January 31, 2006
I disagree with the proposed change in allowing companies to display their proxy material online rather than sending out a hardcopy. There are advantages of displaying proxy material on the Internet such as the cost effectiveness and availability however I see more negatives with this subject matter.
In the proposal, one of the arguments for displaying the proxy material on the Internet is the fact that seventy-five percent of our nation has Internet access. What about the other twenty-five percent who would have to struggle to find Internet access to view the material? By allowing this, we would essentially be preventing twenty-five percent of the population from investing in firms because they will not have access to the same amounts as information as investors with Internet access. This worries me because individuals like my grandparents who have investments in various companies and have no Internet access. The question then arises on how long companies will be forced to continue to send out hardcopies along with displaying them on the Internet. I am not in favor of this situation because I have a feeling hardcopies will be thrown out very quickly.
All in all, sending out hardcopies of proxy material is better for the company and investor. First of all, individuals with Internet access and without will both be on the same playing field. Also, is it really that smart to put all of this information on the Internet anyway? All that needs to happen is a have a hacker click away and delete all the information. How will investors react then? Though it may be less cost-efficient, mailing out hardcopies of the proxy material is the better choice since it is safer and more reliable.