In my last column I hinted at a project for Shareclubs and individuals to undertake after the summer season. Here is a letter received earlier in the year:
I am a long time DRIP and SPP investor, also subscriber to “MoneySaver” as well as being involved with the Shareclub, Victoria Branch.
After reading Bob Gibb’s recent article on the lack of Canadian Corporations making available DRIP plans to their shareholders, I was wondering if there is any way through “MoneySaver’s” subscriber base, to put a little pressure on some of our leading corporations to initiate plans.
I look at CNR, CP, Finning International, PetroCan, Shell, and Saputo as six corporations that would really round out the existing 25 we currently have available.
My concern is, if we don’t get a few new names, the existing firms offering plans may decide to give up what they currently have available.
There very well may be a hidden power in “MoneySaver’s” subscriber base that could start Canadian Corporations thinking more like their U.S. counterparts on the question of DRIP and SPP plans.
Many small investors would appreciate any help to the frustrating Canadian drip sector.
No answer to this letter is necessary, as I would prefer you to spend your time producing the excellent Magazine “MoneySaver”.
First let me say, Ken is well known to me and is one smart cookie. This is an in joke as Ken was away when Dale finally sent us the cookies for winning our first Stock Challenge game. Ken is one of the main reasons the Victoria Share Club has never finished lower than second place in Alek Kobelak’s Stock Challenge Game. However, he has yet to get his cookie.
Ken has hit on something very significant. Canadian MoneySaver Magazine derives a lot of its popularity because it is about Canadians helping Canadians, especially through the associated Share Clubs. As such Canadian MoneySaver has tremendous potential for advocacy.
The number of Canadian corporations offering dividend reinvestment and share purchase plans is dwindling. At the same time more and more Canadian trusts are offering them. In fact, I’ve had to rewrite a portion of this article because Telus has just announced they are converting to a trust structure. The number of Canadian trusts with distribution reinvestment and unit purchase plans now outnumber corporation plans by about three to one. My Google Alerts shows one or two new US plans appearing on a weekly basis.
It would seem the only way more Canadian corporations will offer plans is if enough investors demand them. As such I’m asking all Shareclubs and individuals to complete the letter included with this article, address one to Investor Relations for each company shown and submit them. I’m also suggesting that everyone focus on only a few corporations at a time for maximum concentration of effort. As Ken’s letter is the motivation for this article I suggest we start with:
Canadian Pacific Railway:
Gulf Canada Square,
401 - 9th Avenue S.W.,
Canadian National Railway:
935 de la Gauchetiere St. W.,
Suite 1000 Park Place,
666 Burrard St.,
150-6 Avenue S.W.,
P.O. Box 2844,
400 - 4th Avenue S.W.,
P.O. Box 100 Station M,
6869 Metropolitain Blvd. E.,
For ease and simplicity downloadable versions of the addresses and letter can be found at under the headings Call to Action Letter and Call to Action Companies:
This should make it easy to cut and paste individual company addresses into your letters. Whether letters are done individually or as groups of signatures the important thing is to do it.
As this article about the lack of DRIPs with SPPs from Canadian Corporations was being written two new REIT plans were announced: Whiterock (WRK.UN) and Westfield (WFD.UN).
As mentioned above, Telus has indicated it will become a trust. Currently, Telus has a dual-class share structure: voting and non-voting. According to a press release at Yahoo the new trust will be single-class.
Under the terms of the proposed conversion, holders of TELUS common voting and non-voting shares will receive one trust Unit of the Fund for each TELUS share held. The Fund will be a mutual fund trust and have only one class of Units.
Robert Gibb, 401-2910 Cook Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 3S7 (250) 383-7075 [email protected] Robert Gibb is a retired school teacher. He gives seminars on dividend reinvestment plans. Mr. Gibb is a frequent contributor to Internet DRIP boards under the nickname OperaBob.