we had someone come in from Penton Media to discuss where the
industry is going, and the differences between B2B and B2C print publishing.
This made our decision about whether or not to invest in the industry much
easier. If your club performs industry reports, guest speakers are the way to
Work the meeting around your
guest speaker. Our club prefers to have the speaker go first, so they can decide
whether to stay for the rest of the meeting. And please - have snacks and
refreshments available. That will make a great impression.
Joe Pulizzi is a freelance writer with over 100 published articles on investment clubs. Joe was editor of About.com's Investment Club site.