NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are many people on Wall Street standing between you and your investments, so it may be time to cut out the middleman and start listening to what your stocks are saying.
Perhaps the easiest and least-utilized method for retail investors to get the real story on their favorite stocks and companies are so-called investor conferences. These get-togethers -- usually held at resort destinations or upscale midtown hotels -- are sponsored by investment banks and targeted at Wall Street research analysts with the goal of serving up management of publicly traded companies to analyst scrutiny.
But while investor conferences cater to big institutional investors, U.S. securities laws dictate that retail investors get to listen to the back and forth, usually via a Web simulcast. That means everyday retail investors get to listen to the unfiltered message of the companies where their retirement is parked for the moment.
With summer gone and Wall Street heading back to the office, the conference "silly season" is kicking off and its a prime opportunity for investors to get the skinny on what management thinks of its prospects for the coming year.For example, want to know what Google's (GOOG)