A DOZEN local people gathered at the Taree library for the inaugural meeting of the Taree branch of the Australian Shareholders Association.
For more than 50 years the ASA has been overseeing the interests of investors and providing a strong collective voice for shareholders.
With approximately 100 monitors working with ASX200 companies through direct engagement, voting recommendations and attending AGMs, the ASA is the major autonomous body representing Australian investors.
This AGM season the ASA has collected almost $5 billion worth of proxy votes - the Commonwealth Bank being the largest, with proxies valued at $557 million. The ASA has successfully raised the standard of corporate governance in Australian companies and continues to press for improvements in transparency and accountability.
Members are able to build financial knowledge through cost-effective education events which are offered at all levels. Regular meetings with guest speakers give members current information about investments and the stock market.
Most people own shares through their superannuation funds and many choose to run their own super funds to save commissions extracted by fund managers.
Others choose to invest privately to supplement their income. All groups stand to benefit by joining their local branch of the Australian Shareholders Association.
National operations manager, Silvana Eccles said "We are very excited about holding our first meeting in Taree. The ASA is prominent in regional Australia with groups holding meetings in Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Dubbo, Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Gippsland.
"We hope that this will be the start of a continuing relationship with Taree and surrounding areas."
The next meeting will be on Thursday, January 23 at 10am in Greater Taree City Library and each fourth Thursday of the month thereafter. For further information please contact Lyn Booth 0427 530 681.