I joined the groups as a way to learn about investing and stocks. Both were modeled after the Beardstown Ladies Investment Group in IL.
The first group started out fine but then became dominated by just a few women who didn't want to learn about the companies, they just would come to the meeting and would want to follow a tip. That negated the educational part of the model. The second group I was in was much more positive, we learned about the companies before we invested in them and so on. We got along fine but disbanded after several years. When some of us had to move out of the area (military families), the rest of us didn't have the energy to try to recruit more members.
Overall, they were good learning experiences for me.