Investment clubs are a great way to learn how to invest in stock or real estate. They are becoming increasingly popular. It is wise, however, to follow some simple guidelines before joining an investment club to be sure that you know what you’re getting into.

If you enjoy socializing or face-to-face interactions, then joining a local investment club may be the best option for you. Members typically meet once a month. Local investment clubs often invite investing professionals or experts to speak at meetings. These talks are excellent opportunity for members to learn from others’ investing experience and to ask questions. You can easily find local investment clubs through word of mouth. Ask colleagues, neighbors, friends and relatives for recommendation. Chances are they may belong to a local club or know of someone who is a member of a local club. Online investment clubs offer convenience. They usually have virtual chat rooms or forums where people can post questions and answers. If you don’t have as much time to mingle with others or attend local meetings, then you may be suited to joining an online investment club.

Passive investors: provide equity capital to active investors, an Investment Company, or Institutional Fund once a current Pro Forma is provided that satisfies the passive investor about the properties potential for return on investment (The Pro Forma will match the investment criteria the passive investor has decided is their investment strategy.) The combination of both passive and active roles . . . is the third way to invest in commercial investment property and can take the legal form of a Joint Venture Partnership (JVP). This entity may provide deal analysis, contracting, acquisition, asset and physical property management and funding for the commercial property by an active investor, or entity with a single passive investor or group of investors.

We often hear in the news about large commercial investment acquisitions by investor celebrities. Active investors like Donald Trump, invest in deals that can require billions of dollars. “The Donald” began at some point to FOCUS on an investment strategy he believed in, the point is . . . he began with FOCUS. You can acquire commercial investment property just like Donald Trump but to do that successfully, you need specific knowledge and techniques used by investment professionals to help you negotiate, secure, acquire, manage, and eventually sell the property according to your particular investment strategy. Specialized knowledge can reduce your risk of making very expensive mistakes investing in commercial real estate for the first time, whether you are passive, active or a combination of the two.

Get rich quick schemes are abound, especially on the Internet. If something looks too good to be true it probably is. Most legitimate clubs don’t charge joining fees. Before joining an online investment club, check out its reviews by other members. Determine how long the club has been running and its investment performance.

With a relatively small fund of less than ten million there may only be a dozen or so acquisitions, all of which you will know about and can monitor, and you should have the confidence that the find manager will be very effective in dealing with this portfolio. Whether you are an experienced investor or not, funds can be a simple and flexible tool with which to invest in property. With particular reference to emerging markets, some companies run funds that invest in emerging markets in general, or individual funds that just cover a specific country. If this is the case, then depending upon which country or fund prospectus you prefer, you can invest varying amounts of money with several funds, to spread your investment further.

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