The Stock Market is not supposed to go up for some perverse logic when the Fed tightens. Maybe because wealth is really intrinsically undemocratic in the mind of the elites. They want to kill any chance of their status being threatened. The market has been looking for a sign-  TO SELL.

The Fed gave them one last week.  TO PROFIT, TO MORTALLY WOUND THE OPPONENT, A KICK IN THE FACE, EGOMANIAICAL ADVANTAGE. The Federal Reserve Chairman and his cohorts of rate-hiking Whac-a-Molers provided some fuel that ignited the latest bout of interest rate hike anxiety. Ironically the curve is the most inverted since March and the most in over 40 years.

Sell-offs are likely short-term and restrained. Let’s face it. The market doesn’t believe that the Fed can maintain interest rates at these levels without breaking something else.  More than likely, more regional banks and the vast dollars amounts of commercial real estate debt that is coming up for refinancing at much higher interest rates will be flashpoints. Financial instability or employment trends souring, take your heartless choice, whichever comes first. It will put an end to the Fed’s drumbeat mandate to beat down the market in the name of inflation fighting.  The illusion is temporary. Only the Fed believes itself to be the puppet master.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members–the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis.  Compare that limited data set computing power with the open-sourced market-driven wisdom of thousands of futures traders and institutions, traders and geniuses and fools who bet their own money in an endless multiplayer game. 
Do you really believe the Fed is smarter than the machine? None other than Mark Zuckerberg in a marathon podcast with Lex Fridman just described the markets as the most evolved AI in the world.
 Naiviette and arrogance from 12 grow men and women pitted against the collective multiplayer machine learning of the entire world.  Interest rates are coming down and hard, and when they do, you won’t be able to buy stock fast enough.
Shorts are anxious to press whatever advantage they might have during the 2nd quarter earnings blackout, which typically puts insiders in the backseat.  There are always ways for investors to lose confidence, and quarterly earnings blackouts are notorious for testing the mettle of your convictions.  There were a few stocks insiders bought last week. Don’t expect much relief here for the next month, as insiders will be sitting on the sideline as the earnings parade unfolds.  So buy when they do. When the tide turns, there won’t be time to turn the vessel around.

You can be an insider, too– by clicking here.


Finviz Chart

Name: Bronislaw Edmund Masojada
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-06-21 Shares Bought: 4,000 Average Price Paid: $65.78 Cost: $263,120
Company: Brown & Brown Inc (BRO)

Brown & Brown, founded in 1939, is a comprehensive insurance agency, wholesale brokerage, insurance programs, and service company located in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Company advertises and distributes insurance products and services, especially property, casualty, and employee benefits. The firm offers quality, non-investment insurance contracts to consumers and other specialized, personalized risk management products and services. Because the firm mainly acts as an agent or broker, it does not take on underwriting risks. The Wright Insurance Group, LLC operation in which the Company runs a write-your-own flood insurance carrier, Wright National Flood Insurance Company, is an exception.

Bronislaw Edmund Masojada is a businessman who has led seven separate enterprises. He is now the Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Hiscox Ltd., as well as the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Hiscox Dedicated Insurance Fund Plc, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Hiscox, Inc., and the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Hiscox Plc. Bronislaw Edmund Masojada is also the Chairman of Placing Platform Ltd. and is on the boards of eight other businesses. He previously served as Chairman of the Lloyd’s Tercentenary Foundation and President of The Insurance Institute of London. Mr. Masojada has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Natal and a master’s from Trinity College Dublin.

Opinion: No risk, no gain. Not a bad gig if you can get it. 

  • Revenue: $1,116.0 million, an increase of 23.4%
  • Organic revenue growth: 12.6% take out 5% or so for inflation, and it was a respectable 7%.  Earnings kept up.
  • Diluted net income per share: $0.83, an increase of 7.8%

Finviz Chart

Name: Dustin A. Moskovitz
Position: President, CEO, & Chair/10% Owner
Transaction Date: 2023-06-15 Shares Bought: 80,000 Average Price Paid: $24.88 Cost: $1,990,473

Transaction Date: 2023-06-20 Shares Bought: 240,000 Average Price Paid: $23.16 Cost: $5,559,184
Company: Asana Inc. (ASAN)

Asana is a work management tool that assists organizations in orchestrating work ranging from everyday chores to cross-functional strategic projects. Asana is used by over 139,000 paying clients to manage anything from product launches to marketing campaigns to company-wide goal setting. The platform structures unstructured work, providing clarity, transparency, and accountability to everyone in an organization—individuals, team leaders, and executives—so they know who is doing what and by when. The Asana was founded after seeing firsthand the rising issue of work around work. They saw the coordination issues that Facebook encountered as it grew. Instead of working on projects that produced results, they spent their time in status meetings and extensive email threads attempting to determine who was in charge of what. The company mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling the world’s teams to work together effortlessly.

Dustin Moskovitz is the co-founder and CEO of Asana. Dustin is the CEO of Asana and is committed to delivering a product that enables teams all around the globe to interact seamlessly, as well as driving the company’s award-winning culture. Dustin co-founded Facebook and served as the company’s first Chief Technology Officer and VP of Engineering before launching Asana. Dustin studied economics at Harvard University before joining Facebook full-time in 2004.

Opinion:  Asana CEO and founder Moksovitiz has been buying millions of dollars worth of Asana stock starting just a few months after it went public. That’s the mirror opposite of every Silicon Valley startup I’ve ever heard of. It just might be time to start paying attention to him.  Net retention ratios and revenue growth rates were off the charts for Q1 at 120%+ and 57%.

  • Increased investments in sales and marketing. Asana is investing heavily in sales and marketing to grow its customer base. This investment has led to increased expenses, which have offset the company’s revenue growth.
  • Increased research and development expenses. Asana is also investing heavily in research and development to develop new features and improve its product. These expenses have also contributed to the company’s negative free cash flow.

Finviz Chart

Name: Julie A. Lagacy
Position: Director
Transaction Date: 2023-06-21 Shares Bought: 10,000 Average Price Paid: $24.84 Cost: $248,400
Company: Vistra Corp. (VST)

Vistra is a holding corporation primarily serving regions across the United States with integrated retail and electric power-generating operations. Through its subsidiaries, the Company engages in competitive energy operations such as producing electricity, selling and acquiring energy at wholesale prices, managing commodity risk, and selling electricity and natural gas to end users. Delaware legislation was used to create the Company in 2016. To set itself apart from businesses engaged in the exploration, production, refining, or transportation of fossil fuels as well as to more accurately reflect its integrated business model, which combines a retail electricity and natural gas business devoted to providing its customers with cutting-edge products and services with an electric power generation business operating at the forefront of the industry.

Julie A. Lagacy serves as Vice President on the boards of RPM International, Inc., the Salvation Army Central Territory, the Illinois Cancer Care Charitable Foundation, and Caterpillar, Inc.. She was formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Bucyrus International, Inc. Julie A. Lagacy earned her bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and her MBA at Bradley University.

Opinion:  Electricity is the future, and we want to own the future. Normally dull inflation-like utility growth rates will be electrified with the growth of EV transportation and the digitization of everything. Once the Fed takes its foot off the neck of dividend-producing entities like utilities, they should have a strong catch-up move.  Lots of insiders like Vistra.


Finviz Chart

Name: Jon E Bortz
Position: Chairman and CEO
Transaction Date: 2023-02-28 Shares Bought: 16,300 Average Price Paid: $12.77 Cost: $502,615
Company: Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB)

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is an internally managed hotel investment company that was formed in October 2009 as a Maryland real estate investment trust to acquire and invest in hotel properties primarily in major US cities and resort properties near the primary target urban markets and select destination resort markets, with an emphasis on major gateway coastal markets. The Business has a stake in 51 hotels with 12,756 guest rooms as of December 31, 2022. Pebblebrook Hotel, L.P. owns almost all of the Company’s assets and manages all of the Company’s activities. The Operational Partnership’s only general partner is the Corporation.

Mr. Bortz has served as Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer since the company’s inception in October 2009. Mr. Bortz served as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Trustee of LaSalle Hotel Properties, a publicly listed hotel REIT, from its inception in April 1998 until his retirement in September 2009. Mr. Bortz also served as Chairman of the Board of LaSalle Hotel Properties from January 1, 2001, until his retirement. Before establishing LaSalle Hotel Properties, Mr. Bortz formed the Hotel Investment Group of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated in January 1994. He handled Jones Lang LaSalle’s hotel investment and development operations as its President. Mr. Bortz has a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Opinion:  Revenge travel has peaked, but no one has told the Chairman of the Board, CEO, Mr. Botz. as we enter a Fed-induced coma. That sucking sound is all those student loan and PPP programs coming to an end, and your credit card bill is what? Say What! Say WTF?

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You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Insiders sell the stock for many reasons, but they generally buy for just one – to make money. You’ve always heard the best information is inside information.  Everyone who has any experience at in the stock market pays close attention to what insiders are doing.  After all, who knows a business better than the people running it?  Officers, directors, and 10% owners are required to inform the public through a Form 4 Filing any transaction, buy, sell, exercise, or any other within 48 hours of doing so. This info is available for free from the SEC’s Web site, Edgar, although we subscribe to SECForm4  as they provide a way to manage and make sense of the vast realms of data. I’ve tried a lot of vendors. SECForm4 is one of the smaller ones, but I like supporting Frank. He is not arrogant. He’s helpful and has great prices. He also trades on his own data, so I like people that eat what they kill.

The bar is different from selling because the natural state of management is to be a seller. This is because most companies provide significant amounts of management compensation packages as stock and options. Therefore, with selling, we analyze unusual patterns, such as insiders selling 25 percent or more of their holdings or multiple insiders selling near 52-week lows. Another red flag is large planned sale programs that start without warning. Unfortunately, the public information disclosure requirements about these programs, referred to as Rule 10b5-1, are horrendously poor. Also, planned sales that pop up out of nowhere are basically sales and are seeking cover under this corporate welfare loophole. I also generally ignore 10 percent shareholders as they tend to be OPM (other people’s money) and perhaps not the smart money on which we are trying to read the tea leaves. I say generally because some 10% shareholders are great investors. Think Warren  Buffett, Icahn, and others

Of course, insiders can also be wrong about their Company’s prospects. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing they never make mistakes.  Do your own analysis. They can easily be wrong, and in many cases, maybe most cases have no more idea what the future may hold than you or me. In short, you can lose money following them.  We have, and we curse aloud; what were they thinking!

We like Fly on the Wall for keeping up with what events might be happening, analysts’ comments, and whatever else could be moving the stock.  Dow Jones news service is an essential tool but many services pick up their feed like they do Bloomberg. For quick financial analysis, it’s hard to beat Old School Value.

A big callout to my assistant Ambreen who sets up this conversation by listing the notable buys that I’ve identified.  She probes the 10k for a reasonable description of the business. I’ve found that to be the most accurate and succinct place to find out what a business actually does. The websites and marketing material are just that, poorly disguised marketing material for many. I should know that better than most if you at my past involvement in building the 1st websites for many Fortune 500 companies.

No one tracks and understands insider behavior better than us. We’ve been doing it religiously since 2001 when I quit being an insider myself and devoted myself full-time to managing my personal investments. Needless to say, past good fortune is no guarantee of future success. We may own positions, long or short, in any of these names and are under no obligation to disclose that.

This blog is solely for educational purposes and the author’s own amusement. Don’t rely on this blog. Think of the blog as part of my personal investment journal that I am willing to share with the DIY investor. We welcome your comments on our analysis, but please do your own research.  Investing with The Insiders Fund is for qualified investors and by Prospectus only. Nothing herein should be construed otherwise.  THE INSIDERS FUND prefers to invest in companies at or near prices that management has been willing to invest significant amounts of their own money in, but we have no requirement to do so. We also invest in many companies in anticipation of future insider buying or with the expectation that there is none at all.

You can be an insider, too– by clicking here

Prosperous Trading,

Harvey Sax
Insomniac Hedge Fund Guy