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Embracing Digital amidst COVID-19: Keeping your investment club running

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives from how we do our work to how we enjoy our leisure time and has given prominence to virtual interactions.

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives from how we do our work to how we enjoy our leisure time and has given prominence to virtual interactions.

You either have to adapt to the new normal or remain in your bubble till reality sinks in.

In this article we share some of the take-outs from the dfcu Bank’s webinar engagement organized for its investment club members.  

With the lockdown and economic disruptions, some clubs are going through tough times. So how can investment clubs position themselves to weather the crisis and remain stronger? Also, if you are just thinking of starting an investment club; here is your lesson 101 on setting up systems.  

Investment clubs consist of more than two members who pool resources together to invest in certain business ideas with the hope of making profits for their members.  According to Martin Muhwezi, a Financial Management Consultant, a club should have clear systems that are documented, not only known by the leaders but should be accessible to all members. This is important for smooth leadership transition and continuity as they will have guidelines, rules and regulations to uphold.

He further stresses the importance of having clearly outlined roles and responsibilities for each member of the club. “These are all part & parcel of building systems in an Investment Club. With clear systems in place, you can then focus on automating the club systems,” he said.

During the Webinar, Martin breaks down the different club roles and responsibilities for each position. 

Each club needs a leader and for investment clubs, the Chairperson is the leader.  The Chairperson will call for club meetings and ensure that everyone performs their role responsibly. In the current state, the Chairperson should be willing to adjust and sensitize members to ensure that the club’s business continues going on. 

Next is the Treasurer who plays a very critical role in the club. As we all know, the main objective of an investment club is to mobilize savings and create investment opportunities for members. The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that the money being collected and saved is used well and not misappropriated. The Treasurer is in charge of all the money records in the club. “There are various accounting programs that are available for you in open source or you can have IT people develop specialized programs for your club. dfcu Bank has worked to simplify all this for its clients through the introduction of an App called the Investment Club App. The App simplifies all your investment functions on one platform,” Martin advises.

“The dfcu Bank Investment Club App gives you real-time information on your financial positions, loan management and centralizes management of information. You can just go to Google Play or Apple Store, download and install it on your phone. You will be then on boarded as a club,” Said Pamela Nakityo, Senior Manager Investment Clubs and SACCOs at dfcu Bank. 

The App was developed with the whole idea of giving Investment Club members a better experience, for them to be able to access their money and also be able to save without having to go to the bank.

Every Club needs a Secretary who will be in charge of all sensitive and important documents as well as taking minutes of club meetings. This cannot be reemphasized enough – all this information must be backed up; from the club’s constitution, code of conduct, investment policy, and member statements so that members can access them electronically.  

It is also important to form an investment committee that will make decisions on where the club will make investments with the pool of members’ savings. There are different sectors you can invest in from Transport, hospitality, health services, agriculture, tourism, trading in bonds, unit trust or investment funds. Automated investment software such as Zeno can help. 

The club should also consider a Personal Development Manager. He or she will be a resource that oversees that all members are continuously growing. 

Last but not least, set up a disruption committee. Resource persons on this committee, focus on creativity, innovation research to make sure the club is ready for the new normal in adapting so that the clubs don’t collapse because of the new changes. 

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