Hey WSJ, it’s 2016. Time to stop calling individual investors ‘Mom-and-Pop.’

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On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled Companies Forgot About Mom­-and-­Pop Investors …Until Now. You can read it here.(if you are subscribed)

Last Thursday’s VirtualInvestorConferences.com event brought 1,500 investors online to listen to CEO’s as well as to an education breakout session on the impact of Brexit for individual investors. During these online roadshow presentations, over 300 questions were asked by investors directly to CEOs.

Does this type of activity fit the Grant Woodesque “Mom-and-Pop” narrative?

No, it does not – nor has it ever since we launched our online non-deal roadshow portal in 2010. 65 conferences ago. Since then, we’ve had 40K plus investors log-in and pose questions to hundreds of companies, ranging from mega-cap to new generation RegA+ registrants.

What we have experienced since 2010:

  • We refer to this audience as individual investors or, if feeling casual, “Main Street” investors juxtaposed to “Wall Street.”
  • We dropped the label “retail Investors” as it implied a “shopping mentality” rather than a strategic persona.
  • We changed the name of the portal from “retailinvstorconferences… to virtualinvestorconfeences to demonstrate the leveling of all investors.
  • Since 2012, our exclusive study of “How Investors Consume Investor Relations Content” has received 40,000 unique answers from individual investors. You can request the 2016 report here.
  • A major stock exchange and a global ADR bank, both recognizing the impact any investor can have on a stock, use our portal to bring their listed clients to the online investing public.

In defense of the WSJ, their article was great. It spoke about how individual investors can be a critical constituency during a contested proxy battle. It reinforces the point that even though Main Street investors are a small percentage of your holding parties, taking a small effort to build a relationship with them may save management. Individual investors generally vote with management.

Looking for a smart example of corporate dedication towards individual investors? AFLAC has presented each and every quarter since 2010. It’s a steadfast tile in their shareholder communications mosaic.

Use the form on this page to learn more. Be sure to select “virtual investor conferences.”

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