Thanks for the debate. Here is Randy Befumo's response to my question of why to buy stocks:I would refer you to the first part of "How to Value Stocks" for a moredetailed explanation, but the basic gist is that a share of stock representsproportional ownership in the actual economic output a company, complete witha proportional vote. That economic interest is what anyone interested inowning the business would need to buy, whether they be private investor, buy-out firm or another company. Why would anyone want to buy a company? Although in practice most companiesreinvest the vast majority of their earnings, in principle should a majorityof sharehoulders vote to distribute all earnings to shareholders in the formof dividends as well as liquidating all assets of the business anddistributing those as dividends, this could happen which is where the sharesvalue is ultimately derived from. When one company acquires another, forinstance, what they are acquiring is this stream of cash which falls undertheir control.Regards,Randy Befumo (firstname.lastname@example.org)Analyst, Legg Mason Funds (www.leggmason.com)Legg Mason Fund Phone: 800-577-8589
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