When you invest in a company, it makes you an owner. Ownership gives you a voice in how the company is run. The main way shareholders can make their opinions heard is by voting on shareholder resolutions at company meetings convened for that purpose.
Shareholders can participate in the decisions that can affect both the financial health of the company as well as help shape its future growth. These kinds of decisions can have a real impact on the long-term performance of your investment. This is why we tell shareholders to own your vote.
"Voting at shareholder meetings, generally via a proxy vote, is one way you can exercise your rights as an owner."
Public companies hold shareholder meetings where key issues on business strategy or how the organization is governed are discussed. When it comes to certain issues, a proposal must be raised and presented for approval by shareholders. The same holds true for mutual funds incorporated under the Investment Company Act of 1940. These pooled investments are organized as investment companies with many of the same obligations and reporting requirements as public companies.
Shareholder meeting attendees are asked to vote on issues that impact the future direction of the company or fund. If you can’t attend these meetings in person, you can still have your voice heard by using a proxy vote.
When you own a share of a company or a fund, you are an owner of that business. As a shareholder you get a vote in how it is run, in proportion to the amount of shares you own. The topics raised at shareholder meetings are not mundane issues. They are generally topics that have the potential to have a significant impact on the future direction of the company or fund. As a result, these topics can have a direct impact on the value of the shares you own, so it is in your best interest to make sure you have a say in these key decisions.
Proxy voting is not a difficult process. You just need to spend a little time to understand the issues and then take a few steps to submit your votes. The links here can provide you with more information about the process, the impact your votes may have and even how to cast a proxy vote.