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The Wall Street Journal: Aaron Jett was quoted in the article, “Absent From Trump Rally in Stocks? Insider Buying”

“Absent From Trump Rally in Stocks? Insider Buying,” by Inyoung Hwang, The Wall Street Journal.

Far more executives at Russell 3000 companies have unloaded their own stock in the past three weeks than have bought

“The big increase in insider selling makes sense because we’ve been making all-time market highs,” said Aaron Jett, the Los Angeles-based vice president of global equity research at Bel Air Investment Advisors, which oversees about $8 billion. “A huge portion of their wealth could be tied up with that one stock so they could want to sell to diversify.”

It is normal for executives to sell into market strength, according to Mr. Jett. That said, a prolonged period of outsize selling by insiders would be concerning, he noted.

Since Nov. 8, no other group than banks has been buoyed by optimism surrounding the future Trump presidency amid expectations of higher interest rates and looser regulation. Still, in the last month, 891 insiders of U.S. financial companies sold shares, compared with 425 executives who added, data from The Washington Service show.

Both Mr. Clissold and Mr. Jett said it is more valuable to pay attention to a pickup in executive buying rather than selling, since sales can occur for personal, idiosyncratic reasons, while stock purchases tend to indicate confidence in the company.

The market is currently in a wait-and-see mode and giving Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt, according to Bel Air’s Mr. Jett. While the selling by insiders is no cause for alarm yet, it is something to monitor, he said.

“The elephant in the room is what will Trump’s agenda be? Once we get more clarity on that and if it’s pro-growth, we think the market could go further,” said Bel Air’s Jett. “What would make us feel more cautious is if he puts in place more isolationist policies and tries to go after trade agreements. That would hurt the market.”

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