Public Company Insiders Ramp Up Personal Share Sales

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(Bloomberg) — Stock sales are reaping a windfall for the world’s richest shareholders.

Corporate insiders including’s Jeff Bezos and Google co-founder Sergey Brin have ramped up stock sales recently, cashing in on a 14-month long bull market that’s helped boost fortunes to the tune of trillions.

U.S. public company insiders offloaded shares worth $24.4 billion this year through the first week of May, with about half sold through trading plans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s almost as much as the $30 billion total they disposed of in the second half of 2020.

Large shareholders frequently sell stock in planned intervals, often through pre-arranged trading programs. Yet the prolonged rally in equities markets has made the value of these disposals, whether planned or opportunistic, strikingly high.

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There are multiple reasons an investor of any size might be motivated to sell. After the pandemic-defying rally, valuations are increasingly under pressure from rising inflation. Investors are wary the post-Covid recovery could prompt tightening measures from the Federal Reserve. And President Joe Biden’s proposed tax hikes — including a near doubling of the capital gains rate — have created uncertainty.

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