A New Investment Model

The members of the Boston Cooperative Investment Club (BCIC) meet in bars and pubs, but don't let the casual environment fool you: we mean business. Founded in 2015, our official mission is to “invest in cooperatives and organizations that support cooperatives.” Our unofficial mission is to redefine what investment looks like in our society.

The structure of BCIC is based on traditional investment clubs, which are defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission as groups with fewer than 100 people who all participate in managing their collective investments. Nearly all clubs invest in the stock market. BCIC is unusual in its mission to invest in coops. “The decision was purposeful,” said club treasurer Amanda Gutowski. “Many of our members have been involved in housing coops or worker-owned coops that have struggled to raise needed capital. This club makes it easy for people who aren't rich to invest locally and with organizations they care about.”

Members of the group contribute $50 to $200 per month. The money is pooled and investment decisions are made by the group members collectively. “When investing in coops, the minimum investment is often higher than on Wall Street,” said club clerk Amos Meeks. “Pooling our money allows us to invest in coops that require minimum investments of $2,500 to $10,000 – way too high for most of our members to invest in as individuals.”

What's next for the Boston Cooperative Investment Club? “We are hoping to grow so that we can make larger investments and more frequent investments,” said member Corinne Jager. “Our strategy for growth is to have fun – we always meet at a place that serves good food and good beer. If we have fun and make good investments we're confident we can change investment culture.”