‘Inside’ Information Makes a ‘World’ of Difference

Can an individual investor get a fair shake on Wall Street?

Many smaller investors believe Wall Street is biased against them. Why? Information is hoarded by major institutions who act upon it prior to it disseminating to individuals. With the development of the internet, information is processed and distributed much more quickly. How do institutional investors stay ahead of individual investors? Utilizing ETFs and financial futures.

How can individual investors try to keep pace with institutions? Track the activity of institutional insiders, that is, the senior executives within publicly traded corporations. An insider may have reason to buy or sell the company stock that goes well beyond company prospects. Often an insider will sell company stock strictly for tax purposes. However, when insider activity, either buying or selling, moves dramatically in one direction or another, every investor should pay attention. On that note, please pull in your chairs and pay particular note, as Bloomberg highlights Insiders Exit Shares at Fastest Pace in Two Years:

Executives at U.S. companies are taking advantage of the biggest stock-market rally in 71 years to sell their shares at the fastest pace since credit markets started to seize up two years ago.

Sales by CEOs, directors and senior officers have accelerated to the highest level since June 2007, two months before credit markets froze, as the S&P 500 rebounded from its 12-year low in March. The increase is making investors more skittish because executives presumably have the best information about their companies’ prospects.

In typical fashion, analysts assess this insider activity as nothing more than an attempt to lock in the returns of the recent equity rally. I seriously discount that. I view major moves in insider activity as a signal of strong, macroeconomic outlook. If the insider activity was more trading related, then the insiders would not actually sell the company stock but would more likely hedge it via purchasing put options.

What do all these insiders see on our economic horizon which is leading them to sell on such a massive scale? Well, the World Bank sees dark clouds out there. Bloomberg reports, World Bank Cuts Forecast for Global Growth to 2.9%:

The World Bank said the global recession this year will be deeper than it predicted in March and warned that a flight of capital from developing nations will swell the ranks of the poor and the unemployed.

The world economy will contract 2.9 percent, compared with a previous forecast of a 1.7 percent decline, the Washington- based lender said in a report today. Growth will be 2 percent next year, down from a 2.3 percent prediction, the bank said.

This outlook on the global economy does contrast with a more sanguine view provided by the IMF. While economic forecasts from different organizations and analysts will often vary, there is nothing vague about massive insider activity, and right now they are headed for the exits.

About Larry Doyle 522 Articles

Larry Doyle embarked on his Wall Street career in 1983 as a mortgage-backed securities trader for The First Boston Corporation. He was involved in the growth and development of the secondary mortgage market from its near infancy.

After close to 7 years at First Boston, Larry joined Bear Stearns in early 1990 as a mortgage trader. In 1993, Larry was named a Senior Managing Director at the firm. He left Bear to join Union Bank of Switzerland in late 1996 as Head of Mortgage Trading.

In 1998, after 15 years of trading and precipitated by Swiss Bank’s takeover of UBS, Larry moved from trading to sales as a senior salesperson at Bank of America. His move into sales led him to the role as National Sales Manager for Securitized Products at JP Morgan Chase in 2000. He was integrally involved in developing the department, hiring 40 salespeople, and generating $300 million in sales revenue. He left JP Morgan in 2006.

Throughout his career, Larry eagerly engaged clients and colleagues. He has mentored dozens of junior colleagues, recruited at a number of colleges and universities, and interviewed hundreds. He has also had extensive public speaking experience. Additionally, Larry served as Chair of the Mortgage Trading Committee for the Public Securities Association (PSA) in the mid-90s.

Larry graduated Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa in 1983 from the College of the Holy Cross.

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