When it comes to investing, going with the crowd will rarely if ever make you rich. If your objective is to buy low and sell high, then, in the words of Warren Buffett, you must be "greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy." This is the foundation of contrarian investing.
But there's a twist. To be a contrarian investor, you must first know what to be contrary to. And this is where the SEC's invaluable EDGAR database comes in. Every quarter companies and large institutional investors are required to disclose their equity holdings. By patching these together, we can get a fuller picture of a particular stock's popularity.
What follows, in turn, is a look at the principal owners of JPMorgan Chase's (NYSE: JPM ) outstanding common stock.
A broad overview
As you can see in the following chart, the majority of JPMorgan's nearly four billion shares are held by institutional investors. Company insiders, including board members and corporate executives, own a further 0.58% of the outstanding common stock. And the public at large owns the remaining 24%.
Digging in a big further, the largest institutional stake holders in JPMorgan are asset managers. Bond giant BlackRock (NYSE: BLK ) tops the list at 6.3% ownership, followed by The Vanguard Group, the asset management arm of State Street (NYSE: STT ) , Wellington Management, and Fidelity Investments.
The largest buyers have been Citigroup (NYSE: C ) and BlackRock, which have recently acquired 12.9 million and 11.9 million shares of common stock, respectively. Meanwhile, the two largest sellers of late have been Putnam LLC and Mason Capital Management, which have disposed of 11.8 million and 8.1 million shares, respectively.
Turning to inside investors, far and away the largest inside owner is James Crown, the president of Henry Crown and Company and a JPMorgan director. The second largest holder is CEO Jamie Dimon, who has amassed nearly six million shares in the bank. And the third largest holder is Ina Drew, the former chief investment officer who lost her job as a result of the London Whale scandal.
The Foolish bottom line
While insider and institutional ownership together represent only one metric, it's nevertheless an important one. Beyond hinting at the overall market's sentiment toward a stock, it also gives investors insight into the confidence of the people best positioned to predict a company's current state and future success.
Want to learn more about JPMorgan Chase?
With big finance firms still trading at deep discounts to their historic norms, investors everywhere are wondering if this is the new normal, or if finance stocks are a screaming buy today. The answer depends on the company, so to help figure out whether JPMorgan is a buy today, I invite you to read our premium research report on the company. Click here now for instant access!