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In California, ‘Red Eyes’ Focus on Green
What Makes Our Club Click
When the Beardstown Ladies’ book was covered by the Contra Costa Times, the newspaper our four founding members worked for, they said, “If the Beardstown Ladies can do this, we can do it!” Club meetings were held at the end of their shift — 2 a.m. — hence, the name Red Eye Investment Club. The club has since grown from four to nine members.
Our club’s portfolio of 16 stocks is worth about $140,000. We buy and hold for the long term, looking for three to five years of growth estimates on Value Line. We usually look at BetterInvesting’s Top 100 for ideas, but we also invest in companies whose products we know. Our all-time favorite stock is PepsiCo (ticker: PEP), which has done very well for us since we first purchased it in 1996. It gave us Yum! through a spinoff in 1997. (No investment recommendations are intended for stock mentioned in this article.)
In our club, everyone has one vote and all partners are to be heard. Each partner follows one or two stocks and does a Stock Selection Guide on them yearly, with updates throughout the year as needed. We meet once a month except July and August, either at our local library or in one of our homes. Our best snack is always member Ernie Karrell’s cupcakes and brownies — Ghirardelli chocolate, too! We have also attended classes, other clubs’ meetings, webinars, chapter meetings and even baseball games together. One member also served on the San Francisco Chapter’s board.
Each December we hold an abbreviated meeting to invest, then have lunch together either at a partner’s home or restaurant. We do an ornament exchange and everyone brings a new toy to be donated to Oakland’s Children’s Hospital.
Being flexible has kept our club together all these years. Everyone takes a turn being a club officer. We respect everyone’s opinions and needs, and we all like each other.
We all hesitated about joining an investment club in the beginning. We didn’t think we knew enough to contribute, but we soon found out that just wasn’t true. Everyone in the club is so open to helping each other succeed that we all wish we had joined a club sooner.
After this profile was written, BetterInvesting received sad news that Red Eye member Rick Dullea passed away on Sept. 28. He was the last founding member still in the club. The club members say they’ll miss his guidance, knowledge and, most importantly, his friendship.
Angele McQuade is the author of two books, including Investment Clubs for Dummies. You can find her online at angelemcquade.com.