I'm just interested to know how many people on this forum talk to management (CEO/MD or CFO or COO) and or directors of companies they invest in?
These days I usually (not always though) talk to management (or sometimes the chairman) when I invest in micro-cap, small-cap and mid-cap companies.
Generally (not always though) for small to medium sized companies management are happy to talk to retail investors (for large caps you've got to talk to investor relations). I find it really helps you get a deeper understanding of the business model, the risks, the competitive position, and the growth opportunities. I also think you get a better idea of how particular managers think and operate. Typically you can talk to management via email, by phone, or by attending the AGM (I generally use a mix of all 3) or other company presentations (e.g. a micro-equities micro-cap conference).
For example I own shares in Credit Corp (CCP) and talk to Thomas Beregi (the CEO) after every results announcement. He's always happy to spend 30-45 minutes answering my questions (Credit Corp keeps costs low by not having an investor relations team). I find Thomas to be very straight forward, honest and knowledgeable.
I sometimes also talk to the management of competitor companies (Phillip Fisher's on advice on the merits of scuttlebutt is quite sound)
I get the feeling not many people on this forum talk to management. Of course there is always the risk of being sucked in and sold a good story by management (many CEOs are excellent promoters/salesman). I would like to hear from other value investors here.