InvestorsFriend Shareholder Advocacy Activities
Shawn Allen and InvestorsFriend have worked to protect shareholder interests since the inception this Web Site in June 1999.
InvestorsFriend Scores Victory for Retail Investors!!
Companies Are (mostly) No Longer Issuing Earnings During Trading Hours -
Thanks to Our Efforts
In late 2009 I made a formal complain to the Investment
Industry Regulatory Organization of
I pointed out that many companies were releasing earnings reports during trading hours and that this was unfair to retail investors. At first my complaint was rebuffed. But I persisted. A response from the Toronto Stock Exchange very helpfully pointed out clause 907 in the Toronto Stock Exchanges Company Manual that encouraged release of earnings after the close of trading:
But companies were ignoring that encouragement. Still, the regulatory organizations, and particularly the TSX did not admit that anything was wrong.
But... Success was achieved! The Regulators decided to start reminding companies of the "rule" that states that companies are encouraged to release earnings outside of trading hours. Most companies now seem to be releasing earnings outside of trading hours. Even the large banks in Canada have stopped their long-standing practice of issuing earnings during trading hours.
Industry Regulatory Organization of
I can score this as a victory for small retail investors over analysts and institutional investors. While the regulators at first rebuffed me, they eventually did take action and I applaud them for that.
Submission Regarding the Need for Trading Halts when material news is released
Submitted to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada in early 2011
Corporate Governance - Ontario Securities Commission
In April 2009, the Ontario Securities Commission invited submissions on the topics Corporate Governance including the selection of members for Board's of directors and the duties of Audit committees.
I made a submission which pointed out to the Securities Commission that Warren Buffett had addressed these topics and I quoted the points that Buffett had made.
The Commission closed this file with no further changes to corporate governance. They had basically been proposing to add even more politically correct mumbo jumbo feel good regulations but mercifully they backed off. Possibly the words of Warren Buffett that I provided them with helped them to come to their senses.
Revolutionizing the Capital Markets - Ontario Securities Commission
In 2005, the Ontario Securities Commission invited comments on changes to the Short-Form Prospectus.
I took the opportunity to write in with a radical suggestion that would revolutionize the capital markets.
I suggested that large established companies already trading on the stock exchange should be allowed to issue small amounts of shares at any time without the need of a prospectus. This would be the opposite of share buy backs, these would be share sales by the companies. Essentially a company could raise small amounts of new capital much more easily than at present.
My submission is here
The Ontario Securities Commission acknowledged and understood the suggestion in its summary of comments but did not comment on its merits and the idea, to my knowledge, was never heard from again.
Another idea in terms of Revolutionizing the Capital markets would be to get rid of the archaic distinction between registered shares and shares held in the name of your broker (street name). Almost all shares are registered electronically these days and there is no excuse to give privileges (like an easier ability to vote their shares) to those who "register" their shares. All shares should be instantly and electronically registered. Among other advantages this would allow companies to know who their share holders are and to communicate more easily with their owners. Possibly there would have to be an opt-out feature for those concerned with privacy.
Other Shareholder Advocacy
Every stock report we do comments on executive compensation. See also our articles on Management Behavior and Disclosure issues.
I have written to several companies over the years to ask for improvements in disclosure and in some cases the suggestion has been accepted.
Shawn C. Allen, CFA, CMA. MBA, P.Eng.
last updated: April 23, 2011
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