In light of news events today with the WSJ Blog reported conviction of the Founder of Galleon on 14 Insider Trading charges (link to WSJ source http://blogs.wsj.com/marketbeat/2011/05/11/raj-rajaratnam-convicted-what-kind-of-time-are-we-talking/?mod=google_news_blog ), it creates a good opportunity to return to some points we had mentioned before on Twitter and on our FB Page in previous posts. CPAs are bound to high standards as Licensed professionals, in our education process we learn about Accounting, Business Law, Tax Law, Finance, Business Formation and more, much of this to avoid issues like "Insider Trading" and other issues in Business.
For CPAs (like myself) with specific area expertise in Financial Services we go on to learn more about SEC Laws, FINRA Rules, Capital Markets, Securities and other related factors. In any Financial Services business and for all Investors in Capital Markets a very key and central Law is regarding "Insider Trading," the goal of which is to create a level playing field for Investors so that Market Participants with "Insider Information" are prohibited from Trading on that knowledge (and taking monetary gains on material non-public information) until it becomes Public Information (the goal is preventing Insiders from taking advantage of less informed Investors in the General Public). The best source for background on this is in my opinion the SEC itself follow this link the SEC on "Insider Trading" to Learn more http://www.sec.gov/answers/insider.htm.
Since the SEC is a key part of Financial Market Regulation. If you are an Investor or a participant in Financial Markets, you must know the rules so be sure to know all you can on "Insider Trading" and commit to not becoming a part of Insider Trading to best protect your Financial Assets, Individual Freedom and your Business Reputation all of which are valuable Assets.
On a related note of Interest, since part of what we are doing in career development is pursuing the CFA designation, we can also tell you that a portion of a CFAs preparation path at level 1 is dedicated to thoroughly understanding the rules of Insider Trading so as not to arrive in a position later down the road as an Investment Analyst or Portfolio Manager where you would violate these rules. Portfolio Managers, Reserchers and Analysts and others who are CFAs place significant care on the imortance of not violating "Insider Trading" rules.
We believe that the SEC is a best source of definitions on "Insider Trading" so their link is provided here, but suffice to say that possession of Material Non-Public Information (as was indicated in the WSJ article on the Galleon / Rajaratnam case also cited above), followed by an action to Trade on that Information or Encourage others to Trade on that information would bring you into the Realm of Insider Trading. Insider Trading is about Information and the desire of our government to maintain a level playing field in Financial Markets where Financial Experts are restrained in ways that they expect will support Investor Protection by providing equal information opportunity.
While the SEC provides a key role in segments of Financial Market Regulation, there are also other relevant govenment regulators to consider in other Market Areas. For the context of our discussion here we are Focused on the SEC and their role on Insider Trading on Capital Markets, we would also like to introduce that FINRA a Self Regulating Organization (SRO) is the Financial Industries oversight body which functions to also protect Investors and diminish Insider Trading Operations by assisting in the Control of Market Data information by limiting channels for Insider Communications and otherwise protecting Investors.