Own a Little Stock in Lots of Companies

My Bristol-Myers-Squibb 2003 annual report came in the mail yesterday. I scanned it this morning and noticed a few interesting things and had a new business idea as a result. It reminded me of some advice I’ve given to entrepreneurs in the past that I’d like to blog about: own 1 share of as many companies as you can in the industries you are interested in.

As a shareholder, you’ll receive annual reports and other shareholder notices. These are excellent opportunities to see the big picture, learn what the company is saying to its stakeholders, and how it’s operations are doing.

Of course you can access SEC filings anytime on sec.gov and even tune into company conference calls on www.vcall.com and other sites; but it’s nice to be a shareholder and receive the expensive, glossy annual report in the mail. It makes you feel important. And you may catch things in the printed version that you might miss online.

By the way, if you even want to work for or run a publicly traded company, you are missing a great opportunity to hear how companies are run and how they report their operations by tuning into quarterly conference calls when companies report their earnings.

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