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Shares Made Simple: A beginner's guide to the stock market by Rodney Hobson

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Chapter 3: Whose Company Is It?

The company is owned by the shareholders. Your stake in the company is in proportion to the number of shares you hold. So if you own 5% of the company you are entitled to 5% of the votes at any shareholders’ meeting and also to 5% of any profit distributed as dividends.

The company will employ a firm of registrars to keep the register of shareholders up-to-date, amending the list as shares are bought and sold and mailing out the annual report and any other information that shareholders are entitled to receive.

In practice, most companies have institutional investors such as pension funds on their shareholder register and their holdings will be considerably larger than yours. They will, when things go wrong, ...

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