May 20, 2011

AAII - nonprofit investing organization

I have been an investor for over 15 years now. During that time I have subscribed to various publications, especially magazines, like Money, SmartMoney, and Kiplinger's.

At least once a year I would receive a letter from AAII - American Association of Individual Investors. Years ago, I noticed that at the end of the letter the yearly membership fee was slashed with the wording of something like "this is a one time offer" or "the dues has never been reduced before, act now."

Well, that was an outright lie, because I would get that same letter at least once a year. AAII has been praised by many publications as being a trustworthy valuable newsletter. To me, if they lie on their marketing material what do they do in their newsletter!

So several years ago, I wrote the CEO a letter, placed it in the postage paid envelope, and mailed it to AAII. Of course, I have never heard from them regarding the matter, but the new marketing letters I now receive just slash the yearly fee without any comments.

Since AAII is a nonprofit organization they need to submit an IRS Form 990 which lists their revenue, expenses, and salaries of the top people. The best website I have found that posts this information is the NCCS.

Upon looking at the 990 for 2009 we find their revenue was about $6 million and expenses were about $7.5 million. Of the $7.5 million in expenses about $3 million was for the salaries of the 28 people that work there. Of those 28 people, 9 make more than $100,000 per year. The chairman and the president/ceo each make almost $500,000 a year with their salary and benefits.

My point? For being a nonprofit it sure does sound like the chairman and the president/ceo make a nice profit for themselves! But these are just my thoughts.

Oh, and their investment income last year: $-264,774. Thanks, but I think I'll stick with my own investing plan and program.

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