Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Chance to Cut Back on Paper

Thanks to actively removing myself from catalog and junk mail lists like credit card offers, our mail volume decreased considerably. But we still were receiving loads of mutual fund annual statements, special proxy votes, corporate investment annual reports, and lots of other financial data. We like paper monthly statements, old-fashioned as we are, but the rest? For years I would dutifully save it without looking at it, and when the fund was sold, I would finally chuck the paper. In thirty years, I do not recall EVER paying attention to these numbers. (Though I often find aspects of companies' glossy annual reports interesting, especially since companies now often include sustainability and environmental impact statements.)
About a decade ago I just started recycling the reports as they arrived, but it's still a nuisance, not to mention a waste of paper.
My latest discovery is that many of them offer an option of electronic delivery of these documents. The catch is that you have to open the mailings to find the instructions, but if you're willing to do that, you can opt to receive these communications in your inbox. You might be more interested in them than I am, and want to read them. If not, you can do what I do. Hit the DELETE button.
Less paper wasted and transported and then recycled on your account, so to speak.
Can anyone think of a reason to pay attention to these? (My son reads such documents for a living, by the way - that's a good reason!)

1 comment:

Elise said...

Yes, I can think of a reason to read at least some of these papers. As a shareholder you have the opportunity to vote on the running of the company you own shares in. This happens at the annual meeting, and if you are not planning to attend the meeting (who would?) you can vote by proxy. More and more socially responsible shareholder resolutions are making it onto these ballots, so you have an opportunity to urge companies to report on their carbon footprint, or clean up their sweat shop practices, for example.

It's definitely worth reading the proxy statements and voting your proxies. You can even vote on line!