Tutorial to Easily Auto Track Insider Transactions

Pick the best value stocks with our Stock Ranks, screening and valuation tool. Try the live demo today.

Written by

Jae Jun

follow me on



Track Insider Transactions

Track Insider Transactions

Do you need a pro tracker to Track Insider Transactions? | Flickr: West Midlands Police

Is There a Way to Track Insider Transactions

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to set up an RSS feed for your company’s insider transactions and track insider transactions.

This is something that is extremely quick and easy to set up. Once you get an idea of how this works, you’ll be able to fiddle around with it to search for other specific forms filed to the SEC.

Before that, please click on the image below to download a PDF version of this article.

Basics First. All Forms Have Header Information

Whenever a company files their form to the SEC, there is a certain format that must be followed. For example, you can’t just write an annual report and then email it to the SEC.

Each form much comply and contain certain information. That’s where header fields come in. Don’t worry if you don’t know what they are. You just have to know the basics of how to read it.

Below the text between the “< >” is what you call the header field. As you can see below, there are several and you can use each one in your search. Think of it as a filter in your search.

Company Name
Public Document Count
Accession Number
Form Type
Filing Date

You could use “COMPANY-NAME” to search for a specific company only or include “TYPE” and you can search a specific type of form for a company. This is exactly what I will show you to collect insider transaction filings for a single company.

This is the SEC page for the full list of all header fields you can use to customize your search.

First: Search for Company Name

Go the SEC Archives Search page. This is the page which you want to use for searching.

In the field, enter COMPANY-NAME=”apple” and search.

You will notice that the results display everything containing the word apple. The next step is to clean up the results by using the exact company name as reported in the SEC. In this case, it is “apple inc”. Not case sensitive.

Updating the search term with COMPANY-NAME=”apple inc” now lists filings only for AAPL.

Second: Include Form Type Filter

To narrow your search to include only insider transactions, you will have to search for form 4.

Include FORM-TYPE=4 into your search.

The search term should now be COMPANY-NAME=”apple inc” FORM-TYPE=4

The SEC has kindly added a RSS button so that you can add it to your reader or email. Click and subscribe to it and you’ll be sure to receive it as soon as form 4 is filed.

Advanced Searching Using Boolean Operators

For those of you want a bit more flavor, you can refine your searches even finer by using boolean operators AND and OR.

The easiest way to explain things without going into the jargon is to just see an example first.

COMPANY-NAME=(“apple inc” OR “netflix”) AND FORM-TYPE=(10-Q* OR 10-K*)

In the search string above, I want to find filings for both Apple and Netflix and display both the quarterly and annual reports.

But look, I am not using the AND operator.

The OR operator returns filings for either

  1. Apple or Netflix
  2. and 10-Q or 10-K.

Use the speech marks ” ” if the company name has a space in it and the * is used to display any filing beginning with 10-Q. By using the asterisk you can search for amended filings that have the code 10-Q/A. If you just did FORM-TYPE=(10-Q OR 10-K), you wouldn’t see any of the amended filings.

For a list of all the other forms, this is the pdf you want.

And that’s how we Track Insider Transactions in OSV. What’s your customized search string? Share it with us in the comments.

What is Old School Value?

Old School Value is a suite of value investing tools designed to fatten your portfolio by identifying what stocks to buy and sell.

It is a stock grader, value screener, and valuation tools for the busy investor designed to help you pick stocks 4x faster.

Check out the live preview of AMZN, MSFT, BAC, AAPL and FB.

12 responses to “Tutorial to Easily Auto Track Insider Transactions”

  1. Jordan says:

    Maybe there are features on the SEC archives page that make it superior, but I find that you can accomplish the same thing with the SEC EDGAR company search page (http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html).

    You can still refine the search by company name, date range, filing type, etc. and subscribe to the RSS feed, but it doesn’t require any knowledge of Boolean operators or search syntax. Is there a difference between the two that I’m not aware of?

  2. Jae Jun says:

    the company search works as well but it requires more steps.
    e.g. if you wanted to search for 10 companies, you would have to do it 10 times.
    On the other hand, if you use the boolean operators, you can get the results for all 10 at the same time as well as the different types of forms you are interested in. Makes it much more easier and powerful to filter.

  3. Aku says:

    Hello Jae,
    just wanted to say thank you for excellent tutorial. I subscribed to SEC watch though the free one and they wanted me to pay $10 per month for this information. I know its free on SEC just did not know how to access.
    I was not going to pay for my little usage. This works perfectly. Now I can set up RSS feed for the companies that are on my watch list to see how the insiders are doing.

  4. Jae Jun says:

    good to see you utilize it already Aku. There are lots more you can do with it. Just let your imagination go wild.

  5. Jim says:

    What may be a better and easier to use alternative and what I use can be found at secfilings.com. You can search for a company’s form 4 or you can search for the latest form 4’s for every company. The site has a drop down menu to select your search criteria. It’s free and is the best site for SEC filings I’ve seen.

  6. Great tutorial. I did notice that the COMPANY-NAME=”apple inc” string did not return any results but this approach worked:
    COMPANY-NAME=(”apple inc”)

  7. Jae Jun says:

    This is a good method because you lets you control more than just the form 4. You can search and sign up for virtually any filing.

    @ Chad,
    make sure you type in the quotation mark. The encoding on my website may be different to what the sec uses and so the quotation marks may not be recognised unless typed.

  8. Derek says:

    This is going to be a great time saver once setup!


Pick Winning Stocks and Fatten Your Portfolio