Investing Questions

How can I buy shares?

  • Shares can be purchased through a full service broker — you will need to set up an account with a broker (commissions and fees will generally apply)
  • Shares can be purchased online through an online broker – you will need to set up an account online (discounted commissions will generally apply)
  • Shares can be purchased through our transfer agent, Computershare, when you enroll in our Direct Stock Purchase Program. You will need to read the prospectus, enroll in the program online, or by mail, and agree to the terms of the Direct Stock Purchase Program administered by Computershare. The minimum initial investment is $1,500 (or $100/month if enrolling in continuous monthly purchases) for all new accounts set up through Computershare. More information is provided in the Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan section.

What makes the share price go up and down?

There are a variety of factors that can cause share prices to fluctuate. A few examples are:

  1. Public perception of a company’s industry, the economy in general, interest rates, or sentiment about the stock market
  2. Earnings surprises for individual public companies
  3. News and announcements about a company’s activities or media reports on a company
  4. Institutional investors, that traditionally trade large blocks of shares, can impact the trading of a company’s shares
  5. Changes in research analyst ratings

What’s the most money I can lose if I buy shares?

  • Theoretically, it is possible that you could lose all the money you invested since you are purchasing shares in a company that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is subject to the ups and downs of the stock market

How do I know if the stock is at a good price to purchase shares?

  • It is difficult to “time” the market since the value of publicly traded equity securities can fluctuate daily
  • Investors seeking income typically make decisions based on the amount of income that they require
  • A professional financial advisor offers the best advice as to when and how to purchase shares

What are the differences between common and preferred shares?

  • Both common and preferred shares pay monthly dividends
  • Both are traded on the New York Stock Exchange
  • The price for the common shares typically fluctuates more than the price for the preferred shares
  • Preferred shares feature a call date, at the company’s option, where the shares can be redeemed at “par” ($25 per share)
  • Preferred share dividends are senior to common shares, which means the preferred dividends are paid ahead of the common shares
  • Dividends on preferred shares are a fixed amount whereas dividends on our common stock have increased over time
  • In the unlikely event of a liquidation of the company, the preferred shareholders would also receive any proceeds from the liquidation before the common shareholders receive any proceeds
  • If the preferred shares are “cumulative,” this means that if any dividends have been missed, or a company neglected to pay a dividend as declared, the holders of the preferred shares are entitled to any missed or omitted dividends before common shareholders can receive dividends. Our preferred shares are cumulative.