Is it important to attend the Annual General Meetings (AGM)s by companies you bought stocks in. What happens there? - Seedly
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Annual General Meetings (AGM)

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Anonymous

Asked on 08 Apr 2019

Is it important to attend the Annual General Meetings (AGM)s by companies you bought stocks in. What happens there?

I recently received a bunch of annual reports in the mail, some of which are my parents and some are mine. I hardly see them go down for the AGM and I also hardly hear my peers who just started investing go down to these AGMs. So I wonder how important is it to go or not?

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Billy Ko

Billy Ko

Level 7. Grand Master

Updated on 07 Jun 2019

Hi there,

I would strongly recommend you to attend if the stock you've bought is a sizeable one, its really interesting to listen to questions raised by others and how the management of the company answers them. The main reason why people attend AGM's is to interact with the management. I've heard questions such as why don't the company increase frequency of dividends (their dividend payout was on a yearly basis), how they intend to mitigate risks moving forward, how does one justify director fees given poor performance by the company.

It's akin to interacting with the Annual Report of the company, just that this time round, its a responsive one.

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Question Poster

10 Apr 2019

Thank you billy!
Thank You!
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Wallace Chai

Wallace Chai

Level 9. God of Wisdom

Answered on 04 Dec 2019

Would definitely be important to attend as that is the place where you can get the most value out of it. That is the place where investors csn shoot them any questions and they have to answer it. Most of the time, you will be able to get alot of gems from it. Listening at how they talk and present can actually give you a sense of the character of the directors.

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Junus Eu

Junus Eu

Level 9. God of Wisdom

Answered on 04 Dec 2019

I personally think it's useful to go down to meet management in person (NOT FOR THE BUFFETS!).

The main motivation for me to attend investor meetings and AGMs is to meet the management team in person, and also watch their facial expressions when they answer questions.

When I used to work in equity research - I recall a moment when the Head of IR rolled his eyes to complain about how stingy the CEO is, because of the approvals he had to go through just to book his flight to Singapore.

Sometimes you can glean extra insights from small talk ;)​​​

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I like the answers here, especially Sudhan's!

I won't be repetitive. Apart from asking questions, the key here is to observe the body language of the management.

Are they evasive?

How are they treating their shareholders?

Do they perspire or show signs of anxiety when tough questions were being asked?

Also, find other shareholders to chat with them. When I go to an AGM filled with uncles and aunties asking for the buffet, I get turned off sometimes.

However, when I go to an AGM where I see frequent faces and analysts, I tend to approach them and ask them what did they like about the company and we'd exchange numbers. Meet up after AGM or in the future to discuss other companies in our portfolios. Made a lot of good friends over the years!

I highly encourage you to go there! Challenge yourself to ask a question!

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If you can spare the time, definitely attend the AGMs. The really juicy part occurs when you get to throw questions at the management. (There will be the occasional odd question, so just have to live with it)

Observe the questions asked and how the management answers (or avoids answering) the questions. Subtle clues in their response will tell you how they steer the ship. I know for sure that I've heard a couple of very calm and well thought out responses to some of the AGMs I've attended which reinforced my belief that the company is in good hands. Sometimes, if a response sounds fishy, trust your gut feeling that there's something left unsaid.

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Sudhan

Sudhan

Level 6. Master

Answered on 03 Dec 2019

I would highly recommend going to AGMs. Attending AGMs allows one to observe subtle clues about management that may not be possible to know just by reading annual reports. It also allows the investor to meet the management face-to-face and ask them questions and observe their body language when answering them.

Once the AGM has started, notice how the meeting generally is conducted. Is it conducted in a business-like way with decorum? There will also be time given to ask questions. Some of the questions you can ask are (not all might be relevant to the companies you are invested in):

  • What are some of the mistakes you have done over the past year and how did you rectify them?

  • Why do customers buy your products over those of your competitors?

  • What are you doing that your competitors aren’t doing yet?

  • What is the current biggest threat to the company and industry?

  • What are the future growth plans in place to increase shareholders' value?

  • From the time an initial customer prospect is identified, how long does it take to close the sale?

  • Are there any important sectors of your market which you don't address?

  • Are there any new entrants into the market in the last 2 years?

  • Is there any seasonality in your business other than as reflected in orders and backlog?

  • Is the marketing conducted any differently overseas?

  • What is the long-term outlook of the company? Where do you see yourself 5 to 10 years into the future?

  • What are your long-term objectives for profit margins and how do you intend to achieve those goals?

  • Over the next few years, how would you expect the components of your income statement to change in relation to each other?

  • Should one expect to see major acquisitions or divestitures as part of your plan for the short-term?

  • What are your plans for capital expenditures for the next few years and what specific product areas do you plan to stress?

  • What are you currently spending your money on in R&D?

After the AGM, the management team will usually be lingering around the buffet spread area to interact with shareholders. You can ask more questions then. Notice how the managers and directors carry themselves when interacting with people. Are they humble? Are they approachable and friendly? Are they forthcoming?​​​

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Is good to go esp when you cant read the annual report.

There will be issues addressed if any by other savvy investors like me.

sometimes by attending, you get to make a faster decision on whether to

  1. add

  2. reduce or

  3. run

hope my replies hlp.

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Here’s what I know so far having attended a few AGMs in the past years:

  • Uncle and aunties going to eat buffets

  • People in suits posting up slides of performance and highlights

  • Some disgruntled investors asking for change and questioning management salaries and bonuses

  • Special votes if any

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Its not that important to attend AGM in singapore because the minority investors dont ask that many hard questions.

Howerve going to AGM in my view is good because it allows one to ask the hard questions and see how mgmt answers. Sometimes annul report only report the good information but going to AGM helps you pry more into details which would otherwise not be announced or read inAnnual reports

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Bjorn Ng

Bjorn Ng

Level 9. God of Wisdom

Answered on 03 Dec 2019

I think it's a very good experience to go. You get to meet the management, get a feel of how they are, meet fellow shareholders and also ask questions directly to the management. You will really get a lot more insight than in the annual report itself. Personally, I have only been to an REITs EGM and it was a eye opener for me, very interesting and somehow hearing the management talk makes you more focused!

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Alex Yeo

Alex Yeo

Level 4. Prodigy

Answered on 03 Dec 2019

If you have the time to attend, why not? Free food and maybe some freebies like vouchers?

If not you can always rely on external websites(eg. fifth person) or blogposts(eg. investingnote) for AGM summaries.

https://fifthperson.com/

https://www.investingnote.com/

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Its nice to go there to see how shareholders (usually the elders) question & scrutinize the mgmt and observe how mgmt handle tough queries.

More interesting to attend EGM which are held for one-off matters such as acquisitions, asset disposal etc

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Some go for free food. Some go to ask questions to the management and see how the company is doing and what their plans are.

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