By June Ramli
Sydney, Sept 21: I recently took part in a conference of moderate size to gauge its future appeal.
This event, postponed for three years due to the pandemic, marked a significant return to face-to-face gatherings.
The conference drew a sizable crowd, with around 200 people present at any given moment.
However, not everyone stayed until the event wrapped up at 4:30 pm.
To encourage attendance, organizers provided attendees with raffle tickets upon check-in, offering alluring prizes such as a $500 gift card and a stuffed cockatoo.
Notably, the audience was quite diverse.
While many were retirees who didn’t fit the typical profile of financially savvy individuals, there was also a substantial presence of Asian and elderly European attendees, challenging conventional expectations.
Each presenting company had a 15-minute slot for their presentation, followed by a five-minute Q&A session conducted through the Slido app.
Attendees received QR codes to submit their questions via chat, and the MC directed these questions to the respective presenters after their talks
For a smoother experience, it was advisable to ensure your mobile device was fully charged and select a seat closer to the exit.
This strategic seating choice made it easier to access the food station during breaks, allowing you to enjoy your meal promptly and avoid disappointment due to food running out.
One common mistake among new investors is favoring well-known brands.
While this approach has its merits and drawbacks, it’s essential to consider that investing in smaller and mid-cap companies can yield more significant dividends.
Another barrier is the minimum investment requirement of $500 before you can purchase a share unit of any company.
This threshold can be daunting for many, and it’s my hope that it can be lowered to at least $100 in the future.
However, it’s crucial to understand that becoming an ASX shareholder can complicate tax matters and affect Centrelink payments, as shares are considered income.
Nonetheless, it offers a convenient way to participate in a business without the logistical complexities of starting one from scratch.
During the event, two US companies listed in Australia made presentations, one via video and the others being homegrown Australian firms.
These conferences, organized by the ASX, occur sporadically but provide valuable insights into investment opportunities beyond the usual ASX-listed options.
The upcoming conference, scheduled for December 5, will showcase large-cap companies like Webjet.
A $10 fee covers in-person attendance, including four food breaks and the raffle prize.
However, it’s worth noting that the virtual session offers a comparable experience, ensuring you won’t miss much if you can’t attend in person.
Interestingly, during the food breaks, conversations revolved around investment opportunities, with attendees discussing their stock purchases.
The atmosphere was reminiscent of a marketplace, but for shares.
So, if you’re considering attending a future in-person ASX event, my assessment is somewhat mixed. While many retirees saw it as an outing and a chance to reconnect with friends from the Australian Shareholders Association, the event’s value depends on your investment goals and interests.
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli