Home Management Protect Your Homeowner S Insurance This Winter Investors Losing Voices When To Buy Shares Or Trade The Forex For Maximum Profits

When you think about keeping your homeowner’s insurance policy rates as low as possible, you think about keeping up maintenance to make sure people – those who live in the home and visitors alike – are less likely to get injured on your property. You make sure your valuables are locked up safely, and you buy security systems, stronger doors, locks, and windows to protect your home from theft. You even opt for a cuddly kitten rather than a large dog in order to protect visitors from attacks.

However, have you thought about keeping your homeowner’s insurance policy rates as low as possible during the different seasons? Winter weather conditions can cause some of the most damage to your home, as well as you, your family, and your visitors, and the best way to protect your home and everyone in and around it is to practice prevention, i.e., make necessary repairs before winter strikes, and take precautionary measures after winter strikes.

To make repairs to your home before winter, start at the top. Make sure your gutters are clean, and keep them clean by purchasing gutter guards – those nifty little add-ons that prevent anything like leaves and branches from clogging up your gutters. Then take a look at the walk way and steps that lead to your home. Repair any cracks in the steps or walk way, as well as any wobbly hand rails. If your steps do not have a handrail, consider installing one. Also, take a look at the outside structure of your home. If you have any cracks, repair those as well.

Now, take a look at the inside of your home. Make sure you and your contents stay warm by making any repairs to your heating system, adding extra insulation, and repairing cracks in windows. Regularly check your fire alarm batteries, and learn to turn off water in the event that it may freeze and bust your pipes.

Individual investors are increasingly losing their voices (via proxy or in person) in crucial shareholder voting matters. The reason for this under-representation has nothing to do with anything as exciting as deceptive business practices or secret votes. It’s just that fewer individual shareholders are choosing to return their proxies.

This lack of return creates many dilemmas for companies that wish to proceed with the voting process. After all, for voting to take place it is necessary to reach a quorum, which is the number of shareholder and/or proxy votes that are required to conduct business (typically a majority of the shareholders). If a quorum cannot be reached due to lack of votes then many times the Ten-Day Rule can be utilized.

The Ten-Day Rule allows brokers to vote proxies for shareholders who have not turned in their votes ten days prior to a meeting at which voting will take place. This rule can only be applied to routine matters, which provides an ambiguity that is quickly being defined and amended.

Non-routine issues such as equity compensation plans must be voted on by shareholders. Soon there may be Election Contest Rules enacted that would require shareholders, not brokers to vote in controversial director elections or when there is a recommendation for an Election Contest as well.

Serious problems for companies are caused when individual proxies are not returned and the Ten-Day Rule is not applicable. Individual investors and brokers both tend to vote on behalf of the company management, but institutional investors don’t always have the management’s best interest in mind. They do however always return their proxies. This can give them over-representation in the voting processes and unfair control of the companies.

Why the Indifference to Voting among Individual Investors?

There are many possible reasons why individual investors are not returning their proxies in the numbers that they used to. These investors may not realize the importance of their votes. They may be too bogged down by paper work and short on time to bother with it. They may be concerned that their votes could effect their standing in the company or they may harbor other privacy worries.

Many could find the wording of the ballots filled with industry jargon and hard to understand. Some may believe that others would do the job for them. The reasons for not sending in proxies are as unique as the individual shareholders themselves.

How to Improve Proxy Returns

What can be done to encourage individual investors to vote on their behalf? Well thought-out communication and educational campaigns designed to call shareholders to action can help.

Battle plans must be devised to educate company shareholders on the importance of and the value of their votes. Companies need to communicate this message to individual investors in an inviting format that is filled with language that is to the point and easy to comprehend.

Getting individual investors to want to read and learn about the value of their vote is the crucial element in getting them involved the voting process.

Finding Help

Thankfully, there are resources available to assist in educating and informing individual investors of company goings-on. Both shareholder services agents and transfer agent companies, such as First American Stock, serve to strengthen the communication and understanding between shareholders and the public companies that they are investing in.

After all, communication lines between shareholders and companies must be open and comprehensible on both ends in order for proxy solicitations to be successful. That’s where the help of a good transfer agent can be crucial. Transfer agents that listen to a company’s unique challenges and concerns will likely be able to better communicate issues to their investors and to yield a superior response from them.

That’s why it is so important to select a transfer agent that will pay full attention to the details of a company’s requests and see that they are addressed promptly and professionally. This kind of friendly and personalized service works well for the company, and it will translate to its shareholders as well.

Transfer agents will work for companies to maintain records of shareholder ownership and assist them with their annual proxy solicitations. Ensuring that ballot issues, upcoming management elections and other concerns are well communicated and understood by shareholders will reinforce the value of their votes.

This matter is of course crucial to the future of companies because when individual investor votes aren’t returned, their voices are lost and others are heard in their place.

Ideally, you buy stock or currencies at its lowest price and sell at its highest.

Practically speaking, you do the best you can between these unpredictable extremes.

For, as you will see, the low does not become apparent until your stock begins to rise above it, the high is not established until your stock begins to drop away.

Although all of us could wish it otherwise, no bells, no flashing lights, no 21-gun salutes ever mark the bottom or the top.

Timing your stock transactions, therefore, is perhaps the most delicate element of investment, the decision requiring the keenest judgment and the surest touch. Experience helps, although success is not necessarily proportional to it. Veterans of the market, men who have been buying and selling for 30 or 40 years, sometimes seem to have a sixth sense about turning points, up or down, for individual stocks, or industrial groups, or the market as a whole.

On what seems to be no discernible evidence, they will mutter, “Well, I think the market’s going to fall out of bed,” and, sure enough, within a week there is a 9 or 10 point reaction. Yet newcomers may also acquire this skill with surprising speed.

Since judgment is a subjective quality, there are no firm rules for applying it. But there are generalities that can begin to define objectives and delimit areas of choice. And there are a number of techniques which attempt, more or less successfully, to better the average results obtained from trying to calculate timing arbitrarily.

Most professionals will tell you, right off, not to try for the extremes. The surest way to miss tops or bottoms is to wait for that last extra point of gain, that one more point of drop. Usually, an investor is considered to have done very well if he buys or sells within 5 points of the limit on a moderate-to-wide swing, within a point or two over a narrow range.

Another way of looking at the ideal objective is to reverse it: try to avoid selling at the low or buying at the top. This may seem to be superfluous advice, but both have happened many times when emotion entered heavily into judgment. Buying near or at the top is a temptation when a stock has been rising swiftly and steadily and the investor is eager to get aboard. The top, after all, is only relative.

New tops may be within reach which will make the current one seem a reasonable buying level. Selling near or at a low is tempting when a stock has slid downward and the holder has become disenchanted with it. The impulse is to sell out, take the loss, avoid further trouble, and be well rid of the dog.

The correctness of these decisions cannot be judged in the abstract. They depend, first, on your objectives (See Chapter 3) and on how closely or satisfactorily you have realized them. And they depend on your analysis of the several dimensions of highness and lowness involved.

Buying for income is relatively easy. The indicated dividend divided by the current price will give the yield in percentage terms. If the yield suits you, and investigation suggests that it is likely to be maintained, the price is right, whether it is in the high, middle, or low range for the year.

The problem of the buyer-for-income in recent years, of course, has been the fact that a rising market has reduced yields to some very uninspiring levels. The average yield of 10 big oils in the first quarter of 1959 was 3 per cent. For five chemicals it was 2.24 per cent. For seven steels it was 3.85 per cent. Only the better railroads were around 5 per cent, as a group.

Strictly on an income basis, the investor would do better at the savings bank than in oils and chemicals, and might be considered to have missed his market in these categories. The choice then is whether to argue himself into accepting 3 or 3.5 per cent (or 2.2 if he wants G.E., 1.5 if he wants Dow) in a sought-after category, whether to switch categories, or whether to ignore the market until conditions are more to his liking. There may also be a temptation to jump into a stock that for some reason is still yielding 5 or 6 per cent, although it would be foolish to do so without determining why it has maintained a high price/dividend relationship when everything else is low.

If the objective is capital gain, timing becomes more crucial. Somehow you must determine how many more points above the current price your stock is likely to go, and whether this will be a satisfactory profit, considering that possibly 25 per cent of it will go for taxes.

All rises must be predicated on earnings, or the expectation of earnings. Take, for instance, a stock selling at 50 and paying $2. This is a 4 per cent yield, which, we’ll say, is about average for this market this year.

Now, news gets out that it is possible that the company will earn $6 per share by year’s end. Since a 50-per cent payout is the general practice, a dividend rise to $3 is indicated.

Naturally, there will be a small rush toward the stock and a rise in the market price, probably to 75, or the new equivalent of 4 per cent.

This is the simplest sort of cause-and-effect relationship, so simple, in fact, that it practically never happens just this way. If prices reacted exclusively on good or bad dividend news or expectations, the market would be far more static than it is. Still, earnings and the benefits there from that shower down on the stockholder are the basic premise of stock activity.

The biggest complicating factor is the general absence of hard information. It’s rare that a jump in earnings can be positively pin-pointed, or pin-pointed before a market rise has taken effect. As a result, most investors have to contend with a vast range of other investors’ hopes, guesses, anticipations, and facts.

Furthermore, the stocks believed to have the greatest potential for growth usually vary the general pattern. The Dows, Minneapolis Honeywells, Owens-Cornings, and Minnesota Minings have long since been pushed to levels where their dividend returns are virtually meaningless, and where perhaps even their growth potential has been completely discounted.

Still, these extremities were more marked when stocks generally were yielding 5 and 6 per cent. Now that so many yield 3 and under, the growth specials do not seem so unreasonable at less than 2.

If you are trading shares or Forex you can also benefit from software that can help you time your purchases and sales for maximum profit.

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