Four years ago, I joined Young Investment Forum a group devoted to promoting financial decision awareness among youths by building investment and saving structures for all its members. The Group started in 2004, at Michigan University and later moved to online platforms where members from different states and Universities could join and participate in online meetings and deliberations. Currently, the group has more than 3,000 active members. Since I joined, the group has undergone tremendous changes regarding members’ coverage, communications, and investment decisions. Following the availability of safe e banking, the group no longer holds its annual meetings to make decisions but rather use e-based communication portfolio. The primary cause of the changes is the necessity to move towards safer investment decisions as well as the need to incorporate members who cannot afford physical meetings. Correspondingly, before I joined the group was exclusively for college students, however, the growing number of college Alumnus who has been members led to the decision to include both students and non-students.
Considering that the group is a partial profit making organization and also engages in youth development programs, the groups has a board of directors who handle the day to day logistics including the partnerships and outsourcing for human capital and consultants to handle managerial tasks. The group has seven internal departments in Michigan University that control the operations of other members in other institutions. The structure of sharing the rules originates from the group’s internal policies and constitution developed by the founders. Currently, the board of directors seeks to match the member’s expertise with the available duties in the attempts to cut on operational costs.
Young Investors Forum is the most flexible groups regarding norms and rules. Mostly, groups that embrace social and cultural diversity do not have basic norms but rather engage in objectivity and result-driven mentalities. Considering that, the members have saved deposits with the group; the directors make mandatory obligation whose failure attracts financial consequences to the member. In the attempts to expand and increase the bargaining power of investment, the group introduced similar decentralized groups that operate under the main umbrella and can hold face-to-face meetings depending on the proximity (Shapcott, Carron, Burke, Bradshaw and Estabrooks, 2006). However, even in this group, individuals do not relate at personal levels due to the strict policies that govern the interactions. Therefore, the subjective feelings, opinions, and subscription of the members have minimal effects on the agenda and progress of the group.
The members of the group are not cohesive due to the use of online as the primary communication model. The primary uniqueness, which is also the primary source of the group success, is the commitment of the members and the secrecy of the group that guarantees the safety of the group proceedings. As outlined by Fleisher (2014), following the increase in cyber-crime, exposure of investment groups increases the vulnerability leading to members drop out. Additionally, the group is unique to the freedoms offered to the members. Any member of the group has the right to quit the group and receive his savings and interests within the first month after delivering the resignation letter. Moreover, the group posts the financial proceedings on a weekly basis thus increases the members’ trust on the management.
The managerial model of the group is largely decentralized. Due to the different origins of the members and the different financial obligations, the central management delegates the duties to trusted members to recruit, and educate members on local platform and later deliver the proceedings for analysis. The decentralized approach increases the group efficacy although it increases the management logistics. The advantages of a speculation club are myriad.
- Fleisher, C. (2014, June 28). Banking apps threaten to become money for cyber crooks. Pittsburgh Tribune Review (PA).
- Shapcott, K. M., Carron, A. V., Burke, S. M., Bradshaw, M. H., & Estabrooks, P. A. (2006). Member Diversity and Cohesion and Performance in Walking Groups. Small Group Research, 37(6), 701-720.