Put five Fools in a room, ask them how they invest, and you'll likely get five different answers. Some like growth, others value, or small caps, or dividends, or, well, you get the picture.

Yet, while our styles differ, we all want excellent, engaged managers running the companies we own. We like it even more when these managers are also owners -- investors like you and me who, in trying times like these, are willing to buy as others sell. That's why I write this column weekly.

The week's buying
So, which rich executives are buying now? Have a look, courtesy of our friends at Form 4 Oracle:


Closing Price 11/25/08

Total Value Purchased

1-Year Return

Coach (NYSE:COH)




Cypress Semiconductor (NYSE:CY)




GameStop (NYSE:GME)




Marvel Entertainment (NYSE:MVL)




McMoRan Exploration (NYSE:MMR)




Sources: Fool.com, Yahoo! Finance, Form 4 Oracle, SEC filings.

Here comes your stock market hero
Should investors be thankful? The quick answer is no. There's no reason to be thankful for an environment in which the S&P 500 is down more than 40% over the last year. But that's short-term thinking. Fools have a lot to be thankful for. We've not seen prices like these in 35 years.

Panic selling is rampant, and it's given smart insiders at top firms a chance to buy on the cheap. Insiders like David Maisel, head of Marvel Studios, who gets partial credit for the box office blockbuster Iron Man. Maisel purchased 100,000 shares last week for between $23.78 and $24.89 each.

Our 120,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community would approve:



CAPS Stars (5 max)


Total Ratings


Bullish Ratings


Percent Bulls


Bearish Ratings


Percent Bears


Bullish Pitches


Bearish Pitches


Note: Data current as of Nov. 25, 2008.

Most of them, anyway. Bears will tell you that a box office bust could torpedo Marvel. "I don't think superhero movies are given moneymakers," wrote CAPS investor greenwave3 in July. "The more characters they introduce in movies, the further diluted their franchise and credibility will be."

Interestingly, the numbers don't support that view. How many Bond films have there been again? Quantum of Solace was up to $419 million in global box office receipts as of Monday, according to Box Office Mojo.

Even busts have been winners for Marvel. Consider this summer's character re-introduction, The Incredible Hulk. A decent film, it didn't exactly blow away expectations. And its domestic box office haul, at $134 million, barely eclipsed that of the original, which audiences panned and then abandoned.

Yet The Incredible Hulk, like Iron Man, was profitable for Marvel, Chief Financial Officer Ken West confirmed during the company's third-quarter earnings conference call.

Contrast that with what Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) yielded from the brilliantly crafted Batman sequel, The Dark Knight. We've no idea what its near-billion-dollar box office meant for revenue, but Time Warner came in lighter than expected during Q3

Marvel, on the other hand, treads water with a key sequel and still wins. And that's under an old deal with Universal. A new distribution pact with Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) Paramount Studios should boost margins further.

No matter, it seems. This well-positioned, high-growth component of Marvel's business sells for near zero. No wonder Maisel was buying; I'm surprised he didn't buy more.

There's your update. See you back here next week when we dig through more insider filings in search of the next home run stock.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is getting torched in CAPS, currently. Thankfully, he's doing better than that as an analyst for Rule Breakers. Get access to all of Tim's Foolish writings here.

Tim had stock and options positions in Marvel at the time of publication. Coach, GameStop, and Marvel are Stock Advisor selections. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy knew a rich executive once. She never bought anything.