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Proxy arrived today. Almost 500 pages. Only scanned it briefly but a few initial thoughts.

How I vote my 2300 shares won't affect the outcome of the merger vote at all. But the merger might affect my wallet.

Everything I've read from the financial community says this is a good move for the company. Were it a run of the mill merger I'd vote for it. But it isn't. A new, Dutch, company will be created from the former US and Japanese companies. And for US holders of current AMAT shares it's going to be a taxable transaction. Red flag!

I hold my 2300 shares in an IRA so the above taxable transaction shouldn't affect my taxes. I'll have 2300 shares in the new Dutch company. But then there is the warning that dividends from that company may trigger tax withholding by the Dutch. Another red flag! Foreign withholding on dividends paid in an IRA either can't be recovered or may be very difficult to recover.

There are lots of caveats about regulators approval being required on various issues and no guarantees current investors will get favorable rulings. Another red flag! We're going to vote on this without a lot of important facts.

So now I'm focused not on the merger but on how it will affect my shares, my taxes, and my ability to receive future dividends in full in my IRA. I'll keep reading and researching but I'm also considering other actions rather than just accepting the new merger company shares. I could sell covered calls to realize some income now and just let the stock be called away later at a higher strike price than today's market. And if it isn't called I could still sell before the merger completion. That may be the easiest move but it could also lock me out of future appreciation in a good company I've owned for a long time. I'll keep researching. No need to make a hasty decision now.
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