Putting aside any societal benefits, the objective of starting a business is usually to generate a profit for its owners. Shareholders are owners of a business and so presumably they are interested in receiving their proportion of the profits.
Thanks to the stock market however, the nexus between a business and its owners can often be lost or forgotten. Instead of seeking to profit from the long-term ownership of a business, ‘investors’ – I use that term loosely – often use shares as gambling chips, betting on nothing more than the ups and downs of prices. The emergence of this approach to the stock market has rendered many good intentions nothing more than speculation, and akin to betting on black or red at the roulette wheel.
One of the biggest recipients of this style of ‘investing’ is shares representing companies operating in the mining, materials and resources sector.