By Carolyn A. Betts, Esq.
“Don’t ask if there is a conspiracy. If you are not in one, you need to start one.”
~ Catherine Austin Fitts
A Solari Circle is a term coined by Catherine Austin Fitts, publisher of the Solari Report. It describes a financial action club consisting of twelve or fewer members formed for one or more of the following purposes:
- Educating members about how the money works in their lives and communities;
- Taking action to effect change in the lives of the members as regards their finances, health risks, and opportunities that affect their financial well-being; and
- Pooling their money for making investments consistent with earning good returns, preserving members’ assets, avoiding control by big banks and other financial institutions, and reducing investment risks caused by organized crime and troublesome bank and corporate conduct and policies, while contributing to an economically productive, morally sound, and environmentally healthy future.
Irrespective of whether the group’s primary purpose is education, action, or investment, it is wise for a Solari Circle to incorporate health and medical concerns as a component of financial health and planning. Severe financial risks to families can ensue from rising levels of toxicity from “the great poisoning” (including from GMOs, processed foods and sugar, fluoride, spraying, pesticides, plastics, injections and pharmaceuticals, and intensifying EMF radiation leading to weakened immune systems) and health-related crises.
The watchword for Solari Circles is disintermediation: whenever possible, cutting out centralized intermediaries, including major financial institutions (as opposed to local community bank, savings institutions and credit unions). Increased personal and local resiliency is the key to the exercise of local neighborhood control, individual sovereignty, and independence.
Basis for Formation of a Solari Circle
We recommend that members of one’s Solari Circle be selected with care from among only those individuals judged to be trustworthy and responsible and who have a willingness to commit approximately the same amount of time and effort as other members of the Circle.
Members might be selected from among existing groups, like former classmates, co-workers, neighbors, members of a church, or parents of children within a given age group. Alternatively, a few trusted friends might start a Circle for the express purpose of meeting, forming bonds with, and exchanging different points of view with trusted contacts across different cultural, racial, socioeconomic, political, or other groups. One might also intentionally seek to include in a Circle members of different age groups. In all cases, only members should be admitted who have been “vetted” by another member (or trustworthy friend of a member), so that the desired level of intimacy and trust can be achieved.
Members may seek to form a Circle to work through common hardships or challenges through spiritual or other means, including problems with debt; children with autism, other developmental disorders, or learning disabilities; family member illness; or dementia, death and dying issues, and mental illness. Members might also have in common place-based challenges that they would like to work through or take action on together, such as pollution from a local plant, water purity problems, crime, gangs, drug addiction and related policing issues, or local press cover-ups of insider deals (e.g., stadium funding).
Small business owners might wish to form a Circle to sponsor young people’s education at community colleges or job training programs as a means of both securing trustworthy employees with needed skills and reducing local youth unemployment and related crime and gang activity. They might partner with local high schools and community colleges to sponsor internship or externship programs.
An important aspect of a Solari Circle is that it must be fun and energy-enhancing. We all have lots of energy-draining commitments that suck up time and become a source of guilt. A Solari Circle meeting should be something that members look forward to and enjoy. In order to make a Circle experience positive, members should be comfortable with each other, open to new and exciting experiences, and eager to share knowledge and build intimacy. Food is always a good way to start, perhaps via a rotating multi-family or couples potluck dinner every Saturday evening.
Here are some ideas for a Solari Circle organized primarily for educational purposes:
- Watch documentaries or read Solari Report articles together and discuss.
- Invite a guest speaker who is an expert in some area of interest.
- Assign research topics to members and have a member make a presentation at each meeting.
- Manage a virtual investment portfolio (software products are available).
- Assist members with their business problems and decisions involving money and the
- Learn together to use technology or software and research relevant privacy, hacking, and similar issues that create risk for members.
- Share the Circle’s library and research with other Solari Circles.
- Find out about local banks and credit unions and evaluate their creditworthiness and positive involvement in the local community, perhaps by inviting a bank or credit union officer to speak before the group or a larger audience invited by Circle members.
- Deal with Covid-19 regulatory, legal, and injection issues.
financial aspects of health issues.
There is nothing wrong with forming a Solari Circle solely for the purpose of educating members so that they can better manage their individual lives. Alternatively, an educational Circle can become a precursor for the Circle’s broader engagement as a group—taking action to make personal and community changes together.
If members of the Circle are interested in doing more than educating themselves, they may seek to join together to find ways to take positive action as a group to effect change in their families and communities. This type of Circle might be focused on within-Circle saving (“hands”), use of precious metal coins, community action, schooling and children, growing or gardening, improving health, estate planning, bartering and sharing tools, or purchasing clubs.
A Circle “hand” or partnership is a particularly useful and simple financialplanning action technique to assist members in saving for some designated purpose. Each member contributes a given amount at each meeting (e.g., $100), and when a sufficient predesignated amount is in the pot, one member receives the whole amount. Then the process is repeated for each member. The hand can be thought of as a type of bank where the deposits are not in the bank—they are deposited with the Circle. Many immigrant groups use a partnership or hand to build the vehicle for saving the money to make a down payment on a car, business, piece of real estate, or home. When the hand group goes through this process together, members start to talk to each other and get help and strategic advice about money.
A hand can be a means to purchase precious metal coins, a solar-powered roof panel or other household device, a water filtering functionality, or anything the Circle members decide that they would like to purchase. The hand concept also can be used on a larger scale for private charitable contributions, such as assisting individuals or families in crisis due to overwhelming medical, rent/mortgage, or student-loan debts. In late 2020, a church in Iowa was reported to have purchased $5MM in medical debts of its members in order to pay them off.1
Reportedly, entrepreneurs in New York have been known to do a hand with other entrepreneurs. The group becomes a self-help group for entrepreneurs, who get a lot of support and intelligence helping each other with problems. This is useful because entrepreneurship, particularly if for a sole proprietor, can be a very lonely existence. A hand or partnership can address this existential problem as well as financial and business needs.
Use of Precious Metal Coins
Precious metal coins have many uses related to disintermediation, local control, and privacy. They can be used for transactions in place of paper or digital greenbacks (i.e., as—or as the basis for—a community currency) in order to keep money circulating within the local community—in other words, among merchants and other small businesses and outside the control of the government and central banks and safe from seizure, inflation, and devaluation of Fed-created and controlled currency.
Precious metals have been used historically for the storage of wealth and, in that sense, are a form of personal equity. Graphing the price of gold and silver against U.S. dollars, other commodities (such as oil), and other currencies can be a great lesson in international finance and the effect of monetary policy on the value of the national currency for Circle members.
Another idea for an action Circle is one whereby each member commits to discovering how the money works locally and undertakes a task to that end. Examples include attending town meetings, interviewing local decision-makers, or researching banks and other financial institutions where local money (e.g., tax revenue) is invested, and then reporting back to the Circle.
Where the Circle members discover that local or state legislatures or other ruling bodies (e.g., zoning boards) are slated to vote on actions that the Circle opposes (e.g., the building of a high-rise in a single-family neighborhood or the installation of high-tension wires or Internet towers nearby), Circle members can work together to respond. This could involve writing comment letters, sending letters to the editor, using the Freedom of Information Act (or the state equivalent) to obtain copies of proposed contracts, or otherwise spreading the word locally, after performing relevant research, as to why members favor or do not favor specific governmental or quasi-governmental actions that affect the community. Examples of proposed governmental actions that might invoke the Circle’s response are the granting of tax incentives for companies moving into the locality, granting of zoning variances, annexing property into a local jurisdiction, and selling or leasing community-owned property like a park or green space.
In conjunction with its research on local issues of interest, the Circle might interview candidates for local office regarding such issues, based upon a prepared “unanswered questions” list developed by the Circle. Circle members might also wish to calculate a local Popsicle Index and make an effort to discover what factors are causing it to increase or decrease.2
Schooling and Children
A Solari Circle comprised of members with young children might take action by creating a homeschooling library, including study materials, projects and activities, and copies of state requirements for qualified homeschools. For younger children, another Circle option might be to form a nursery cooperative. For those with children in local public or private schools, engaging in school- or school-district-basis actions might be in order for such things as proposals to start school gardens, introduce healthy school lunches, start a recycling program, or change curricula to include classes on civics, nutrition, personal finances, or the risks involved in student loans and scholarships.
Growing and Gardening
Circle members may decide to establish individual exercise and diet goals and purchase related equipment that they can then use together or separately, with or without a tracking mechanism, to encourage each other in the process of pursuing their individual goals. As part of the educational function of the Circle, members may choose to do research in articles and books on nutrition and exercise and document good sources of information they find in the Circle’s library. In order to strengthen the bonds of Circle members, a Circle might employ a private personal trainer to lead exercises, or practice yoga at a member’s home on a regular basis, or sign up for publicly available classes together.
An area often neglected by families is the establishing of a family or individual estate plan. Through a Solari Circle, members may take an inventory of the estate plan documentation currently in effect and make lists of questions to be addressed by a friendly attorney about how to deal with their individual situations. If members are approaching retirement age, they may help each other make decisions about career changes, semi-retirement, self-employment options, and timing of filing claims for Social Security and retirement benefits.
Bartering and Sharing Tools
An action-oriented Solari Circle may want to inventory members’ skill sets and areas of expertise so that members can use bartering arrangements to save money and obtain reliable services and advice from one another. This might or might not involve a valuation methodology so as to establish the fairness of exchanges in advance.
Along similar lines, a Circle can operate as a type of purchasing club—for example, to negotiate favorable prices for the purchase of food in bulk; share a side of beef; purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at a local terminal; or incentivize local farmers to switch to organic from traditional farming for difficult-to-find non-GMO fruits and vegetables. In understanding a given farmer’s healthy and non-GMO growing methods, members of a Circle may be able to purchase produce that for technical reasons does not qualify for USDA “organic” labeling but nevertheless is as healthy as produce that satisfies organic standards in grocery stores. Similarly, locating and visiting local meat and egg producers can result in Circle members being able to both obtain favorable bulk pricing and assure themselves that cage-free and other humane growing and slaughtering methods are being employed
The purchasing club concept might also be applied to the study, negotiation, and purchase of life, auto, disability, homeowners, and health insurance. Members can collect, analyze, and share their research and the results of consultation with experts (e.g., lawyers, accountants, repair contractors, and insurance brokers), or invite experts to speak at a Circle meeting, as a means of identifying particularly relevant issues of concern like health and weather risks, carrier reputation and creditworthiness, and ideal policy limits. In this way, Circle members can become well-educated consumers, make smart trade-offs, and protect themselves from nasty surprises while maximizing available benefits. The work of understanding key terms of typical policies, relevant state insurance laws, and tricks in making successful claims can be much less onerous when shared with other Circle members and their networks of contacts.
With the help of others, Circle members can put together lists of “what if” questions to address their particular concerns. For example, what if I contract Covid and have not been “vaccinated”—will my health insurance cover all of my medical costs and will my disability insurance cover long-term after-effects? Should I purchase rental insurance when I rent a car, or will my auto insurance cover this type of damage? Should I purchase Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement coverage, given my health risks? Then, members can help each other select insurance companies, policies, and policy terms appropriate to their individual circumstances.
An investment Circle is a Circle formed for members to pool money and build financial research skills to invest in publicly traded or private investment vehicles and other assets. An investment Circle does not have to limit its investments to traditional stocks and bonds. For example, a Circle may decide to invest in farmland and lease it to local farmers. A Circle might want to start or invest in a food processing plant or piece of equipment that could be leased out or the subject of a sale and leaseback transaction. In these cases, the formation of a single-purpose investment entity (likely a limited liability company) may be used to limit the Circle’s risk of liability for unforeseen events.
An investment Circle with significant assets to invest may even decide to operate as an angel network or crowdfunding vehicle, on an investment or charitable basis, or as a type of local “shark tank,” inviting local college students or other entrepreneurs or small businesses to make presentations of new business ideas. This concept might even be employed by a Circle with limited investment resources by offering microloans for small ventures.
Investment in shares of local businesses is an attractive option, but such an investment should be undertaken with the advice of a member or advisor with knowledge of securities law and tax issues and experience in financial statement analysis and business development planning, among other things. Members need to do thorough due diligence of both the small business involved (including proprietors, officers, and other shareholders) and its market, to develop a list of representations and warranties by the business owner and a detailed purchase agreement that discloses key information about past and projected future performance (including the assumptions underlying the projections). It is important that members identify liens, key contracts, and other liabilities of the business before committing to invest.
Another asset that has potential for an investment Circle is one or a number of residential or small business commercial mortgages (e.g., a mortgage on a small office building or apartment building). Caution is in order when investing in mortgage participations, however, because a participation is subject to more complexity than a whole mortgage and constitutes an unregistered “security” under federal and most state securities laws. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac use standard promissory notes and mortgages, the form of which can be used by any lender. In the case of any mortgage, it is important that the lien be properly documented and filed in local land records after a thorough search to determine that no prior lien exists. A title insurance policy is essential in this regard.
Due to differing state laws regarding mortgages and the likelihood that Circle members will not be familiar with real estate markets in other states and jurisdictions, it is a good idea when investing in mortgages to invest in people who are known and trusted—and in real estate that is local. A Circle might consider purchasing mortgages on local residential properties originated by a local credit union or savings bank, which may retain the servicing function (i.e., collecting payments and maintaining escrows for insurance and taxes), thereby saving local homeowners from dealing with unknown servicers and providing profit-making opportunities locally rather than to New York or California-based financial behemoths.
Individual members of the Circle may have investments in restricted retirement accounts, which generally limit the types of qualifying investments—typically, to publicly traded stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. While there are legal hurdles to scale, it is possible to find financial institutions that make available self-directed qualified investments that will enable the asset owner to invest in unconventional assets like mortgages, real estate, leases, and other illiquid equity investments. As always, it is important to find a reputable company with which to do business, and this is particularly important when, as in the case of qualified investments, one wrong move can result in adverse tax consequences.
For a formal investment club that invests in publicly traded investment vehicles, whether stocks and bonds or mutual funds or other pooled vehicles, members will want to identify important environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues to screen potential investments for positive environmental and social practices and good governance according to some sort of filter. There needs to be an evaluation of the pros and cons of potential trading platforms and brokers and identification of reliable sources of market information as well.
In this and other investment situations, it’s great to have relevant talent available to the Circle—a CPA, business attorney, local banker, business owner, or wealth manager—whether as a member or friend of the Circle.
Solari Circle for Kids
Organizing a Solari Circle for Kids is a means to teach financial concepts to children in a group setting led by one or more competent adult volunteer facilitators. Although it may be especially useful for homeschooled children, a kids’ Circle could also take place in a school-sponsored club setting. Some ideas for what a Solari Circle for Kids might accomplish include establishing a “hand,” participating in a phantom investment portfolio, learning about local political processes, and questing.
Hands for Kids
As with “hands” for adults, the Solari Circle for Kids agrees to an amount that each member will put into the pot each time the members gather. For example, if there are five children in the Circle, and they agree to put in $20 each month, they will have $100 each month with which they can carry out activities such as the following:
- Arrange for one child to take the pot and determine what to do with that month’s money. Ideally, this helps children learn to save.
- Sign up for Volunteer Precious Metals (VPM)3 or a similar service to make monthly investments in precious metal coins. Each month, one child takes the coins. For example, for $12 annually, VPM (based in Tennessee) allows those who sign up to participate in a Monthly Acquisition Plan (MAP).4 (Note: Participation in MAP requires a minimum investment of $300 in a given month, but there is no obligation to order in any given month. Tennessee-based Circles will want to look for other options, however, because Tennessee tax laws make such a program uneconomic for state residents.)
- Build up an investment pool that the group uses to make local loans and investments.
Phantom Investment Portfolio
An exciting simulation experience for older children and teenagers can be had through the creation and maintenance of a phantom investment portfolio on Yahoo Finance or similar software. This enables the members to watch companies’ stock performance. Young Circle members can choose to monitor the performance of companies that they are familiar with (or that make or sell products that they use); various local businesses; businesses that provide services or products that dovetail with the children’s hobbies, interests, or career pursuits; or companies based in other continents that the children are studying. Activities could include comparing the performance of U.S. companies to that of companies based in other countries, including observing what happens to share prices when major news developments occur. This exercise helps children understand the dynamic relationships in the economy—between governments and businesses, between institutions located in different regions on the planet, and between consumer products and the investment community. It can also make them aware of the competition for resources that leads to economic warfare and war, as well as the tensions that exist between investor returns and corporate and governmental responsibility.
Local Political Processes
Kids can also learn about participation in local political processes and how local rules are created that affect the local economy. This is an aspect of understanding the investment process, not only in the United States but globally as well. Participating in a local campaign, attending local city council, zoning board, and similar public meetings, and reviewing public budgets and legislative decisions can be enormously instructive for understanding why and how decisions that affect everyone in the community are made.
Adults and children can both benefit from “questing”—the creation of a community treasure hunt, described in the book on this subject, Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts:5
A sine qua non of a Solari Circle is attention to privacy matters. This includes the Circle’s operations and communications among Circle members and also educating members how to restore privacy in their individual lives. Members of a Circle that meets in person should ensure that what they are doing in the Circle remains private by not meeting in the same room as any smartphone with the capability of spying on group discussions. Home-grown encryption or the use of reliable encryption programs is an alternative for Circles that meet using cell phone or Internet connections. An important syllabus item for an early-stage educational Circle is for members to commit to fully understanding the risks that digitally enabled devices pose in our homes, cars, and public places—and identifying methods, if any, of disabling, removing, or rendering ineffective the spying aspects of such devices. Members who have digital televisions need to understand that the typical digital TV incorporates a feature whereby the device can be turned on without owner permission and used to pick up private information for transmission to unknown players.6
A related issue is the fact that the goal of attaining financial well-being, privacy, and health cannot be achieved if one is the subject of mind control or environmental or other poisons. Thus, an important goal of any Solari Circle, whether it is primarily a bonding and educational experience or an active investment club with a large portfolio of shared assets, should be for members to help and support each other in getting sources of toxicity out of their lives—and dealing with family members who are at odds with the lengths that must be taken to do so. This means cutting off toxic people and media, food, environmental poisons and digitally enabled devices, medical procedures, and injections, thereby achieving as much individual sovereignty as possible. While many may not aspire to achieve a fully off-grid existence, there are many methods by which an educated citizenry can cut off or reduce the impact on their lives (and the lives of those they love) of steadily encroaching societal forces like:
- Transhumanism-related technologies
- Out-of-control and secret/classified bio-warfare experimentation
- Development of genetic operating systems and their imposition on individuals in the name of medical protection and safety from viruses
- Government sharing of private individual and corporate financial information with private government subcontractors in the business of aggregating and selling or using databases for profit
- Weather control through the spraying of toxic chemicals
- Ubiquitous long- and short-wave electromagnetic forces in public places
- Smart meters, automobile GPS “safety” systems, law enforcement devices thatprovide access to personal digital information, and communication and other devices that transfer personal use information to unknown or nefarious sources.
The rules to live by in this respect are “opt out” and “strive for transparency in all matters.”
Examples of Existing and Past Solari Circles
Texas Solari Circle
Interested individuals who attended a “Lunch with Catherine” event in Austin, Texas in 2015 formed a Solari Circle that is still ongoing. This locally based, in-person Solari Circle started with ten members. Members meet approximately once a month for two hours at noon on Sundays at Whole Foods, thereby relieving members of the burden of preparing meals and cleaning house for in-home meetings. Austin Circle members have included a corporate coach, a government pension educator and Solari team member, a naturopath, a person in the construction business, a member with legislative and political experience, and a member with a commercial property expertise.
As the group developed, members generally shared on topics of interest to them but were less action-oriented than they had originally planned, although one member was “ahead of the herd” in achieving sustainability and becoming deeply involved in permaculture. Among the subjects of interest to members was an exploration of the finances of the city of Austin, a project pursued by one member in particular. Describing the Austin Circle’s experiences, one member reports that the group erred in not requiring that all Circle members be (or become) Solari Report subscribers, which, among other things, would have allowed Solari to help promote the meetings. The Circle was also unsuccessful in using group-sharing software; members suggest that a more user-friendly tool for this purpose would be particularly welcome. On the plus side, a member shared that there is a significant degree of relief in talking “Solari jargon” on a regular basis with trusted friends who are not family, social circle, or job team members.
Tennessee Dinner Circle
Catherine Austin Fitts was a member of a dinner circle formed by her neighbors in Hardeman County, Tennessee, where members held a once-a-month potluck supper and engaged in activities together. This Circle’s areas of interest included growing edible landscapes and gardens, becoming more resilient through learning to use guns, helping each other with preventive health measures, and doing more for self and getting results. This Circle arranged for presentations by local neighbors with experience in areas such as starting an orchard, raising livestock, and gunsmithing.
First Ever Solari Circle Experience
The First Ever Solari Circle (“FESC”) was an investment Circle formed in 2005 as a limited liability company with a formal operating agreement (because a separate entity is needed for holding securities and issuing K-1s for tax purposes). FESC was formed by Catherine Austin Fitts and nine friends and Solari team members living in locations scattered across the United States. Additional members were added on a referral-only basis according to a procedure established in the FESC partnership agreement. FESC was operated as and taxed as a general partnership, although the formal investing entity could have been a general partnership with the same result. Members met for approximately one hour each week on Monday evenings by telephone.
The broad geographic distribution of FESC members (from East to West Coasts and both Northerners and Southerners) provided the opportunity for members to learn what was happening on the ground across the country on a weekly basis. A benefit of regularly meeting and sharing “on the ground” stories derived from media and anecdotal sources—and then watching the vicissitudes of the stock and bond markets—was that members, with a great deal of input from Catherine Austin Fitts, an experienced investment banker, got a clear picture of how one could “connect the dots” between market and central bank money flows and information inputs (i.e., political and other national and international developments). Then, as discrepancies between official government accounts and market developments became manifest, members were able to postulate as to the source of the discrepancies.
The initial investments of the FESC were virtual investments using simulation software. Fortunately, FESC had one member, Paul, who had investment club and venture capital experience and the desire to carry out the Circle’s investing activities through a brokerage account. Paul also did a highly informative weekly “market roundup” to report market developments in the areas of interest to the Circle (mining and precious metals, mostly). Because Paul had a subscription to Jim Sinclair’s gold and silver market newsletter, Paul’s market roundup also allowed Circle members to hear about Sinclair’s views on the precious metals markets and national and international political developments as they related to the metals markets.
Paul was responsible for making investment recommendations, executing trades, and arranging for the preparation of annual K-1s. He also ended up doing most of the research on companies in which the Circle was interested in investing. Unless a member wants to make such a commitment, the assumption of the lion’s share of investment duties by a single Circle member is not ideal, of course. In any case, to some extent, different members undertook to research different publicly traded stocks and reported their findings back to the group. The actual stocks in which FESC invested involved American and Canadian companies in the business of gold and silver, gold and silver mining, and oil and gas. The members also wanted to invest in companies that offered healthy foods but had difficulty identifying publicly traded alternatives.
FESC was liquidated in 2012, and profits (which were respectable) were distributed to members according to their respective shares of the partnership because the various members’ contributions were not equal. The Circle found that calculation of the sharing of profits and losses can become somewhat complicated when different members contribute additional funds for investment after the initial formation and, therefore, special investment club software was used for these calculations.
Procedures and Rules
Although there are no hard-and-fast rules, achieving the types of goals described here will be immeasurably easier if Circle membership is limited to those who are regular followers of the Solari Report, if not subscribers. To achieve success and efficiency within the Circle’s agreed purpose, the agenda for the first meeting of a newly formed Solari Circle might look something like this:
- Perform introductions and share contact information.
- Establish consensus on Circle priorities and areas of interest.
- Establish individual priorities and areas of interest.
- Assign roles.
- Determine whether meetings will take place on a strict or flexible basis and establish meeting times (start time and end time) and expected or desired time commitments.
- Select a physical (and/or virtual) meeting space.
- Identify digital or other tools and apps (available or to be purchased) to facilitate collaboration, knowledge management, archiving, and documentation of group investment and other decisions. (Note, however, that there is nothing wrong with a Circle’s decision to confine its library to hard-copy and paper records.)
- Select a name for the Circle.
- Determine a means of communication among members between meetings.
- Establish reasonable time budgeting.
Part of establishing any regularly meeting group involves identifying the roles and responsibilities to be divided among members. These roles can be rotated, appointed by elections, determined on a volunteer basis for a designated period of time, or decided on a meeting-by-meeting basis. In any case, it is useful to make a preliminary list of at least the essential functions to be covered, including some or all of the following:
- Host (if the meetings are held at members’ homes)
- Meeting chair
- Agenda-setter and communicator
- Treasurer (who may establish a Circle bank and/or brokerage account, if needed)
- Knowledge manager
- Secretary or meeting note-taker or recorder
- Group representative for Circle outreach
- Person responsible for tax matters (a role that is particularly necessary for investment Circles and/or Circles that pool money for various charitable and other purposes)
Depending on the role, a given individual could function in multiple roles; conversely, a particularly time-intensive role (e.g., investment tracker for an investment Circle) might be shared by two or more members. It should be a group goal to weed out “slugs” (people who do not contribute or who sabotage). In addition, the group should avoid burdening a particularly productive member with too great a load, so there is no burnout.
Members should decide whether they want to make a recording of meetings, take notes by laptop during the meeting in an agreed format, or develop some other method to keep track of group decisions and issues. As regards tools, members may want to learn together how to employ open-source tools and systems and address privacy and security issues. If the Circle plans on employing cloud storage, thorough research may be in order to identify risks of governmental interference, hacking, privacy violations, and other undesirable intrusions. If members will be using cell phones, similar issues may need to be addressed, including identifying preferred antivirus, anti-spam, and anti-hacking applications and methodologies. If group members do not share a common operating system format, members may want to determine how communication snafus will be addressed (e.g., Apple vs. PC). Members also may wish to agree on a search engine (e.g., DuckDuckGo) to avoid common privacy issues. Social media platforms should be used with great caution.
As a means of achieving greater organization, Solari Circles may wish to employ Robert’s Rules of Order, perhaps in a shortened form, in conducting their meetings.7 It is also recommended to establish terms and conditions similar to Solari’s Tea Time and Event Policies,8 including adherence to the Chatham House Rule.9
1. Inyoung Choi. An Iowa church bought and forgave $5 million in medical debt. Insider, December 12, 2020. https://www.insider.com/iowa-church-bought-forgave-5-million-medical-debt-in-state-2020-12.
2. Catherine Austin Fitts. A conversation about the Popsicle Index. Solari Report, July 22, 2012. https://home.solari.com/a-conversation-about-the-popsicle-index/.
3. Volunteer Precious Metals. https://volunteerpreciousmetals.com/.
4. Monthly Acquisition Plan (M.A.P.). https://volunteerpreciousmetals.com/monthly-acquisition-plan/.
5. Delia Clark and Steven Glazer. Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts. University Press of New England, 2006.
6. James K. Willcox. We asked TV owners to find their privacy settings. Here’s what happened. Consumer Report, March 6, 2020. https://www.consumerreports.org/tvs/consumers-struggle-with-smart-tv-privacy-settings/.
7. Robert’s Rules of Order – Summary Version. https://toastmasters.arizona.edu/sites/default/files/roberts_rules_0.pdf.
8. Solari Tea Time and Event Policies. https://home.solari.com/2020-lunch-with-catherine-schedule/.
9. “Chatham House Rule.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_House_Rule.
- First Ever Solari Circle Operating Agreement and Guidelines. https://library.solari.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/Solari-Circle-for-Liquid-Investment3.22.13.pdf
- “Starting a Solari Circle Investment Club” with Paul Ferguson (interview transcript). The Solari Report, March 21, 2013. https://library.solari.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/sr20130321_Interview.pdf.
For more information on the risks of smart TVs, see the following:
- Fowler, Geoffrey A. You watch TV. Your TV watches back. Washington Post, September 18, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/09/18/you-watch-tv-your-tv-watches-back/.
- Gilbert, Ben. There’s a simple reason your new smart TV was so affordable: It’s collecting and selling your data, and serving you ads. Business Insider, April 5, 2019. https://www.businessinsider.com/smart-tv-data-collection-advertising-2019-1.
- Not in front of the telly: warning over “listening” TV. The Solari Report, February 16, 2015. https://library.solari.com/not-in-front-of-the-telly-warning-over-listening-tv/.
- Wi-fi “spy” Barbie records children’s conversations. The Solari Report, February 19, 2015. https://library.solari.com/wi-fi-spy-barbie-records-childrens-conversations/.