Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Quick Glimpse “Inside” – NASDAQ’s Free Insider Search Tool

Locating new tools to find information is always fun – finding free ones is particularly gratifying.  The following free resource, available on the NASDAQ website, is one such free resource:  http://www.nasdaq.com/reference/ownership.stm.

This resource – which goes by the name “Insider Trading – Real Time SEC Filings – Institutional Holdings” (a mouthful for even the long-winded) allows you to conduct quick searches on recent insider activity, whether by an institution (such as a private equity or venture capital firm) or an individual corporate insider.

Let’s try a randomly selected private equity firm – HarbourVest Partners, LLC – as an example.  Since this is a firm, not an individual, select “Institutional” and type in the name without the “LLC,” as indicated.

In our search results, you'll notice a total of "19" stocks. Simply click on “HARBOURVEST PARTNERS LLC” to find further detail on these stocks.

Below are our results on HarbourVest’s 19 different holdings as of 6/30/2011.  Notice that we can then look at any of the companies listed to find other investors and insiders.  If something seems unfamiliar, click on “Description” for such things as a glossary, navigation, or sorting assistance.

Now that we’ve seen an example of an “Institutional” search, let’s look for an individual we suspect is a corporate insider using the “Form 4 Insider” search.  We’ll make it easy on ourselves and go with someone we KNOW is a corporate insider who has likely been trading recently – Mr. Warren Buffett.  Using the suggested last name first name format, we’ll search for “buffet warren” (the search is case-insensitive).

Eureka!  Here we find him associated, of course, with Berkshire Hathaway.  A quick click on “BUFFET WARREN E” provides a very clean accounting of recent transactions.  Skip to the final image for a glimpse.

Here you find recent stock transactions and all the exciting details; things like Mr. Buffett’s relationship to the company as an officer, shares traded, transaction type, holdings after transaction, explanations of relevant abbreviations found in our search.…all that wonderful stuff we researchers love.

If this resource was previously unknown to you, consider bookmarking or “favoriting” it for future use.  You never know when you’re in a pinch and need a quick, cost-free resource at your immediate disposal – which seems to be just about every day in the life of a prospect researcher!

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