In addition, the proxy voting process facilitates shareholder knowledge of and participation in key governance issues faced by the companies in which they have invested.
As an individual investor, you are not required to participate in proxy elections. However, individual investors hold approximately 30 percent* of the stock of large U.S. corporations. That is a significant block of stakeholders in the success of a company, whose views will be reflected in proxy voting results—as long as shareholders, like you, choose to be involved in the process. All shareholders are entitled and encouraged to make their views known to company management on topics covered on proxy ballots that may impact shareholder value, such as, executive compensation packages, issuance of stock options, the election of directors, etc. Shareholder participation by proxy or otherwise, is critical in creating effective company policy that will help ensure the companies you have invested in remain strong, profitable and represent the values of their investors for years to come.
*According to the Federal Reserve Flow of Funds