You can find information on insider holdings at sedar.com — and insider buying and selling transactions can be found at sedi.ca. These sites are run by Canadian securities regulators. But they can be difficult to navigate, so here are some tips to get you started.
Finding information on SEDAR
Once you’re on sedar.com:
- Click on “search database.”
- Then “search for public company documents”
- Next, enter the company name and under “document type” select “proxy circular”. You can also adjust the date range and narrow your search by industry. If you scroll through the most recent proxy circular for a company — also known as the management information circular — you will see a list of directors and their shareholdings. Most companies also report the holdings of their chief executive and other officers.
Finding information on SEDI
Companies are required to disclose if any individual or group owns or exercises control over more than 10 percent of the outstanding common shares. Sedi.ca is the site to visit if you want to see which company insiders are buying or selling.
Once you’re on sedi.ca:
- Pick your language of choice and then click on “access public filings.”
- Then click on “view summary reports” and select “insider transaction detail.” From here you can search insider transactions by issuer name and date range.
A word of warning: Sedi is particularly sensitive and you need to enter all of the information correctly or you’ll get an error message. If you get stuck and need help, there is a “contact us” link at the top of the page.
There are services that collate insider buying and selling information and distribute it to subscribers for a fee, the best known being INK Research.
If you trade with a discount brokerage, they may provide you with free access. But keep in mind the source material is provided by SEDAR and SEDI — and the information is free.
How do I find information on U.S. stocks?
The U.S. securities and exchange commission provides everything you need to research U.S. stocks with its Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval database – better known as EDGAR. Anyone can access and download the information for free. Unlike the clunky Canadian databases, the SEC provides a series of tutorials that make it easy to find what you’re looking for on EDGAR:
- How to use EDGAR
- Using EDGAR to research public companies
- Common documents for researching investments
- How to read an 8-K report for “material” information
U.S companies have to file an 8-K form whenever a significant corporate event takes place. Quarterly reports are filed using form 10-Q and annual reports are filed on form 10-K.
What the heck is a 13F?
The other U.S. filing you’ll hear a lot about is form 13F, which is a quarterly report of stocks owned by institutional investment managers with at least $100 million US in assets under management — including hedge funds, pension funds and investment companies. But before you go looking up your favorite investor’s 13F filing so you can mimic their portfolio, keep in mind short positions don’t have to be disclosed. Also many big investors apply for exceptions to keep stocks off their 13F filing until they build up their full position. Finally investors have 45 days to file a 13F, so the form could be out of date by the time you ever see it.