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Monday, September 25, 2017

Proxy War


Proxy War


I am an owner of Proctor and Gamble stock.  I own a little over eleven shares.  Currently the company is facing a proxy battle.

Here is what I know about proxies.  They are ballots sent every year before a stockholders meeting.  People vote for various directions they want the company to go and for board members.  Most stock holders either vote the way the current board recommends, or they do not vote at all.  I seldom send in my proxy. 

There may be people who want to scold me for this. 

“Your vote is important! You need to vote.”

Save your breath, my vote is not important, I don’t need to vote.

Currently there is a proxy battle at P+G.  A very large stockholder wants to be on the board of directors and force the company to make changes.  He argues the company has been underperforming lately.  “Vote for me!”

The Company says they are making changes and the company is now moving in the right direction.  “Vote for us!”

In the last month, I receive multiple phone calls and multiple mailings every day from each side saying, “Vote for me,” or “Vote for us!”

Unless I do some very heavy research, there is no way of me knowing if the large stockholder would be good for the company, or if he would be a giant pain in the ass who would force changes for short term gains at the long-term detriment of the company.  I would need to read tons of literature and consult with many experts to decide if the current Board of Directors knows what they are doing or not.

After my many hours of research, most coming from experts with an agenda, would I really know what is best for Proctor and Gamble?  Would my eleven plus votes really make a difference up against holders of millions of shares?

Mrs. C keeps pushing literature about the battle in my face.  She says my vote must be important as both sides are spending a fortune on the campaign.  I push the literature back.

Is a vote that is uninformed, or based on false or biased information really a valid vote?  Is it possible to be informed when bombarded by experts on both sides who have Ivy League degrees in slanting information to win their point?

I don’t think so, so I vote no vote.


16 comments:

  1. I'm with you, no vote from me in a case like this. How do we (you) really know who is going to be doing the right thing anyway? Sounds like a lot of the infighting done in political worlds to me.

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  2. I throw ours straight in the recycling bin, but the calls are super annoying where they insist you vote over the phone.

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  3. If i had enough knowledge to vote it such a case, it would be because i had enough shares for my vote to count. In this case, i agree with throwing out the literature and not worrying about it.

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  4. I have to agree with you. Kind of like voting politically.

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  5. With a huge company like P&G, sadly your voice counts about as much the average citizen's vote during a presidential election. Which means it doesn't count. :/

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  6. I believe voting is important but I agree with you that sometimes it's hard to know the right way to voter, especially if you don't have all the facts at your disposal.

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  7. I'm afraid I have to agree with you too, Joe. I doubt those tiny numbers of votes ever influence the results.

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  8. My knee jerk reaction is to vote but unless I could cast a knowledgeable vote which seems unlikely by an outsider, I'd do like Uncle Skip and abstain. Maybe then they would leave you alone.

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  9. The problem with planning and researching is there is no crystal ball which can tell you the future. I would consider voting based on the shareholder that is rocking the boat. What is his character? If you could get the gist of that, I would use that to decide or vote against him. You can consider our governmental elections, knowing anything doesn't stop the loudest opinions. Cheers.

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  10. It doesn't appear that ignorance of the issues stops some from voting. I applaud your stand.

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  11. I also have to agree with you Joe.

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  12. I always vote. But I'm used to the "other guy" winning. I'm a liberal in Alabama. We're about as rare as unicorns here:)

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  13. I throw away my proxies. The last time I opened one, the date had already passed to get it in. Don't know whether to blame the mail or the company, but I am less informed than you, so it's probably a good thing I'm not voting on them.

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