If you’re a high school student interested in finance, the thought of starting an investment club may have crossed your mind. As someone who led his high school’s investment club for 2 years, I wanted to write this article to help any student who wants to start an investment club at their own high school. Here’s a 4-step guide to starting an investment club in high school!
1. Decide the Focus of your Investment Club
There’s a lot you can teach in the field of investing. You can choose to have your club focus on one part of the investing world. Or, you may want your club to focus on more than one part, covering more topics. Many investment clubs focus on just one area, and many focus on more. My club in high school currently focuses on more than one area as it teaches everything from investing in securities to saving for college to illegal schemes on Wall Street.
Once you decide the focus of your club, you now can decide what topics you want to teach. Clubs in the StreetFins™ Club Network have access to a whole range of educational resources created by the other clubs in our network that they can use to help with teaching club members.
After deciding the focus, the next step is forming the club’s leadership and finding interested students!
2. Form Leadership and Find Interested Students
No club will stick around if it can’t find students to join it. Finding interested students can be tough if the club will be new. This may result in adjusting some of the focus of the club in order to get more students interested. However, the core focus of helping members learn investing should not change.
Before attempting to get interested students, you first should build out your core leadership team. This means finding out who will be the president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and all other investment club leadership roles. Maybe these roles will be taken up by your friends who you talk to about investing. Maybe they will be filled by students who you don’t know. After you form the leadership team, have that entire team help with finding interested students. Many schools require a minimum amount of students to express interest in the proposed investment club before they approve it.
The best way to find interested students is to just talk to them face-to-face and ask them if they’d be interested. This way, you know exactly who is interested in joining your investment club. The next best way is to advertise on social media platforms. For example, you could put up an Instagram story asking those interested in joining an investment club to reach out. Another great way is asking teachers to give you some time during class to pitch your investment club to your classmates. This way, you can reach a group of students at one time and see what they all think fairly quickly. When you have all your core leadership team doing this, the work of finding interested students becomes much faster.
3. Find an Advisor and Officially Form the Club with Your School’s Approval
These both are fairly simple yet crucial steps. Without an advisor, you won’t be able to have a place to host your club. Without your school’s official approval, your investment club won’t exist.
The best advisors for an investment would be math, business, and social studies teachers. My high school investment club’s advisor was the AP Macroeconomics teacher. You should ask the teachers who teach subjects that relate to investing. Perhaps you’ll find multiple teachers who show interest in advising! Your advisor will help you pick the date and time the club meets as well.
After finding an advisor, you should follow your school’s guidelines for getting a club approved.
My high school only approved new clubs in the first few weeks of the first and second semesters. Anyone interested in starting a club would create a club constitution, find an advisor to host club meetings, and find at least 15 interested students. Afterwards, the student who wants to make the club would pitch the club to the school’s Associated Student Body. The ASB would then decide whether or not to approve the club.
Most schools have a similar process to my high school’s club approval process. The important thing is to know the deadlines for submitting various forms and documents involved in your club’s approval process.
4. Have Your First Meeting and Plan out the Future
After the school approves your club, you’re ready to have meetings. The first meeting is the most crucial because it’s where your investment club makes its first impression to the interested students. Planning out this meeting will be important. At this first meeting, you want to show that the investment club is worth coming to in the future. It would be a good idea to present what the club is about, introduce the leadership team, show the future plans for the clubs, and have some fun way to end the meeting. Perhaps you could end with a small competition or game that tests how much members know already and reward the winner with some small prize.
When planning the future of your club, you should think about exactly what you want to teach during each meeting and how you want to teach it. Is a slideshow a good idea? Should it be a discussion? Could a guest speaker come for this topic? What about a quiz? My high school’s investment club incorporated those four ways and more to teach our members.
After your first meeting and all future meetings, the most important thing you can do is gather feedback from all your club members. This feedback will help you understand how to improve your club.
Joining The StreetFins™ Club Network
If you’re interested in starting an investment club in high school, you may want to consider having it join the StreetFins™ Club Network. The StreetFins™ Club Network is a network of high school investment clubs that all are connected for the sole purpose of helping students learn about finance and investing. The StreetFins™ Club Network provides all kinds of resources that clubs can use to teach their students.
The network also holds events such as guest speakers and competitions, both of which are popular ways to teach students about investing and finance. However, the best part of the StreetFins™ Club Network is that it allows students who are part of the network’s member clubs the opportunity to join the main StreetFins content team to create educational content for anyone to learn from. If this sounds interesting to you, you can learn more about joining the StreetFins network here and you can sign your club up here.
If you have any questions about starting an investment club in high school or about the StreetFins™ Club Network, email firstname.lastname@example.org.