Investing

Do you vote?

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  • May 4th, 2016 12:26 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 14, 2014
82 posts
New Westminster, BC

Do you vote?

I get voting ballots in the mail every few weeks for various companies I'm invested in which it asks me to vote on various topics. I also hear on BNN/CBC sometimes talk about non-voting stocks and say "I would never buy a stock in which I can't vote" some even go as far as to say "A stock without voting privileges is completely worthless"

I believe these kind of votes are 1 vote per share, correct?

What do you think is voting important for a small retail shareholder to do or is it just a waste of time?
16 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
19405 posts
8102 upvotes
Toronto
Personally, I throw em away. My votes usually aren't worth much in companies that have billions of shares :lol:
Realtor - Investment Properties
Newbie
Apr 24, 2011
4 posts
North Vancouver
deal_with_singh wrote: Personally, I throw em away. My votes usually aren't worth much in companies that have billions of shares :lol:
Ditto. I throw my ballots away. Most of the time I'm asked to vote for who gets to be on the board of directors and not actually on how the company is managed directly anyway. Maybe non-voting shares are more of a concern for institutional and activist investors.
Member
User avatar
Apr 2, 2015
233 posts
93 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Takes two seconds online. Exercise your futile rights and have fun with it!

Some companies have commentary sections now on proxy ballots. Love to write a Haiku to the board when I can, or find a rhyme for dilution in iambic pentameter.

Nominate yourself for director, find yourself in a filing next year and have Google search bragging rights.

And boards must wonder about the nutjobs like me who vote against their auditor selection. Accountants are the devil.

;)

On thinly helds if nobody votes, nothing changes... like Canadian politics at every level, no?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
18115 posts
9174 upvotes
I do not take the time to educate myself on the issues I would be voting on (board of directors, etc.), so I do not feel it is appropriate to vote on them.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jun 19, 2009
6133 posts
1980 upvotes
Scarborough
No, for the amount of shares I own, me casting a vote is not going to make a material difference. I do subscribe to the Financial statements though.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 10, 2011
9566 posts
2185 upvotes
Somewhere
SkimGuy wrote: No, for the amount of shares I own, me casting a vote is not going to make a material difference. I do subscribe to the Financial statements though.
my vote can sway the direction of a blue chip multi-national corporation.
:confused:
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2014
3097 posts
472 upvotes
Oshawa, ON
I've taken up voting recently. You'd actually be surprised how much effect it can have, especially when retail starts sending a message.
On a global scale Canadian companies are relatively thinly traded (yes even the banks) and the boards are now deathly afraid of activism from both hedge funds, as well as grass roots campaigns on the retail side.
Most of the TSX60 are now starting to engage in social media just to boost the feels around their stocks from a retail perspective, just for the boards to try to keep their jobs. Trust me, if 10% of retail votes against the board it will make a memo somewhere and maybe the news and cause meetings to happen and investigations and all sorts of blah blah blah inside the company. They really do quake in their boots when thing get, let's say "un-unanimous".
This comes from something I overheard at work. Can't say where, can't say what. BUT it motivated me to suggest that if you are invested in a company whose share price has had a less than stellar year, just VOTE AGAINST all and anything on the ballots. It has a more significant effect than you can possibly imagine. Especially if there are 49% or more the pensions and hedge funds agree with you.

I even know of one company where about 60% of the shareholders (mostly fundies and arms lengh people) wanted to wash the whole slate of directors clean and appoint a brand new slate (and open criminal investigations against half the old board) but about 20% of retail investors abstained and they only got 64% of the 2/3 necessary for the motion to carry. If maybe 10 people holding a tiny slice had bothered to read the "Notice and Proposal from a Concerned Shareholder" that had been included in the voting materials they probably would have changed the story at the sad sack company.

SO my go-forward plan is that if I'm not 100% satisfied as a shareholder, I just vote AGAINST everything. It doesn't take much time at all. Not happy=vote against. No research necessary.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
5608 posts
1807 upvotes
Toronto
My voting right on the 3 shares of AMZN is THE reason why the stock goes up 12% this ER. Absolutely.
Deal Addict
Jul 28, 2009
1370 posts
381 upvotes
I use to but now I just throw them away. No point voting my 100ish shares (usually less!). When I do vote I usually vote the opposite of everything the board recommends lol.
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2014
1180 posts
406 upvotes
Calgary, AB
Well, I think it is a natural extension of ownership which is what owning stock is really all about. If you're trading in and out to make a quick buck, I don't see the point but if you're a buy and hold type of guy, you ought to do some leg work.

But to answer your question directly, I try to vote but only in scenarios where I know what I am doing. If I'm not familiar with the board names being proposed or the motion in question, abstaining is a perfectly reasonable solution.

That said, I do think it is healthy to vote in such cases. It's the same kind of logic when you are looking at a national election and say your vote won't matter since the country has 35 million people. Yes, you're technically right but it is all about collective power.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
5608 posts
1807 upvotes
Toronto
pulkit10 wrote: That said, I do think it is healthy to vote in such cases. It's the same kind of logic when you are looking at a national election and say your vote won't matter since the country has 35 million people. Yes, you're technically right but it is all about collective power.
The big difference is in national election, the 35 mil people are 35 mil individuals who can vote differently based on individual opinion. My 1 vote is equal to every other 1 vote.

Whilst for stocks, it's one guy owning 35 mil shares of a company voting vs my 3 shares.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 27, 2007
5507 posts
1956 upvotes
voting online, yea. takes 1 min, no biggie. they get my Y or N depending on the question. no research, just my gut feeling ;)
It's easy to grin when your ship comes in and you've got the stock market beat.
But the man worthwhile is the man who can smile when his shorts are too tight in the seat 😃
In Fed We Trust - Make ES Limit Down Great Again!
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2014
1180 posts
406 upvotes
Calgary, AB
boyohboy wrote: The big difference is in national election, the 35 mil people are 35 mil individuals who can vote differently based on individual opinion. My 1 vote is equal to every other 1 vote.

Whilst for stocks, it's one guy owning 35 mil shares of a company voting vs my 3 shares.
Can't disagree with that. Disparity does exist but it is still worthwhile to exercise a say in the affairs of an asset you own.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 6, 2006
5608 posts
1807 upvotes
Toronto
pulkit10 wrote: Can't disagree with that. Disparity does exist but it is still worthwhile to exercise a say in the affairs of an asset you own.
We should get some Crowd-sourcing for stock voting... all tiny shareholders sign up and do a pre-vote. Then everyone votes in the real thing with the same pre-voted results.




.... and watch the companies go down in flame from stupid decisions voted on by crowd-source!
Deal Addict
Sep 20, 2014
1180 posts
406 upvotes
Calgary, AB
boyohboy wrote: We should get some Crowd-sourcing for stock voting... all tiny shareholders sign up and do a pre-vote. Then everyone votes in the real thing with the same pre-voted results.




.... and watch the companies go down in flame from stupid decisions voted on by crowd-source!
Like Boaty McBoatface? http://www.theatlantic.com/internationa ... cy/479088/
Deal Addict
Sep 6, 2010
1978 posts
763 upvotes
Vancouver
deal_with_singh wrote: Personally, I throw em away. My votes usually aren't worth much in companies that have billions of shares :lol:
Same.

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