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Can Companies Invest in Stock Market?

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(@m_ridzon)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

In personal finance, I can put money in the stock market (e.g., S&P 500 index fund with my local financial advisor).  Can a company do this?  For example, can the company's retained earnings be stockpiled in the market to take advantage of market returns, to later pull out for a project?  Or does it have to be done in the name of the owner?

 
Posted : 09/10/2021 10:34 am
(@anthonynjit)
Posts: 78
Trusted Member
 

In short, yes. Starting in 1886 with Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Rail Road and about a half dozen United States Supreme Court decisions over the past ~100 years, it has been established that corporations are to receive the same rights as individual people. Subsequent rules have consistently protected a companies "individual" right to all of the amendments, most frequently the first amendment and the freedom of speech. The "freedom of speech" of said companies nearly always comes in the form of where they are allowed to spend their money. With that said companies often often work through other institutions to invest in the market such as mutual funds, pensions or hedge funds. 

While this class is not very centralized around history, you raise an interesting dilemma within the United States that there should be a line drawn between the rights of a corporation and an individual. Do you believe corporations should be granted the same protections as individuals under the law? What distinguishes a corporation from an individual that would make no longer an "individual"?

 
Posted : 10/10/2021 6:44 pm
(@m_ridzon)
Posts: 5
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Topic starter
 
Posted by: @anthonynjit

While this class is not very centralized around history, you raise an interesting dilemma within the United States that there should be a line drawn between the rights of a corporation and an individual. Do you believe corporations should be granted the same protections as individuals under the law? What distinguishes a corporation from an individual that would make no longer an "individual"?

Yes I have often pondered this too.  I think it is a grey area.  I don't think it is completely rationale to personify a corporation.  Personifying a corporation may give them rights that an individual has.  But how do you impose the punishments that an individual suffers?  (rhetorical question)  It's not quite as easy to do so.  (e.g., you cannot send a corporation to jail)  So I don't have a good answer for you.

 
Posted : 12/10/2021 4:01 pm
(@atharva)
Posts: 39
Eminent Member
 

Business under scorp can buy or sell stocks without restrictions. But the ccorp have regulations and complex procedure for selling stocks publicly. The profits of these are double taxed on personal and corporate level. LLC on other hand allow to trade stocks like individual. 

 
Posted : 15/10/2022 8:14 pm
(@ag2357)
Posts: 40
Eminent Member
 

It is interesting that corporations are treated like people recently in the US. The historical precedent for this is relatively recent. The real problem that I think exists with corporations being treated as people with first amendment rights to spending is political contributions and lobbying. This allows an entity to have way more power than any individual could ever have being treated as an individual. I don't really think there is a huge issue with a company being allowed to buy stock, but being able to sway the way laws are made, laws that hurt workers or the environment, is bad because those workers cannot defend themselves legally against the corporations.

 
Posted : 16/10/2022 4:25 pm
(@hmara)
Posts: 76
Trusted Member
 

Continuing what @ag2357 said in their post; a lot of companies are built to trade shares using other people's money for a profit. These hedge funds exist to buy and sell assets to make their customers money. In this case I think it is a bit of convoluted capitalism but not super duper harmful on a grand scale. On the other hand, profiteering and backhanded deals in the government can lead to wide scale problems for the country. Citizens United v. FEC was a landmark supreme court decision that allowed businesses to lobby as much as they pleased. Obviously huge corporations with special interests and big wallets investing in politics is a problem.

 
Posted : 16/10/2022 7:53 pm
(@cpierrelouis)
Posts: 30
Eminent Member
 

When you own a small business, it's all about income. A classic shop or store may have profits from sales or service. A startup may have venture capital money coming in. In either case, you might need to get a little more creative with your revenue streams. Companies issue stock to get money for various things, which may include: pay off debt, launch new products, expand into new markers or regions. Companies buying stocks is easy, but buying the right stock without a time-tested is incredibly hard.

 
Posted : 25/03/2023 8:51 pm
(@astone46)
Posts: 18
Active Member
 

Retained earnings refer to the profits that a company retains after paying dividends to its shareholders. One of the options available to a company is to invest the retained earnings in the market to take advantage of market returns. This can potentially increase the value of the company's assets and provide a source of funding for future projects.

While technically the retained earnings belong to the company, they are typically managed by the company's management team, who are responsible for making investment decisions on behalf of the company. These decisions are made with the goal of maximizing shareholder value and achieving the company's strategic objectives.

In general, the decision to invest retained earnings in the market or use them for a specific project will depend on a variety of factors, including the company's financial position, its growth prospects, and the overall economic climate. Ultimately, the decision will be made by the company's management team in consultation with its board of directors.

As for whether the investment must be done in the name of the owner, it is not necessary. The retained earnings belong to the company, and any investments made with them will be made in the name of the company. This is because the company is a separate legal entity from its owners, and the ownership of the company is represented by shares of stock. As such, any investments made by the company are made on behalf of all of its shareholders, not just the owners.

 
Posted : 25/03/2023 9:49 pm
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