Three years ago, friends from university had relatively stable jobs. They were looking to save some money. Money they could use to make some pooled investments. It was an easy decision to make. But there was one problem. What sort of account would they need? There were several proposals, among them a fixed deposit account. A joint account? A company account? None of these accounts presented what they were looking for. Then there was a decision to make on which bank presented the best incentive to save.
For a month, they wanted to save but they were not sure where. Eventually, they heard of what was called the “Dfcu investment club account.” From the start, information was scanty – it was a product not well marketed to suit potential customers.
The members secured information. The members desire to save had them create some sort of management committee – A chairman, secretary, and treasurer. The leadership helps in the decision making process the like recommending the type of account to the club.
Considering that contributions from members were “not huge” – at least, Shs50,000 a month -, the investment club account had fewer charges. Importantly, it had better restrictions in terms of making withdrawals. Before any investment is made – sometimes, you don’t even know where to put the money – one needs to make a saving. So the decision was taken to take the “Dfcu investment club account.”
One of the requirements for the opening up an account is the existence of a constitution and signed minutes on the decision taken. These eight friends had a constitution. When dealing with matters of money, you need some protections, like a constitution. This provides a mode of operation and also formalizes the saving. It also sets the ground rules from members. Dfcu also helps in this process by providing several templates of “Club Constitutions.” The bank is very much involved in the process since it needs your money.
A club is not a company. The rules differ. They are less tedious for a club. The friends couldn’t do the running around to the registrar of companies. So the bank does it. It is part of the incentives provided under the investment club arrangement by Dfcu. So the eight friends had to pick a name for the club. A name that would be reserved by the registrar. A few days later, Dfcu called the chairman of the club. “Your club registration is now complete. The registrar accepted your second name option.”
Once that process was complete, documents had to be signed and eventually an account was opened.
It has been three years since they opened the account. Their savings have since grown. They have also expanded their monthly savings from Shs50,000 to Shs100,000. From the start, the bank had made some commitments. Among them was to have talks with investment gurus and also a line of credit in case they wanted to invest. The eight friends have not had any talk with a guru – it is a request they have not made. Additionally, their interest was to first grow their savings before taking on any debt. They seem to ready to invest and this year, they came up with several proposals on where to invest their money. The confidence to invest – and many options they have – are encouraged by the fact that they have been able to save. Notably, they could have been further encouraged to invest in some banking products like a fixing their money, if the option was presented by the bank.
I am now the treasurer of this club.