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Nat Worden contributor Nat Worden provides stock market news and analysis as they impact your portfolio.

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Invest for Your Pocketbook, Not Your Conscience

Tue, 29 Jan 2013 13:30 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The horrific mass shooting at a public elementary school in Newton, Conn., in December thrust the thorny questions about runaway gun violence in America into the national spotlight. For investors, one of those questions is clear: what responsibility do we hold, if any, for the social ills caused by businesses in which we are stakeholders?

The California State Teachers' Retirement System, known as CalSTRS, signaled its answer after the Newton shooting by voting to sell off its holdings in gun manufacturing companies. That appears to have prompted private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management to sell off its stake in the Freedom Group, a company that manufactures the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle that authorities say was one of the murder weapons used in Newton.

>>> Also see: Twitter's Vine App Might Grow Larger Than Instagram, Flickr ...

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I'll Buy Andrew Sullivan News For 20 Bucks

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 15:24 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's a thrill to watch journalist Andrew Sullivan break away from big media companies and launch his own reader-supported, ad-free venture to continue the work that has made him so famous and successful as a true independent.

The dawn of the digital age has generally been tough on professional content producers because the Internet has disrupted many of the traditional business models that supported their livelihood. The great promise of the web, though, has always been that it will ultimately enable talented content producers to break free from the corrupting influence of the handful of giant media conglomerates that have long had a stranglehold on access to mass audiences. This cutting out of the middle-man will ultimately lead to a more direct connection between audiences and creators and more quality content.

Sullivan is one of the few figures in journalism who can pull off such a stunt now, so it may be overly optimistic to call this the beginning of a trend towards this ideal, but I hope it is. We are in dire need of mainstream, popular journalists who can achieve pure financial and editorial independence. Judging by the early results of Sullivan's foray, he's well on his way to achieving that. ...

Click to view a price quote on IACI.

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Support the Push for Responsible News

Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:25 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- During last year's holiday season, I used this space to appeal to readers to consider making year-end charitable contributions to nonprofit journalism outlets, like Pro Publica and the Center For Investigative Reporting.

I'd like to renew the suggestion again this year and point out that if the current budget negotiations in Washington, D.C. result in a limit on charitable deductions, this could be your last chance to give freely to these organizations and fully write it off on your taxes.

Why is this something that I feel strongly about? Simply put: it is critical that we as a democratic society increase the amount of factual, understandable and useful information that is available to our citizens to help them make better decisions to improve their lives. That means that we need journalists that are free and motivated to challenge those who wield the most power in our society, get answers to the tough questions and reveal the important facts to our citizens in a clear and compelling way. ...

Click to view a price quote on NWSA.

Click to research the Media industry.


Don't Invest Based On Tax Policy Shifts

Tue, 20 Nov 2012 13:57 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The S&P 500 shed nearly 5% in the two weeks following the news of President Obama's reelection, and a number of concerns have been cited for the sell-off.

I wrote about the fiscal cliff last week in Fiscal Snooze, noting that I wasn't particularly concerned about it, and I feel the same way about this week's subject: the threat of higher taxes.

Many investors appear to have worked themselves into a tizzy about the increased likelihood that they'll soon be paying higher taxes. Given the historically low tax rates that Americans are enjoying right now and the precarious state of the public coffers, tax hikes have long seemed inevitable. The election results have confirmed this for many, and the president's legions of passionate critics are no doubt feeling especially emotional about it. ...

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Fiscal Snooze

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 14:20 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Now that the presidential election is finally over, the next installment of political theater from Washington, D.C. is upon us: behold "The Fiscal Cliff."

President Obama's reelection, which apparently came as a surprise to some despite all the data predicting it, inspired a few days of selling in the stock market. Investors, however, are also concerned about "The Fiscal Cliff" -- the media's dramatic term for the expiring tax cuts and unemployment benefits coupled with across-the-board cuts in military and domestic programs that are set to take effect after New Year's if the federal government isn't able to broker a deal beforehand that would avert it all.

I don't mean to make light of our nation's serious fiscal challenges, but forgive me for being a bit skeptical about this arbitrary deadline that has been invented out of thin air by our fearless leaders. If this Washington showdown is anything like the disgraceful debt-ceiling negotiations that took place last year, when Congressional Republicans threatened to default on America's financial obligations unless they got their way, then please wake me up when it's all over. I can't stomach another round of this foolishness. ...


Netflix CEO Won't Buy What Icahn Is Selling

Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:48 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a 10% stake in Netflix , saying publicly that he views the popular online video site as a takeover target for larger media, tech and telecommunications giants.

Shareholders are typically paid a hefty premium over the market price of their stock when their company is acquired, and Icahn is a brilliant investor. He knows the video entertainment business well, and he has numerous facts to back him up on this one. But I doubt he'll be received well by Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings.

That's where I suspect this is all headed -- a public tussle between Icahn and Hastings over the sale of Netflix. Right now, Icahn is talking nice about Hastings, praising him for expanding internationally and developing original series and calling him a "smart guy." ...

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Going Mobile

Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:30 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It seems only right that a company whose mission is to make information available to all would release each draft of its earnings report to the public throughout the writing process. And so it was that Google's third-quarter earnings results became available on the Security and Exchange Commission's Web site hours earlier than planned on Thursday after someone apparently hit the button by mistake. The screw-up produced breathless consternation from the earnings brigade on Wall Street, but it only hastened the inevitable as shares of the Internet search giant plunged at the realization that mobile advertising isn't living up to expectations as a profit engine. Google's net income dropped 20% from the same quarter last year, missing expectations, but the loss was largely due to a $527 million cash bleed from Motorola Mobility, the mobile phone maker Google recently acquired. Its revenue was actually up 45% from the same quarter last year in the quarter. Even the top line, however, was worrisome to some because the average price-per-click on Google ads was down for the fourth time in a row. This trend is largely attributable to the rise of the mobile web usage on smart phones and tablets. Mobile ads are rightly perceived by advertisers as being less valuable than ads viewed on a larger screen computer. For anyone who came from the old media world, there is a certain sense of justice that comes from watching the economics of Google's search business get undermined by new consumer technologies. After all, that's exactly what Google did to publishing. No one should be surprised, though, that the lofty expectations that have been built up on Wall Street for the mobile advertising business are proving to be a mirage. The growth-starved media industry has a longstanding habit of hyping anything that promises to pull it out of its misery, and mobile advertising has been a key talking point on Madison Avenue for years, along with international sales, which isn't working out so well at the moment either. As a Google shareholder, none of this leaves me particularly worried. The announcement that Newsweek is putting its print magazine edition out of its misery is the latest bit of evidence of the inevitable march of media consumers onto the web, and Google has the best mouse trap for monetizing online media with its wonderful search advertising business, and it controls 75% of the search market. Oh, and it is also the leader in display and mobile advertising. I expect the company to continue growing long into the future, even if its earnings releases hit the tape early by mistake. I could care less about when people find out about a piece of information. The earlier corporate earnings information becomes available the better, I say. I care about the implications of the underlying information, and Google's results don't look too shabby to me. The biggest concern about Google has long been that the company will waste the spoils of its search business on ill-fated investments and acquisitions like Motorola, where the jury is still out. At this point, though, I cut Google some slack on that score, based on the quality of its people and the chaotic nature of its business. Google is based on the quality of its people and the chaotic nature of its business. Google is absolutely right to make some investments in new potential lines of business at this stage. With competitors like Apple , Facebook and Microsoft , Google can't be complacent. Click to view a price quote on GOOG. Click to research the Internet industry. [...]

Jack Welch Is Being Dishonest: Opinion

Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jack Welch's response to the criticism leveled at him for accusing President Obama of manipulating federal employment data for political gain is simply ridiculous.

Sorry to revisit an issue I raised here last week, but Welch's response to the criticism he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed demands further scrutiny because he is trying to avoid the real issue here.

My criticism of Welch is not that he questioned the accuracy of the latest round of federal employment data. After all, there is always a torrent of analysis that spills forth after the politically consequential federal employment data is released, dissecting the numbers and questioning their validity every month -- and that's great. Government data deserves critical scrutiny, obviously -- just as the financial statements issued by companies like, say, General Electric deserve scrutiny. ...

Click to view a price quote on GE.

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The Sad Story of Jack Welch in Retirement: Opinion

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Look out, readers. With Election Day approaching, silly season has begun.

In response to much-needed positive developments in the U.S. labor market -- the unemployment rate finally dropped below 8% -- many people got strangely angry, including the former CEO of one of the nation's most prominent companies, General Electric .

"Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change the numbers," wrote Jack Welch on Twitter after the news broke. The comment was partly a reference to President Obama's poor performance in the recent presidential debate. ...

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Where Is the Debate Over the Internet?

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 12:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- We're all familiar with the incredible changes that have taken place in society over the last two decades as a result of the Internet and digital communications.

Google , Apple , Facebook , and others have emerged as great American brands, and this burst of innovation has made all our lives easier in a myriad of ways.

Still, we're only at the beginning of the digital revolution. For everything the Internet has done, it still has yet to really replace other important media, like our telephony, broadcast and cable networks, all of which remain central to the way most Americans live. ...

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A Note of Caution

Mon, 17 Sep 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's nice to see the stock market doing so well lately, but the reasons underlying the recent move upwards concern me.

It's deja vu all over again. Investors are waltzing past troubling news that is piling up about the fundamentals of the economy and corporate earnings, and once again they're focused on the punch bowl --the Federal Reserve's revived efforts to pump cheap liquidity into the market and stimulate the economy.

Now, some critics are reacting strongly and harshly to the news that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is embarking on a new round of asset purchases to push down interest rates and spur borrowing and risk-taking activity. I admire their strong convictions, but I don't share them. Bernanke is in a difficult jam, and I don't have the expertise to second-guess him. ...

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Where's The Market Going? Nobody Knows: Opinion

Tue, 04 Sep 2012 11:00 GMT

"The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing."


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When people hear that I write about the financial markets, they often ask me: "So, what are stocks going to do this year?" ...

Click to view a price quote on JPM.

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Choose David Over Goliath

Mon, 27 Aug 2012 12:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Small-cap stocks are generally riskier than large-caps, but value investors that are willing to do a bit of homework should focus most of their efforts on them anyway.

Large-cap names, such as Apple and Exxon Mobil, dominate the financial news because media companies are trying to capture the widest audience possible. They also garner the most attention from the major fund managers, who are typically restricted from buying stocks with a market cap below $1 billion.

As a result, most investors own large-cap stocks, but following the herd is rarely part of a great investment strategy. Small-caps offer more fertile ground for the studious stockpicker precisely because they are lesser-known quantities. This is a fact the small investor should wield to his or her advantage. ...

Click to view a price quote on XOM.

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Get More Women on Boards: Opinion

Mon, 20 Aug 2012 11:30 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate means it's highly unlikely a women will be on a U.S. presidential campaign ticket from either major political party in 2012. That's too bad.

I'm not one who would vote for somebody, or hire them, based on gender alone but when more women occupy positions of power it's a sign of progress. In case you haven't noticed, our leaders in government and business -- generally speaking -- haven't been doing a very good job, and those arenas are largely dominated by men.

Remember when Wall Street, an industry that is overwhelmingly male, was bailed out of financial ruin by the U.S. government? Coincidence? I think not. Data from a recent study by the Credit Suisse Research Institute backs me up. It showed that shares of companies with a market cap of more than $10 billion and with women board members outperformed those of comparable companies with all-male boards by 26% worldwide over a six-year period that included the global financial crisis. ...

Click to view a price quote on EL.

Click to research the Consumer Non-Durables industry.


Make Volatility Your Friend

Thu, 09 Aug 2012 10:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --The investing public isn't feeling so great these days about the stock market or the financial industry in general, and last week's trading snafu by Knight Capital Group was the latest log to fall on the bonfire of mistrust that is engulfing Wall Street. The blaze is also being stoked by all the usual vanities, to borrow a phrase from the great Tom Wolfe. "We need new regulations!" say the politicians. "The game is rigged!" cry the pundits. "Will Knight survive this fiasco?" wonder the speculators. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath. Let's review what happened here. Knight is a market-making, electronic execution, and institutional sales and trading firm that used to be the largest trader of U.S. stocks on Wall Street with a market share over 17% on the New York Stock Exchange. Last Wednesday, a technical glitch in its proprietary trading algorithms caused sharp swings in a handful of stocks, which ultimately cost the firm $440 million... oh, and its reputation. The episode was a mini-reprise of the so-called "Flash Crash" that rocked the markets back in 2010 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average suddenly dropped by more than 1,000 points for no apparent reason, only to recover within minutes. That episode brought the rise of high-frequency, computerized trading to the public consciousness, and it too set off a temporary bonfire of the vanities that ultimately resulted in... well... nothing really. Last week's debacle also reopened fresh wounds from Facebook's disastrous initial public offering, when some investors experienced trading glitches on the Nasdaq, but what do we really expect here? Do we think that in this age of digitization, computing power will not transform the way our financial markets function? Assuming the answer is no, then do we actually think there won't be glitches and mistakes resulting from this? In this case, Knight paid a dear price for its transgressions: The value of the company plummeted, it lost huge amounts of business and it suffered damage to its reputation damage that may be irreparable. "We screwed up," Knight's CEO Thomas Joyce said on CNBC early this week. "We paid the price." I don't mean to minimize these events or the broader concerns they raise. Certainly, it's disconcerting that high-frequency, automated trading now makes up the vast majority of the trades that are placed on our major financial exchanges. The robots took over our financial markets before most of us really understood any of this. Regulators surely have a responsibility to respond to this development swiftly and sensibly (yeah, I'm not holding my breath either). Computerized, high-frequency trading has fueled the hyper-short-term mindset of the financial industry, adding to valid perceptions on the part of the public that Wall Street has become little more than a glorified casino, and its major financial institutions that now enjoy back-stopping from the federal government also have an unfair edge in the markets, enabling them to pile up quick trading profits off breaking news. That's bad news for investors that try to play Wall Street's game of actively trading in and out of stocks or options or funds in an effort to time the market and rack up trading gains over time to grow their accumulated wealth. Such an exercise would be quixotic even if the marketplace was a level playing field. Under the circumstances, it's certifiably insane. As I've argued numerous times before in this space, the proper method for investing in stocks is to buy equity in companies that you have good reason to believe are underpriced and have bright prospects for increasing their profits over t[...]

Why We Invest

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 16:54 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- You've seen the headlines: "Is Wall Street Fair?" The obvious answer is no, of course not. Never has been. But that doesn't mean we should stash all our excess cash under a mattress.

The controversy over Facebook's disastrous initial public offering has been exacerbated by allegations that Morgan Stanley only shared accurate information about the company's growth prospects with certain privileged clients.

The New York Times reports that investment banks are furnishing advanced information about changes in stock ratings by sell-side analysts to large hedge funds. Meanwhile, automated, algorithmic trading by computers that exploit early access to information make up an increasingly large portion of the trades placed on major securities exchanges. ...

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We Need To Do Better

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 18:07 GMT

"And all the news just repeats itself

Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen."

-John Prine ...

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Watch Your Fees

Fri, 13 Jul 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --One truth that is too often overlooked is that the fees that investors pay for investment management services are, on average, the most consequential factor in their performance.

The moral of the story is that the most important thing retail investors can do when weighing their investment options is to compare them based on fees and make sure they're getting the cheapest option for the service they're getting.

Most people approach investing with a very different attitude. They want to know how the stock market is going to do over the next year, and whether or not they should invest in international funds because overseas markets will perform well, or whether small-caps will outperform large-caps or vice-versa. ...

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Chasing Performance Is a Fool's Game

Fri, 29 Jun 2012 11:00 GMT

"The loser now will be later to win, for the times they are a changin'."

-Bob Dylan NEW YORK (TheStreet) --At around 1,300, the S&P 500 was recently trading around 8% below the highs it made last spring, although it's still up by more than 3% for 2012. How does the performance of your stock portfolio compare?

Did your manager hold shares of J.P. Morgan Chase when the recent news of its huge trading loss broke and its stock tanked? Did your manager fail to buy Apple before it enjoyed spectacular gains? ...

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Even When Low, Inflation Can Hurt

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Inflation fears have subsided as the economic outlook has darkened once again. This is boosting the dollar and sending gold prices lower while many observers are pushing the Federal Reserve to take more drastic monetary policy actions to support the economy as a gridlocked Congress stands idle.

Even if policymakers overlook the threat of inflation, though, investors shouldn't forget the damage that even low-level inflation can have on their holdings -- particularly at a time when interest rates are at record lows.

The Consumer Price Index, which is the official reading of inflation in the U.S., has increased by 1.7% over the last 12 months through May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That marks a steady decline from the 3.9% peak last September, and it's a historically low level. Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that the Fed's Open Markets Committee foresees prices remaining stable with the inflation rate at or below the central bank's 2% target. ...

Click to view a price quote on MRK.

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Beware of the Bond Bubble

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 10:30 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's ironic that while pundits and politicians are fulminating about our nation's debt crisis, the top-performing asset class in our public financial markets has been U.S. debt securities.

Other countries facing a debt crisis have seen the value of their bond issues drop as investors grow concerned about the risk of default and buyers of the bonds demand a higher yield to compensate them for taking that risk.

The U.S., however, is a different animal. On the day Standard & Poor's cut its triple-A credit rating last summer, the value of U.S. Treasury bonds actually rose in spite of the country's political gridlock, its spiraling entitlement costs, its foreboding demographic trends, its total debt that now amounts to more than $15 trillion (over 103% of GDP), and its annual budget deficit approaching $1.5 trillion. ...

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Business Should Lead the Fight Against Junk Food

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 14:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. companies are scrambling to portray a softer side of themselves to the public in this age of crisis and scandal, but Walt Disney's recent announcement that it will voluntarily limit product advertising on its media outlets for children by adhering to a set of strict, new nutritional standards caught my attention.

This news came shortly after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, launched a push to ban sales of super-sized sugary drinks at certain establishments here in New York City. The proposal stirred immediate controversy, with protests from many quarters, including the beverage and restaurant industry.

Bloomberg is creating a "nanny state," they argue, where New Yorkers can't decide for themselves what size sugary drink they want to consume. Where do we draw the line? What product will be banned next? ...

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Data Signal a Housing Bottom

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 16:04 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One development in recent economic data that should be getting more attention from investors is a series of signs that the U.S. housing market may have reached a bottom and is beginning a long-awaited recovery.

It's a story that's easy to overlook, in part because it's hardly spectacular in comparison with Europe's debt crisis, weak employment data and an upcoming U.S. presidential election. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index came in essentially flat for March on a seasonally adjusted basis, marking the end of a long string of declines. That came after the National Association of Realtors said last week that sales of previously owned homes increased 3.4% in April from a month earlier. If the housing market has begun a recovery, today's stock prices are a long-term bargain.

Housing remains deeply depressed, but the data are fueling hope that the current mix of low home prices and record-low mortgage rates is luring buyers for this spring selling season. Housing starts and building permits have shown recent increases, and shares of some homebuilders have bucked the market's sell-off. Shares of Toll Brothers are up more than 10% since the beginning of March, while the S&P 500 is down by more than 5% over the same period. Shares of Lennar are up 9%; shares of D.R. Horton are up 7%. ...

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Market Checkup Time: Go Smell the Roses

Fri, 25 May 2012 10:30 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Summer is here and the stock market is sick again. Let's put the patient up on the exam table and perform a brief checkup.

The Standard & Poor's 500 is down about 7% since the highs it made at the beginning of April. In Wall Street parlance, a selloff does not officially become a "correction" until the S&P is off by 10%, but this pullback has everyone worried once again that another recession is near.

What are the concerns? The U.S. economic recovery has slowed again, according to some economic indicators, including a series of weak national employment gains in recent months. The mess in Europe remains a key wildcard for the global economy, and China has slowed and is showing some signs of further meltdown. ...

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Value Investing: Cardinal Rule or Best-Kept Secret?

Fri, 18 May 2012 10:15 GMT

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK (Clear Harbor Asset Management) -- Psssst ... I've got a secret about investing your money: It's all about figuring out what things are really worth and then paying a lot less for them.

I don't know why I'm whispering. This secret is widely preached, but few seem to be able to actually practice it. One exception is Joel Greenblatt, the founder of Gotham Capital, an investment partnership that achieved 40% annualized returns for the 20 years after its founding in 1985....

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A New Threat to the Financial Industry's Status Quo

Wed, 09 May 2012 15:47 GMT

This story was updated 10:15 a.m. May 10, 2012 to include a response from money-manager Fidelity regarding hidden fees.

The following commentary is from an investment professional with Clear Harbor Asset Management who is a participant in TheStreet's expert contributor program.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- SigFig, a new online service for retail investors, appears to make real strides toward bringing a level of transparency to the financial industry that has been sorely lacking. SigFig's founders aim to turn trickle of investors choosing independent, lower-cost advisers into a flood. ...


Rethink Groupthink: Sheep Get Slaughtered

Thu, 03 May 2012 11:00 GMT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When push comes to shove, the vast majority of investors -- professional and otherwise -- tend to stick with the herd. As a result, statistics show that the long-term performance of most investors tends to be mediocre at best.

Truly independent thinking is a rare commodity on Wall Street and everywhere else. What's more, the explosion of 24-7 media consumption threatens to fuel more groupthink, which can have disastrous results.


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Netflix: Great Company, Bad Investment

Wed, 25 Apr 2012 11:00 GMT

The following commentary is from an investment professional with Clear Harbor Asset Management who is a participant in TheStreet's expert contributor program.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Last year was painful for Netflix shareholders, and 2012 isn't shaping up very well either. Last summer, shares of the online video company traded mostly over $250, reaching the $300-mark at one point. Less than a year later, the stock has lost well over half its value, trading below $100 despite a healthy gain for major stock indices during that time-frame. The latest selloff, in response to its first-quarter earnings release on Monday afternoon, sent the price below $90.

Not surprisingly, Netflix doesn't appear to be encouraging much participation in its annual shareholders' meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 1 at the company's headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif....

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Profit and Help Children: A Win-Win Event

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 21:37 GMT

The following commentary is from an investment professional with Clear Harbor Asset Management who is a participant in TheStreet's expert contributor program.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Want to hear hot tips from some of the greatest investors in the world? Do you also want to support cancer research and help children suffering from devastating illnesses? Sign up to attend the 2012 Ira Sohn Conference, which takes place on May 16 at Lincoln Center in New York City. It's not too late.

The animal spirits of capitalism typically don't mix well with the selfless altruism of charity, but the annual Ira Sohn Conference is one shining exception to that rule. For as little as a $1,500 tax-deductible donation, anyone can attend the event and hear the latest investment ideas from the likes of Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn and Pershing Square Capital's Bill Ackman presented in detail. ...


Proxy Voting in the Digital Age

Wed, 11 Apr 2012 12:58 GMT

The following commentary is from an investment professional with Clear Harbor Asset Management who is a participant in TheStreet's expert contributor program.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Do you own stock in a company that is holding its annual shareholders' meeting this spring at a place or time that doesn't fit your schedule? Visit the investor relations page of the company's Web site and see if it will be webcasting the event. If not, fire off an email complaint to the firm's investor relations contact or take to your favorite social media network to demand a webcast.

The Securities and Exchange Commission currently doesn't require companies to webcast their annual meetings, but many public companies are doing this, and all of them should. In the digital age, there is no reason why shareholders should have to be physically present at their company's annual meetings to monitor what goes on and participate. ...