Phil Fisher Investing Tip On Cash-Rich Stocks

I was re-reading Phil Fisher’s Conservative Investors Sleep Well and was going through the “What About Dividends?” chapter (which is also included in his book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits as well) when I came across a Fisher quote on cash-rich companies that I did not remember encountering the first time through:

“When do stockholders get no benefit from retained earnings? One way is when managements pile up cash and liquid assets far beyond any present or prospective needs of the business. The management might have no nefarious motive in doing this. Some executives get a sense of confidence and security from steadily piling up unneeded liquid reserves. They don’t seem to realize that they are buttressing their own feelings of security by not turning over to the stockholder wealth that he should be entitled to use in his own way and as he sees fit. Today there are tax laws that tend to curb this evil so that, while it still occurs, it is no longer the factor it once was.”

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