'We are definitely a family': Local investment club celebrates 35 years

Oct. 7—The YWCA Investment Club celebrated 35 years since its establishment Thursday, and members said the group's successes come from more than just smart financial decisions.

The club was founded after the director of the YWCA at the time, Eileen Fifer, wanted women to learn about stocks and bonds, insurance policies and other important aspects of handling finances. It was awarded a certificate from the Better Investing Chapter of Kansas City on Thursday.

Deann Young has been with the club since its inception and said Fifer was determined to help in that regard.

"She got left with small children after her husband died unexpectedly and she didn't know anything about the family's finances," Young said. "So she didn't want women to go through what she went through through the years."

Companies that the club has invested in include Berkshire Hathaway, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Home Depot and Lowes.

Young said that one of the things that has made the club successful is that its members focus on learning together as a group.

"We always learn something. We're in it for the learning that we do. I mean, we have been very successful with our investments," Young said.

One thing that makes the group successful is looking at every part of the company they plan to invest in.

"It may look good on the surface, but then when you start digging into it and you look at the management and the turnover in management and how that's gone," Young said. "We look at more than just the numbers."

Nancy Black is a longtime member of the club and said that the women involved are all like family.

"We've gone through several births, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren," Black said. "We share our happy times, times that aren't so happy. We are definitely a family."

Connie Rehm presented the club with an award on Thursday evening for its longevity. She is also a member of the investment club out of Savannah, Missouri, the "Stock it to me" club.

Both clubs are very unique because they are exclusively clubs of just women. Rehm said that these exclusive women's clubs are successful because they stick to the guidelines they set for themselves.

"We're used to going shopping and looking for bargains and essentially that's what we're doing in our stock purchasing," Rehm said. "We're looking for stocks that are going to double in five years. That means they're making at least 15% a year. We would pretty much stick with that principle."

Young said that she hopes the group continues to have fun and have continued success in the future.

"I think that is what we will probably look forward to continuing. We're going to continue learning," Young said.

Riley Funk can be reached at riley.funk@newspressnow.com.