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Working With a Full-Service Broker

Club Visits Enhance Education

The 18 members of Apple Investments of Brighton, Mich., built their $400,000-plus portfolio using their stockpicking skills and double-checking them with their full-service broker.

When the investment club formed in 1982, all the members were teachers who felt they needed more help than other clubs, says Susan Urban, chief financial officer of Apple Investments. So they chose a full-service broker for their club.
Chris Wolschleger of Edward Jones serves Apple. “We started out researching on our own and ran the findings past Chris,” Susan says. “Then we became more dependent on Chris. Now we’re back to researching mainly on our own.”
The club is more comfortable doing research now because of improvements in BetterInvesting stock study tools over the years. Apple Investments members are more tech-savvy now and have become self-sufficient researchers, Susan says.
Each year Chris reviews the portfolio at a club meeting. He also has provided investment education for their gatherings. In addition, Chris gives the club Edward Jones research reports. Apple Investments uses them in addition to information from Standard & Poor’s, Value Line and Manifest Investing. Although the club’s broker provides advice, Susan says, members don’t feel pressure to follow it.
Edward Jones covers 250 stocks. The brokerage’s analysts focus on U.S., Canadian and Western European companies with at least 10 years of operating history and a debt rating above investment grade. Companies covered typically have at least $1 billion in annual revenues.
Susan advises that clubs considering using a full-service broker should “find out what services they’re offering you. They should be willing to come to your club as requested. (And) check out your broker and make sure he’s available to you when needed.”

Apple Investments Holdings

Company Name Ticker
Anheuser-Busch     BUD
BP p.l.c.BP
Exxon MobilXOM
General ElectricGE
Johnson & JohnsonJNJ
JPMorgan ChaseJPM
Pfizer PFE
United Parcel ServiceUPS
Wal-Mart StoresWMT
Walt DisneyDIS

Club Celebrations

Women Investing Now, an Oakland, Calif.-based investment club, took a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, March 28-31 to celebrate its 25th anniversary. WIN’s 19 members (in photo) were joined by members of the New Beginnings Investment Club and other guests. The cruise was the club’s annual retreat, which is usually held in nearby resorts such as Calistoga and Bodega Bay, Calif.
Over the years, WIN members have fulfilled the club’s mission to share their knowledge and experiences by sponsoring community financial education seminars and volunteering with local schools participating in stock market simulation programs. WIN member Vivian Thomas has served as president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter for almost three years, and many of the club’s partners have volunteered at the chapter’s annual member education forum. Members have also mentored several other investment clubs.
WIN reports a lifetime compound annual growth rate of 10.6 percent. Its 13-stock portfolio currently includes such holdings as Best Buy, CVS Caremark, Cemex, Danaher, Kinetic Concepts and Neogen.

Colleen Mulder-Seward is a BetterInvesting member and freelance writer.

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