The Internet has democratized the securities industry by providing individuals with unprecedented easy access to markets. Now, for those investors who still buy and hold stocks, the Web is permitting easy dissemination of company disclosure documents, proxies, and electronic proxy voting.

Companies and mutual funds are in the process of convincing shareholders to receive information and vote their proxies over the Web, primarily to cut the heavy cost of paper and postage. In addition, electronic communications are making it easier to keep shareholders happy–and therefore, loyal–and to offer them more financial products.

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