Want to invest on the inside track? Trading on insider information may be illegal, but the Claymore/Sabrient Insider ETF
The Claymore/Sabrient fund tracks the performance of the Sabrient Insider Sentiment Index. It's compiled based on the stock-buying trends of insiders who work within each company, and upgrades by the analysts who follow that company. Information on trading activity from top management, directors, and large institutional holders comes from public filing data. The Wall Street analyst upgrades come from the earnings forecast data compiled by Thomson's IBES.
Once the index is created, the fund then selects and holds a basket of the 100 highest-ranked companies, equally weighted. At the end of September, the fund's top five holdings, each at roughly 1.25% of the portfolio, were American Eagle Outfitters
Claymore Advisors, a Lisle, Ill.-based firm, is the fund's advisor. (In case you're wondering, Claymore is named after the Scottish sword, not the land mine.)
In theory, insiders buy because they're well-positioned to see long-term value in their company. Of course, this doesn't mean the stock's price will jump immediately. Still, insiders should know more about their company than anyone else. By that logic, watching what they do, and following suit in your own portfolio, could be a profitable practice.
The Claymore/Sabrient fund has a limited performance history, since it only launched in September 2006. It might be worth waiting for a few years, or even a full market cycle, to get a better appraisal of the fund's performance.
Although the Claymore/Sabrient fund's fees are capped at 60 basis points (or 0.6%), that's still higher than what you'd pay for an index ETF. SPDRs
Insider trading and analyst upgrades provide two distinct and valuable viewpoints on a company. Still, I'm not sure these factors should be the only data fueling an investment strategy. The Claymore/Sabrient Insider ETF is an intriguing fund, and the concept may be a good one, but I'm inclined to wait until there's more performance history before buying in. The fund might be considered a fun investment at this point, but it would be small-f foolish to invest more than a small portion of your overall portfolio here.
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Fool contributor Zoe Van Schyndel lives in Miami and enjoys the sunshine and variety of the Magic City. She owns shares in SPDRs, but not in any of the other funds or companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.