CEOs and corporate insiders have sold a record $69 billion in stock in 2021, as looming tax hikes and lofty share prices encourage many to take profits.
From Satya Nadella at Microsoft to Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, CEOs, founders and insiders have been cashing in their stock at the highest pace on record. As of Monday, sales by insiders are up 30% from 2020 to $69 billion, and up 79% versus a 10-year average, according to InsiderScore/Verity, which excludes sales by large institutional holders.
The selling is likely to increase even more as December is often an active month for sales due to tax planning.
"The increase in the dollar value of insider sales in 2021 can be attributed to multiple factors, with historically high stock valuations being the primary driver," said Ben Silverman, director of research at InsiderScore/Verity. "The presence of 'super sellers' during the period has help pump up sales total."