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There was a time when investment clubs were all the rage. Financially minded people -- amateurs and pros -- would gather over wine and snacks, book-club style, to research stocks and discuss which companies looked like the best investments.
The recession was the death knell for one such club, co-founded by Ann Gibbons, of Chicago, in 1996 along with a fellow certified public accountant she met while working at a Chicago accounting firm, then-Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young). She served as the Upside Downside Investment Club's treasurer and monthly hostess until 2008, when the 10-person group decided to separate over economic strains.
Many of the original members who stayed in the group the entire time broke even, Gibbons said, whereas those who left right before the market went south lost money.
"Up until that time, we had been growing, growing, growing," Gibbons, 68, said. "But in 2008, the stocks were really falling, and some people had their own businesses, and they weren't feeling very flush. People needed the money. It was a tough time, so it kind of took the fun out of (the club)."
Gibbons said the members, which included attorneys, architects and health care professionals, would meet once a month at her house, eat pizza, drink a glass of wine and present their latest research on companies such as Apple, Starbucks, T.J. Maxx and Netflix. Each member would contribute $100 per month, and each investment decision would be collaborative.