Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services, credit, and debit card provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC.

What Is Insider Trading?

Chime Team • April 4, 2024

Insider Trading

Insider trading, a term that often carries a cloud of controversy and intrigue, refers to the buying or selling of a publicly-traded company’s stock by someone who has non-public, material information about that stock. Insider trading can be legal or illegal depending on when the insider makes the trade. For instance, it is illegal when the material information is still non-public. However, this same activity is legal once the information is made public.

Understanding insider trading is crucial because it is a large part of fair financial practices and market integrity. Legal insider trading happens within the confines of company policy and regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These trades are often reported to the SEC and made public, providing transparency and maintaining investor confidence in the market. Illegal insider trading, however, undermines investor trust and can distort market prices, leading to unfair advantages and potentially significant financial losses for uninformed investors.

Insider trading involves insiders, such as company executives, directors, or employees, and those close to them, like family members or friends, who might be privy to confidential information. When these insiders act on material information not yet released to the public to make a profit or avoid a loss, it constitutes illegal insider trading. Legal insider trading, conversely, occurs after the information has been made public, ensuring that no unfair advantage is taken.

A classic example of illegal insider trading could involve an executive who learns their company is about to be acquired at a premium price per share. If the executive purchases additional shares before this information is public, they are engaging in illegal insider trading. On the legal side, if the executive waits until the acquisition is publicly announced and then buys shares, their trading is lawful.

For individual investors, the concept of insider trading is a reminder of the need for vigilance and due diligence in their investment decisions. It highlights the importance of relying on public information and reputable sources when making investment choices, rather than attempting to seek or act on insider tips, which could be illegal and financially ruinous.

The history of insider trading dates back as far as the stock market itself, with varying degrees of regulation and enforcement over the years. In the United States, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 first addressed insider trading, with significant laws and regulations developed over time to combat illegal activities. High-profile cases have brought insider trading into the public eye and have helped to shape the current regulatory environment.

Insider trading is not just a matter of legal concern; it also touches on ethical considerations in business practices. It raises questions about fairness, transparency, and the responsibilities of those who hold privileged positions. As markets evolve and become more complex, the challenge of detecting and preventing illegal insider trading remains significant.

Insider trading is a complex issue that sits at the intersection of legality, ethics, and market dynamics. For Chime users and readers, understanding the distinctions between legal and illegal insider trading, and recognizing its impact on market fairness and personal investment strategies, is essential. By adhering to principles of transparency and fairness, investors can contribute to a healthier market environment and safeguard their financial interests.

Chime® is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card and the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card are issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit and credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your Card for its issuing bank.

While Chime doesn’t issue personal checkbooks to write checks, Chime Checkbook gives you the freedom to send checks to anyone, anytime, from anywhere. See your issuing bank’s Deposit Account Agreement for full Chime Checkbook details.

By clicking on some of the links above, you will leave the Chime website and be directed to a third-party website. The privacy practices of those third parties may differ from those of Chime. We recommend you review the privacy statements of those third party websites, as Chime is not responsible for those third parties' privacy or security practices.

Third-party trademarks referenced for informational purposes only; no endorsements implied.

‡ SpotMe® for Credit Builder is an optional, no interest/no fee overdraft line of credit tied to the Secured Deposit Account. SpotMe on Debit is an optional, no fee service attached to your Chime Checking Account (individually or collectively, “SpotMe”). Eligibility for SpotMe requires $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to your Chime Checking Account each month.

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. (“Banks”). Banks are not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).

Address: 101 California Street, Floor 5, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States.

No customer support available at HQ. Customer support details available on the website.

© 2013-2024 Chime Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.