The Annual General Meetings (AGM) season is finally over.
To some people, the main objective in attending an AGM is the buffet spread that usually happens after the meeting. Some shareholders see this as another form of dividend that they are entitled to. Heartland Boy doesn’t like to participate in the mad dash and am quite glad that more companies have recently replaced the buffet with bento sets. This is to minimize the incidence of kiasuism rearing its ugly head. Interestingly, some companies such as Capital Mall Trust have replaced meals with Capita Mall vouchers. So maybe, it is indeed right to think that the freebies that often accompany the AGM (whether buffet spread, bento set or vouchers) are indeed another form of dividend for the shareholders. Buy one hundred shares of Capitaland and receive S$ 20 Capita Mall vouchers during the AGM, that’s an additional 6.5% yield. Such yield is quite hard to beat and please don’t say you got the idea from Heartland Boy!
By the way, don’t get Heartland Boy wrong. He is super excited by queues, especially when it is at his beloved food haunt, hawker centers. However, when it comes to AGM, he is just like the perennial kiasu Singaporean student who lingers around even after lecture has long ended so as to get more tips from the Professor.
How to Prepare for AGMs
In order to get ready, Heartland Boy actually prepares for an AGM just like how he would have studied for a class test 😀
- He reads the Annual Report. Not every single page but he zooms in on the Chairman Statement. It usually gives a good macroeconomic outlook on the operating conditions of the industry.
- He reads his personal notes on the company. This note helps him to crystallise his thoughts and also reminds him why he bought into the company in the first place. Keeping notes are damn right important because if the original investment thesis had changed, it is time to ditch the stock.
- He pens down the questions that he would like to ask the Directors. Typically, these are questions that have not been answered via the conventional routes (analyst reports, investor relations, forums etc).
How to Attend AGMs Without Being Physically There
Unfortunately, being based in Jakarta and with most of the AGMs held on weekdays, Heartland Boy can no longer simply apply half day leave, and take the MRT down to attend an AGM anymore. As such, he has attended a grand total of “0” sessions this season. However, he is undeterred by this physical distance and here are some methods he used to attend in proxy:
- Trawl forums such as Valuebuddies and Sharejunction. Sometimes, Heartland Boy simply tries his luck by posting his questions on the forums before the AGM in the hope that fellow shareholders will pick them up!
- Read AGM reviews written on fellow finance blogs such as The Fifth Person, BfGf Money Blog and Forever Financial Freedom. Read this article of a shareholder who was impressed by the CEO and the AGM reinforced his position on the company. Although Heartland Boy is not so sure that he still feels the same now after the company released a disastrous set of 1Q results.
If there is a will, there is a way! Heartland Boy honestly thinks that the value of an AGM goes way beyond the buffet meals, bento sets and vouchers provided. But damn, it’s really quite hard to look past these freebies too.