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Want help putting together your portfolio? Investment clubs are a great way to network and learn about stocks--while having fun, too.

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This story appears in the June 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Call me old-fashioned. In the age of YouTube, I still prefer to read books, and I still get more enjoyment out of going to a play than I do out of seeing a movie. And despite the widespread availability of self-help books, CNBC, discount brokers and The Motley Fool, I still believe the most enduring investment lessons come from doing--and joining an investment club is one particularly good way to learn.

Investment clubs certainly aren't a panacea, and they rarely work as get-rich-quick vehicles. Essentially, you're making your own little mutual fund. Since we know most funds fail to beat the market averages, why should you think you can do better? The answer is that it's all right if you don't. You learn by debating investments and picking stocks with friends, plus you get the forced discipline of writing a check to the club each month (the national average is about $80 per person). If you learn a lot, have a good time and do merely OK with the club, you're ahead of most people. Plus, there's always the chance that you'll do far better than OK.

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