Q: What is in it for me joining ACU?
A: You pool resources with other like-minded people to make a collective investment intended to uplift us individually and as a people.
Q: What will we invest in?
A: That is our decision as a collective with everyone having an equal vote and the Executive will be mandated to implement our decisions.
Q: What sort of investment should be looked at?
A: There is no limit or restriction but all proposals will be assessed by the Executive in consultation with experts.
Q: Are you saying that policies are primarily initiated by the membership?
A: That is indeed the case and that is how it should be because it is their money we are talking about. However, from time to time the Executive will put proposals to the membership for approval.
Q: What sort of profit should be expected?
A: The level of profit will be determined by several factors including the risk involved and the investment preferred by members.
Q: How do I get to share in the profits?
A: At the end of every financial year profits will be split three ways: (a) re-investment; (b) dividends; and (c) social. The AGM will decide the percentage split annually at the prompting of the Executive.
Q: Roughly what annual return should I expect on GBP100 investment?
A: This is strictly guess work but this could be as much as 10% of the value of the member’s investment. Arguably keeping your money in a Savings Account, ISA or Bonds, etc. gives you a lower return. On the other hand an investment with ACU will give you a higher return while also giving a helping hand to those less able than yourself.
Q: Would you say the more I invest the greater the profit?
A: Without a doubt and the rules of the Co-operatives allow you to invest up to GBP20,000
Q: Do I get more say when I put in more money?
A: No. The rules state that every member has one vote regardless of the amount they invest.
Q: Is that fair?
A: Yes, because it is a collective and besides it would be impractical to allocate votes per size of investment and the purpose of the ACU would be lost
Q: Can I withdraw my money anytime I want?
A: For any investment to be worth the name there has to be a maturing period. ACU currently says 3 years, meaning that pulling out before 3 years may incur a penalty. But after three years you are free to withdraw your money anytime.
Q: You said some of the profit will go towards ‘social’ causes what does that mean?
A: Part of ACU objective is to invest in the talent of our people and also to come to their rescue where that is practical, for example, building schools in Africa and the Caribbean may mean awarding scholarships. That is what we see as a social duty for an organisation such as ACU which should care for the welfare and well-being of Afrikans wherever they may reside. In other words, ACU takes community responsibility very seriously.