WSJ.com: Economy

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Consolidating our mailing list

Hi everyone:

To eliminate inefficiencies in mail forwarding, we will phase out forwarding to members' emails who are not part of mailing list.

What this means:

  1. If you receive Ellen's Investment Club emails addressed to ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com, then you don't need to do anything.
  2. If you receive Ellen's Investment Club emails addressed to your specific email address, then you need to apply to be added to our mailing list:


Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting Minutes For September 20, 2011‏

Hi everyone:

Thank you for attending Ellen's Investment Club meeting on September 20, 2011.

Guest Speaker:

Our guest speaker Gerry Hogenhout gave us an insightful presentation on holding mortgages in RRSP. Specifically this involves an arms-length transaction between you as the borrower and a third-party lender. The benefits are evident: high-interest rate, monthly payment, and tax-free. But risks are also weighed proportionally: lenders often cannot meet the requirement from banks, this industry is not regulated, complicated dealings with multiple agents. So we should do our due diligence to ensure our hard earned money isn't going to evaporate over defaults (especially in a housing market which some may consider in bubble territory).

Ellen's Investment Club Survey 2011:

Due to a lack of attendance lately we polled members during the summer to determine whether Ellen's Investment Club should continue. And if so what can we do to improve attendance? We received some great feedback.


  • 85% of you indicated you wish Ellen's Investment Club to continue.
  • 60% of you indicated Ellen's Investment Club is very-to-extremely educational to your investment experience.
  • 41.2% of you indicated you would attend least half of the sessions being held at the MNJCC in the coming year.
  • 58.8% of you indicated you would attend least 1 of the sessions being held at the MNJCC in the coming year.


Of the reasons of lack of attendance, 50% indicated the deposit fee is too expensive and 33.3% indicated the club's hour is conflicting with personal and/or work commitment, 33.3% also feels the club's structure may not be tailored to their needs.

Here is my personal take:

I joined Ellen's Investment Club two and half years ago. Few months later, along with Gord Kozak I decided to take on a more active role in managing the club's activities.

Our mission statement was and will always be:
"committed to share information among all members, with the goal of working towards preserving capital, increasing the after tax returns of our individual portfolios. We strive to strengthen our understanding of investing and gain hands-on experience in analyzing stocks and interpreting financial statements".

With that in mind, Gord and I created a club with Ellen so everyone may benefit. The various activities and speaker presentations are meant to cater to the diverse nature of our members base and their investment exposure. But because of this, some members feel the club isn't progressing along with their needs. On top of that, after Gord's quit the chair due to his health problems, I took on the duties of a secretary, treasurer and an event planner. While I try to carry those roles to the best of my abilities, my singular vision has not carried the club forward. And if that resulted in a lack of attendance, I apologize.

What we need is some fresh thinking from a new leader who is willing steer the club towards its mission statement.
I will stay in the club to ensure this transition happen and after that I will take a more passive role in the club's activities.

Investopedia Challenge 2011:

Fern and myself won the USD and CAD Investopedia challenge respectively. Due to a lack of participation, we choose to discontinue the simulation game. Having a great club means figuring out what member needs and wants and we would never deviate from that.

Next Investment Club Meeting:

There is no immediate date planned for our next meeting. I will keep everyone posted however. Please stay tuned to our mailing list and blog site.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting September 20, 2011 @ 7:30pm MNJCC

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON M5S 2J2
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:15 PM: Presentation: Holding mortgages in RRSP by Gerry Hogenhout
8:50 PM: Discussion: Investopedia Winner
9:15 PM: Discussion: Ellen's Investment Club Survey 2011 Results
9:30 PM: End

Meeting agenda items are subject to change.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com