In 2010, I posted a short piece about where to
look on the Web to learn what upper management, board members, and large investors were
doing with insider company stock trades. At the time, the MSN Money website had a tool
where you could enter a company's stock symbol and get a readout of who was buying and
- more often than not - selling stock. That web page is gone, but I found the same information
on InsiderCow.com. The dollar amounts are truly staggering to people
like you (likely) and me (definitely). Numbers reported are sale values, not profit to
the stock holder. Many of the stocks were issued as either grants or options, but even
outright purchased stocks are included as well. Regardless, prepare to have your jaw
drop if you have never seen this type of data before.
Some of the more familiar technology companies have been selected for examples, and
then the more familiar names within those companies. Some of the people have cashed out
tens of millions of dollars worth of company stock in the last year alone. I honestly
do not know how to interpret the significance of the numbers; I'm just regurgitating
what is provided. Some of you finance savvy people know better. An Excel spreadsheet
was used to tally and present the info.
Those incomes based on stock sales do not, of course, account for income from salaries,
other stock sales, board member stipends, company benefits (medical, dental, eyesight,
insurance, etc.), and independent investments. Clearly, if you are fortunate enough to be
among the ranks of corporate bigwigdom [sic], opportunities abound. Don't get me
wrong; I do not begrudge them their wealth. What does gall me, though, is that many of
them claim to be social justice warriors and defenders of the working man. They publically
attack "the rich," all the while paying workers the minimum wage possible, manipulating
work hours to avoid paying benefits, and hiring illegal residents and legal H1B visa
holders at sub-standard rates at the expense of legal citizens. Employees of the
world's richest man
reportedly run ragged and
postpone bathroom breaks in order to meet workplace quotas.
Finding objective numbers for income class levels is difficult since publishers all
use their own subjective criteria. The Pew Research Center is considered useful by many
since it gets data from the U.S. Census Bureau. CNN has this online
Middle Class Calculator to determine where your household income
level places you based on where you live. Melanie and I fall just a tad above middle-middle
class for our location in Erie County, Pennsylvania*. If we lived in Erie County, New
York and had the same income, we would be a tad below middle-middle class. In my hometown
location of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, we'd be in the lower-middle class. Finally,
in Loudoun County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., we
would be upper-lower class.
* Middle class in Erie, PA, covers the income range of $29,629
to $88,446 for before-tax earnings.
Look up your company on
InsiderCow if it is publically traded. Now might be a good time to ask for
BTW, I have no interest in the stock market - no stocks, no bonds, no 401K, no company
retirement, only a couple lame CD-based IRAs and some bank savings. In August of 2020,
I'll start collecting about $1,800/month of Social Security after more than four decades
of paying into it (at a 15.3% rate while being self-employed since 2007). That's it.
Posted July 10, 2018