When I got my first real job I started reading books on personal finance. I was interested in buying stocks and decided to jump right in with some companies that have direct purchase plans and dividend reinvestment programs. I thought of some companies I liked or at least recognised (not the best way to pick stock, I know). I ended up with Nabisco, GM, Xerox, Kodak, Marriott, Weyerhauser, Proctor and Gamble, Motorola and Wrigley's. Nabisco tripled in value the following month when they were bought by someone else. Unfortunately, I only had 1 share. Xerox cut their dividend to zero and I eventually sold it at a loss. The rest have gone up and down and every so often I buy a little more.
Wrigley's was my favorite. It wasn't a direct purchase stock, I had to get a share transferred from my sister. But I wanted Wrigley's for one reason...they gave every shareholder gum for the holidays. It was great, I only owned one share but every year I would get my box of gum. I don't even like gum that much but I love free gum. I would hand it out to friends and strangers and tell them about my free gum. Then, last week, I got a letter in the mail saying that Mars wants to buy Wrigley's and they want me to vote yes to allow it to happen. Mars? The candy bar people? Are they going to send me free candy bars every Christmas? I sincerely doubt it. I want my free gum! I don't want to vote yes if it means no more free gum. They said I would be paid an extra 50 cents per share. So what? I only own one share. 50 cents will buy what?...one pack of gum? I'm voting no.