Stars of Dinton wrap up the year with Christmas ‘Chef at Home’ experience

An investment club and a social club, this group of investors discusses how they make it all work for them

Article updated: 20 December 2019 10:00am Author: Helal Miah


Originally set up in mid-2008 at the height of the financial crash, a shining and guiding light amid the doom and gloom was a little star in Buckinghamshire.

The Stars of Dinton was set up by a dozen friends who drank in the local pub The Seven Stars in Dinton, Buckinghamshire. “I knew all the members socially, and canvassed opinion before asking people to commit,” says founder and former chairman, Dick O’Driscoll. “It has always been a guiding principle that the club is as much for enjoying the social side as for the ambition to make a profit.”

“We are as much a social club that happens to invest money in shares as we are an investment club with a social side,” explains Club Secretary, Dennis Dunn. Members make monthly direct debit payments to the club, a proportion of which are for share purchases and a smaller proportion automatically go into a social fund.


BBQs, parties and holidays

On a monthly basis, the club socialises at the Seven Stars pub where members usually enjoy a meal together after the agenda items are completed. Here, members plan the social get-together’s for the months ahead and each member takes their turn to host. Previous social gatherings include summer BBQs, meals out, holidays in Spain and Christmas and New Year parties.

For this year’s Christmas festivities, the Stars of Dinton decided to enjoy a ‘Chef at Home experience’ where a chef was hired to prepare, cook, and serve a meal. The event was held at a member’s house in Dinton and the dress code was black tie. “We started with drinks and canapes,” says Dennis, “followed by starter, main course, dessert, cheese, and coffee. Prior to the starter of scallops, we had time to discuss some share purchases.”


Words of wisdom

Recent purchases include Diageo, Be Heard Group and Ideagen, all of which were researched and suggested by individual members and then discussed and voted on at the club meeting. The club explains how it has learned a lot of lessons along the way, even cashing in all of their shares at one point to start from scratch. Some words of wisdom from the members are “not to become attached to any share, only invest what you can afford to lose and enjoy the experience of being part of a joint communal enterprise.

One of the main things I have noticed about the Stars of Dinton is the emphasis on the social aspect. We always emphasise the importance of the social side of investment clubs and this one appears to have the balance right when it comes to formal business and enjoying each other’s company over a drink.

We first spoke to this club in 2016, and it is pleasing to hear that they are still involved as ever in both their funds and the funding of their fun! It is also good to hear that all members are encouraged to suggest new stocks and no single person appears to dominate decisions or discussions.

The suggestion to always keep learning and not become emotionally attached to a share is great too. Recognising the dangers of becoming over-attached is refreshing. I wish them all the best for the future and hope they continue to reach for the stars, as the name of their club and local pub suggests.

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Helal Miah portrait photo
Helal Miah

Investment Research Analyst

After graduating with an economics degree from University College London, Helal started his career within private banking at Smith & Williamson Investment Management and later held analyst and fund manager roles with the Industrial Bank of Japan, Schroders and Mitsubishi Corporation. He is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment. 

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