People are very curious and very interested in money, especially in what others have and where they stand in comparison. In our culture people are frequently evaluated by their portfolio size (or what others deem the “size” to be). Companies are classified as small cap, mid cap, and large cap. Size impacts image regardless of a person’s boutique yearnings.
Image can be everything regardless of the underlying realities and facts of life. People brag about their gains, and they brag about their loses. An idiosyncrasy of human nature no doubt. They often need to feel like they are “players.” We live in a competitive, status conscious culture where one is tempted and seduced by external forces on a nearly constant basis.
Maintaining one’s bearings is key. Our advice is to take your own inventory. Be true to yourself. March to your own drummer. Also understand that happiness really does, in large part, come from within. We have been conditioned to admire great wealth, often at the expense of other virtues and talents. How does one monetize or quantify loyalty, empathy, warmth, kindness, or affection. And honor.
Aristotle advocated the accumulation of wealth, not as an end to itself, but in the context of attaining a more fulfilling life experience. Money was seen as a conduit to pursue pleasure, specifically righteous pleasure that was attuned to morality. These are aspects of what Aristotle referred to as “The Good Life,” or Eudemonia. You are the most important asset in your inventory.
Shareholders are among the most important assets that a company has. As such they warrant respect, and they need to be listened to. Shareholders need to know that the company balance sheet is a genuine financial inventory in the purest sense, not a socially competitive vehicle geared to compensate for self-esteem issues. Quality corporations take their own inventory (literally) every day, month, and quarter. They need to know where they stand at any point in time.
To contact Christopher Bayer directly, please email Christopher.Bayer@TheShareholderActivist.com.