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.
Look up your company on
InsiderCow if it is publically traded. Now might be a good time
to ask for a raise.
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 February
of 2025, I'll start collecting maybe $2,000/month of Social Security after nearly
five decades of paying into it (at a 15.3% rate while being self-employed since
2007). That's it.
As of this date, the
DJIA is at 24,776 points.
* Middle class in Erie, PA, covers the income range of $29,629 to $88,446 for
Posted July 10, 2018