Mind on Money: Why I like publicly traded corporations

Mind on Money: Why I like publicly traded corporations

When I filed my taxes last year, I had a slight over-payment. Because as a business owner I pay quarterly taxes, I simply instructed the IRS to apply the over-payment credit to next year’s taxes.

A few weeks later, I got a letter from the IRS in the mail saying that my credit had been applied to my 2016 taxes. This was strange, we had never received any kind of notice regarding 2016 taxes, and the letter did not say how much the 2016 balance was. My wife, the tax accountant, said she would call the IRS and figure it out. A few days later she called and was on hold for 90 minutes, before she hung up. She called a week later and held again for 30 minutes before hanging up.

Since no one has time to sit on hold for this long, she decided to send the IRS a certified letter requesting more information. We know the letter was received, months and months later, we still haven’t received a response.

On the other side of the coin, the other day I ordered an accessory for my truck from Amazon. The $25 item was supposed to be delivered two days later. At some point on the second day, all hell broke loose. Somewhere in the supply chain process something had gone wrong, and my item wasn’t going to arrive on the second day.

I received text alerts, emails and phone alerts straight from the Amazon app. They apologized, offered me a refund, and wanted to know (and suggested) if I wanted a different item. Now to be clear, the item was still going to arrive on the third day, and it was only delayed somewhere between the receiving center in Gary and my house, but from the reaction one would have thought Armageddon itself had arrived.

These two circumstances present quite a contrast. The first being the experience of interacting with the largest government on the planet, and the second interacting with the planet’s third-largest corporation. I have to acknowledge, beyond providing me with the truck accessory I really wanted, the experience provided by the corporation was quite a bit more validating. Which is why I like corporations. Particularly publicly traded corporations.

A public corporation provides my local business with the tools and infrastructure needed to serve our clients. A public corporation provides products and opportunity to the companies employing my adult daughter and her husband. Public corporations provide investment opportunities for my clients, and investing in public corporations has allowed me to build personal wealth over time to do things like educate my kids and eventually fund my own retirement. Oh, and let’s not forget public corporations also provide us with goods and services that just make life better and easier.

Bernie Sanders does not like corporations. I listen to Sen. Sanders a lot. It seems like he only has one speech. In this speech he says corporations are greedy and unfair, he says he wants the government to interfere more with corporations and he says he wants corporations to pay more to the government.

Now of course Mr. Sanders and his supporters are entitled to their viewpoint, and ultimately America will decide its own course on this topic. But as someone who advises others on investing there is zero common ground between Bernie Sanders philosophy and the philosophy of myself as an investor.

Which is why I was reassured by Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democratic primary results. Yes, Sen. Sanders won in this neighboring state, but his support appears weaker than I anticipated and the stronger moderate candidates (Buttigieg and Klobuchur) showed surprising momentum.

As I’ve said before, I believe due to the clear philosophical struggle occurring within the Democratic Party this year’s Democratic presidential primary will be more relevant than typical for investors, and perhaps even more relevant than the general election itself.  The results in New Hampshire this week have me feeling a bit more confident as an investor, I believe this confidence was reflected in the stock market later in the week as well.

The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. Opinions are solely the writer's and are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Marc Ruiz is a wealth adviser and partner with Oak Partners and registered representative of LPL Financial. Contact Marc at marc.ruiz@oakpartners.com