According to a recent article in Quartz, a global digital business news outlet, more than 50 percent of Americans invested in the stock market in 2019 versus about 30 percent in 1989. This is due in part to index and mutual funds making stock market investing easier and safer as risk is spread across many securities. Additionally, the new digital brokers have brought investing from Wall Street to main street.
Every Vote Matters
As part owners in a company, shareholders with voting rights can vote on important issues such as appointments to a company's board of directors, executive compensation, dividend payments, and the selection of auditors.
However, many shareholders might not be aware they have a voice in the company they’ve invested in and that their vote matters. On average, retail shareholders vote at a lower rate – 30 percent, year-to-year. This is due to several reasons. First, retail shareholders discount their influence on company policies and practices because of their modest stake in the company. Many retail shareholders also find the voting process challenging, feel they don’t have enough information to make informed decisions, and believe that proxy voting favors institutions over individual shareholders.
Find out 5 Best Practices to drive higher shareholder engagement in your proxy voting process.