The Olive Tree
by Ralph Foss, Member of the Friends Advisory Board
In 1998, at the end of the Friends of Fogler Library board meeting, Elaine Albright asked if anyone was interested if forming an investment club. Four members of the board expressed an interest. They were Dianne Hoff, Polly Kaiser, Ralph Foss and Elaine Albright. In addition, board member John Webber agreed to advise the club on investing principles.
With that beginning, during the late spring, summer, and early fall of 1998, meetings were held among ourselves at Dianne's home to discuss what our hopes and desires were for an investment club. It quickly became apparent that we all had an interest in forming a club and becoming owners of stock. Additional members were recruited. Bobbi MacDonald, Betsey Brewster Case, and Kevin Foss soon joined our meetings. We have since added two other members, Mary Schultheis and Carol Everett. It was decided that we would turn to NAIC (National Association of Investment Clubs) for direction. From our membership in NAIC we got the basic draft of our membership agreement and a book to guide us in selecting stock. At these meetings time was set aside for John to tutor us on the workings of the stock market and the fundamentals of evaluating stock. Early in these formative stages we decided to try and purchase stocks that would enable us to double our money every 5 years. Finally in October of 1998 we signed a membership agreement. Officers were Ralph Foss, President; Betsey Brewster Case, Secretary; and Kevin Foss, Treasurer.
We had to pick a name for our club. Several possible names were suggested for our club. It was decided to name it in honor of Dianne's cat Happy. Happy had attended all of our meetings, and continues to attend all meetings held at Dianne's house. Thus was born Happy's Bottom Line Investment Club. The name was great until we started filling out forms and checks and found in many cases the name was too long to fit in the limited spaces provided. We therefore decided to shorten the name to HBLIC wherever possible.
It was decided that all members would contribute a fixed amount as a start up fee and then so much a month. Our first stock purchases in October of 1998 were Oracle Corporation and ADC Telcom. We have continued to meet monthly and review our stock portfolio. At the present time we have invested about $30,000 and the value of our Portfolio is about $45,000.
While one would not normally associate a library advisory board and the stock market, in this case the members are happy there is an association.