Corporate officers enjoy many additional benefits over rank-and-file workers. For the uninitiated, it may be surprising to learn the amount of stock compensation they hold. Are you curious about how much stock the CEO and other officers of a particular company control? You can find out very easily.
This is how to uncover the amount of stock held by the officer of any publicly held company. Go to the NASDAQ web site and enter the stock ticker symbol for the company you are interested in. Click on ‘Flash Quotes’. Use the drop down box to select ‘Insider Form 4’. Scan down the list until you find the company officer’s name you are interested in. Click on that name. Go to the top of the list which should be the latest date. Move your eyes to the far right column entitled ‘holdings’. That is how many shares that officer currently holds and controls. Multiply that number by the most recent price for the company’s stock and you will arrive at a dollar figure.
Of course, that figure will change from day to day. You may be amazed at just how high that number is. Consider that this is merely the officer’s current stock holdings. It doesn’t tell you how many shares he has sold in the past; it also doesn’t tell you how many shares the company will grant him or her in the future.
When you start to look at these figures you may find them amazing. If you are currently a company CEO or officer, the numbers will not shock you because you will already be familiar with them. However, if you are currently an employee for a publicly held company you may wonder about the discrepancy between your salary and the officers’ stock holdings.
Some will say, “but the CEO and other officers worked hard for their money”. And that may very well be true. But did they really work any harder than you on a day to day basis? And if they did, does the harder work they did add up to account for the discrepancy between an average worker’s pay and a company officer’s stock holdings? Chances are, the answer is no.
This leads to some interesting realizations about how our economy works. The days of serfdom are supposed to be over, but are they really? We now have an economic feudal system. The real estate owned and tribute collected by a monarch have been replaced with stock compensation for corporate officers and owners. But the serf or worker is the one who does the work. The monarch and his court are still the ones who reap the rewards.
In private companies you probably won’t be able to find out the information that you can find on the NASDAQ web site about publicly traded companies. I think it is a good thing that the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission requires this information to be available to the public. Of course, it is meant to be available to potential investors. But if you own stock in your company via a 401K plan, then you are an investor.
Besides the NASDAQ web site, you can also find this information on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site. In fact, there is a wealth of information out there to discover. In many instances it is actually easier to find on the NASDAQ web site.
Perhaps knowing the value of the stock held by company officers will make you less timid about asking for that raise you’ve been thinking about. Knowledge often equates to power.