Having shares of stock in an organization means that you are a partial owner of that organization. As a partial owner, your opinion matters. There are a few ways to express your opinion. The most common is to vote or sell shares. Shareholders must own at least one full share of an organization's stock and must own that share(s) by the record date to participate in voting. Record date meaning the timeline established by organizations to determine which shareholders are eligible to receive rights or dividends. If you meet this criteria, be prepared to receive notification of election information and instructions to complete a proxy vote.
The management team of an organization makes many decisions on behalf of shareholders. Inmost cases, these members are selected by shareholders. They are elected to represent shareholder's best interests. These interests can include:
Elections have consequences. Having partial ownership means you have partial control over of these consequences. Proxy voting allows owners to vote on important issues remotely. For an example, if a company's board elects to cut dividends, your vote, among other shareholders to support or block the dividend cut can be submitted online. The more shares you have, the more voting rights you have. Thus the more voting rights you have, the more influence you have on how a company operates.
In publicly held organizations, shareholders have tremendous influence. That influence extends outside of the organization. The publicly held organization provides services and products to millions of individuals. How those services and products are developed, marketed, and delivered can harm a communities' environmental, social, and governance practices. As a shareholder your role is to decide the influence an organization should have.
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Reflect on July 4th as a reminder to value personal freedoms and financial independence. Celebrate liberty by fostering financial literacy, empowering yourself and others to make informed decisions for a secure and prosperous future