Ok so here is the overview of what was discussed and the outcome of it all. This is a long post, so beware!
1) Roles of club officers
We looked again at the roles of each Club officer. We decided they should be defined as follows:
- Strategy for successful operation and development of the club
- Make and coordinate discussion of proposals to members
- Mediate and influence forum discussions
- Manage new members, incl. "proofs of ID"
- Ensure members' ongoing compliance with rules + constitution
- Execute investment purchases and sales
- Process member subscriptions and withdrawals
- Monthly unit valuations and other regular reports
- Income/expenditure book keeping and investment club tax returns
- Manage bank and sharedealing accounts, incl fund transfers as required
- Assist chairperson as required
- Ensure club decisions are made according to club rules and agreed criteria
- Create forum discussions for above, and chase / prompt contributions
- Encourage participation (posts, research etc)
- Assist chairperson as required
With the leaving of David, the previous Secretary, we had a vacancy for the role. underdog put his name forward and kevinchess1 seconded his nomination. There were no other members expressing an interest in the role. I will now publish another thread
for underdog to confirm his willingness to undertake the role and we can hold a quick poll to confirm his appointment.
If there are any thoughts about the roles of the officers above do let me know. We didn't think any of it was contentious.
2) Investment strategy
We have up to this point restricted to and only invested in FTSE100 shares. The current state of world shares means we are more exposed to things that happen outside the UK. As such:
I propose to widen the scope of potential investment targets to within the FTSE250.
Rich and I also discussed the current portfolio we have, expanding it and potentially increasing holdings if appropriate. Rich will provide some feedback about this based on the old rpoints club that used to exist. Please discuss here
3) Reporting facilities
I have been concerned that the reports available to members are confusing. We have quite a few separate ones when having a single consolidated report covering all the information we need to know as club members would be more effective. Having discussed the technical situation it seems very doable to re-work the information into a single member's CIC report, covering all the information we need. We will also continue with weekly (which is now automated) reporting, build history of changes and eventually begin to graph this for visual representation. It will be a work in progress, as it has been behind the scenes to date, upgrading the technical solution to increase our information flow. This will mean underdog need not continue doing stats and can concentrate on new duties as secretary (should that be agreed). As such:
We propose to create a single consolidated member's report detailing all the information each member needs.
Please discuss here
4) Voting for purchases
I have seen a real need to improve our voting process to increase reaction time and make us a little more agile as a group. There are a number of things Rich and I discussed. Firstly - I'd like to propose changing the way members find out about new polls. If we want to be more agile we need to conclude voting more quickly - but a problem has been the delay in members knowing there is a poll to vote in. Therefore:
I propose all members will receive an email notification informing of the need to vote in a Club poll.
kevinchess1 has mentioned in the past he was really in favour of having a "none of the above" option when voting. In hindsight I think this is right and should be instated for all subsequent votes. In practice it should show how well the options that get proposed are received by members. I will not be putting this to the vote - just doing it here-forth.
We do still need to come up with a better working method for identifying potential investments and monitoring them. I'd really like to hear more from members about how they would like to see this happen. We don't have it right yet, so there is room for improvement - I'm sure many will agree. I think we need slightly more effort from members on this but life situations make time precious as we all know... What is the happy medium? Please discuss here
5) Additional fund and financing it
Some members have suggested in the past that they would effectively like to "top-up" their funds with their own money, which has not been derived from their imutual cashback earnings. Rich and I had a lengthy discussion about this. Conceptually for this not to contravene the ethos of the Club, there needs to be two requirements:
- that a primary fund exists of the cashback earned by members and explicitly excludes any external monies
- that a secondary fund could potentially exist of non-cashback derived monies but must explicitly exclude any cashback earnings transferred directly from any member's imutual balance
These clauses are important for a number of reasons but would give the secondary fund breadth to explore more riskier investments. Therefore:
I propose we discuss the pros and cons of allowing external funding within the clauses set out and determine whether there is an appetite to pursue this idea further.
This should be discussed further by members here
So far we have only really undertaken a soft approach to promoting the Club. I've posted very infrequently in other imutual forums. We have not really explored external to imutual. We haven't pushed it in any way, mainly because we have still been in the fledgling stage. During the course of the next year I hope we'll begin to attract some new members, increase our investment ability and gradually become more regularly active. Clearly, with the state of the FTSE100 and so forth we haven't a great 'success' to shout about but we have not done badly by any means. Performing better than the FTSE100 average is good for such a young club and we have already learned some good lessons along the way. As such I'd like to think we can start a low-key bit of promotion, starting with the newsletter. Therefore:
I propose we have a short and sweet note about the Club in the next newsletter, to catch any imutual members eyes that might not be aware of our existence.
I'd welcome any thoughts about future promotional activities we can do to increase membership and, subsequently, our investment power. Discuss here
I am going to leave it there. I know that is quite a lot of things to consider all in one go, but as we are nearing the first anniversary of our initial 'real' investment it is definitely worth taking stock and seeing how we can improve our club.
I hope you have found these topics useful, informative and are ready to contribute your thoughts and ideas. Please remember all ideas are welcome - don't be afraid to say something no matter how minor you might think it is or contentious. For us to work well as a club we need members to be active and represent their beliefs. Conversely - don't let others responses to any such suggestions dishearten you! Everyone has views and just because someone posts their view does not mean everyone else supports it. Let's have a great discussion and come up with well thought through plans for our future