Oct 24: Insider Trading – Blogging That Might be Risky Business

by David Jenyns on October 24, 2005

Can blogs revolutionize stock trading? David Jenyns of SystemTradingBlog.com thinks so.

Web logs are growing at an exponential pace on the internet, with an unpredictable and dramatic rise in new users and new services. A study by Jeffrey Henning recently predicted that there will be a total of 53.4 million blogs by years end, with thousands being created weekly. But its what these blogs contain that interest traders.

Blogs can cover topics as serious as the war in Iraq or as ridiculous as pictures of things placed on cats, but they are the way people all over the world have begun communicating their thoughts, their feelings, and their day-to-day news. And this day-to-day news, which often includes work-place information, is what is worrying regulators, and corporations.

And while the media digests the landmark Martha Stewart insider trader trial, the spotlight is now turning to blogs potentially the new hotspot for insider trader. Market commentators are already predicting that certain blogs may be crossing the border between up-to-date news and insider trader, and corporations have started looking carefully at employee blogs.

`What regulators may be scared of is the potential for this new media to leak stock price sensitive news to the market,` Mr. Jenyns explained. `Just think about it, thousands of trading blogs and hundreds of active bloggers from fortune 500 companies making posts every day. These bloggers talk about everything from their private lives to the inner working of the businesses. Sometimes this news is unreleased to the market and can potentially tip traders to buy or sell stocks.`

Insider trading is the buying or selling of stock based on information not available to the public, often caused by a leak. With this danger obviously increased by the availability and popularity of blogs, regulators have begun watching the blog community carefully. However, even in the face of such scrutiny, some trading experts believe financial blogging can benefit the everyday traders.

Jenyns explained, `For the first time in history, there is a level playing field. Brokers and their top clients no longer have the edge. In trading, the edge is all about having breaking news. Now the latest information is available to anyone with internet access, and people are sharing not only their news, but their experiences with the market. With blogs like mine, everyone can have an `edge`.

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