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  • Writer's pictureDave Hill

I’m a legitimate trader of insider information…

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Well I expect that has your attention, especially if you work in Financial Services! However, I’m not talking about the use of sensitive data linked to impending deals, that cheats the market. I’m talking about a resource that we all have access to, but either we aren’t aware of, or that we often overlook… an inbuilt information system that has our backs 24/7.

This blog is a product of that system. I had no intention to write about this topic, but I got an insider tip at 02:00 on Sunday morning… not ideal timing, but there it was… “you could write about being a legitimate trader of insider information”. Well, despite my early morning grogginess, I saw the logic in the message. Wrote myself three Post-it notes in the dark to act as a reminder. And went back to sleep.

Now some of you may know that I’m a coach and that I talk about wellbeing and our innate capacity to thrive despite our circumstances. This is more of the same, but I’m going to use this middle-of-the-night, flash of inspiration to help explain it.

How did this thought pop in to my mind? It certainly wasn’t because I’ve just clicked through the annual 30 min session on insider trading at work. Or because I had attended a session with Risk and Compliance on what to look out for in my colleagues… and how to blow the whistle should I suspect foul play. No, it’s more likely a combination of the fact that I help people live more comfortably with their lives, and the fact that I’ve just started watching Billions (I know, I’m very late to the party).

That still doesn’t describe how I came up with this idea, especially as I wasn’t looking for inspiration at the time! However, it does illustrate the power of our minds and that it is doing a load of heavy lifting for us in the background all the time. You see, I am passionate about storytelling as a way of helping people see past the things that they are stuck on; the things they feel are holding them back; the things they are scared of; and helping them realise, for themselves, that they have the answers.

The answer to this story came to me without effort, while I was fast asleep. OK, it did wake me up, but only for long enough for me to pop it down on those three, small Post-its. In my sleep, my mind managed to put my passion for storytelling, my passion for helping people live more comfortably by understanding where human experience comes from, with an attention-grabbing topic that came from a glitzy US television series. No clear link between the topics. No hard graft on my part. Just offered up on a plate; albeit in the middle of the night.

But why am I telling you this; why is it relevant to you? Unlike financial services traders using privileged information to gain an unfair market advantage, we all have a system inside us that we tend to overlook and perversely ignore when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. However, if we looked more to the information available to us internally and learned to trust what that information had to tell us, we would be playing in the world optimally, rather than with one hand innocently tied behind our backs.

Some of the main reasons that traders cite when caught for dealing on insider information is stress, being overwhelmed, not wanting to be left behind etc. Occasionally this will be driven by greed, but feelings of stress and overwhelm gets in the way of our ability to think rationally; Einstein is famously quoted as saying “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them”. I am not trying to make excuses for people breaking the law, but you can see the grain of truth for how people end up making the choices they do. However, if these very same people knew that the stress and overwhelm was a message from within, with valuable information for them to slow down, ask for help or look at the bigger picture, rather than try and run faster or break the law to catch up… If they were able to take their own insider tip to slow down and gain perspective, they would give themselves the chance to spot solutions they haven’t dreamt of yet; gaining some real insight that provides unimagined alternatives.

Interestingly, the simplicity afforded by understanding this internal knowledge is one of the reasons people cite for not trusting it… our human failing for thinking that only complex solutions get you out of complex problems; think back to the Einstein quote earlier. A mnemonic I learned in the Army 25+ years ago acts as a constant reminder of the pitfalls of this trap, KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. That is, if I think the solution is complex it’s a subtle invitation to look again to see what I’m missing… to look for the simplicity.

I have noticed that when people keep simplicity in mind they have a greater chance of remaining present in the moment; more connected to the people around them; more curious about unseen possibilities; and therefore more contented, productive and resourceful. That is why I am confident that you’ll be interested in learning about legitimate insider trading and the opportunities it has for you, your organisation and most importantly, those you love.

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