Investment clubs–a leading indicator?

"The number of investment clubs reached 60,000 before the bursting of the tech bubble. Now there are just about 5,500 still hanging on nationwide."

Atlanta's Patti Ghezzi was one of those investors who decided to pull the plug on her club. She had originally banded together with around 16 friends to form the "Bullmarket Broads" back in the late '90's. "It was so trendy back then," says the 42-year-old communications consultant. "I knew of some clubs that did nothing but make money for years. Nothing ever went down."

Fast forward 10 years, and the Bullmarket Broads had dwindled to six die-hards. Some members had moved, some had growing families and shrinking free time, and some were discouraged by the stock market's 'Lost Decade' and its multiple equity busts. "It got to be kind of comical," says Ghezzi."We'd buy a stock and it would go down, and then we'd sell and it would go up. We used to say, 'Let's get together for our monthly meeting and figure out how to lose more money.'" As a result, club members finally decided to call it a day in 2009. "In the late '90s, many of my friends were in investment clubs," says Ghezzi. "Now, no one I know is. We're in book clubs instead."



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