Rule 10b5-1

DEFINITION of 'Rule 10b5-1'

A rule established by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) that allows insiders of publicly traded corporations to set up a trading plan for selling stocks they own. Rule 10b5-1 allows major holders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time. 10b5-1 plans are used by many corporate executives in an attempt to avoid accusations of insider trading.

BREAKING DOWN 'Rule 10b5-1'

It is not uncommon to see a major holder sell some of his/her shares at regular intervals. For example, a director of XYZ Corporation may choose to sell 5,000 shares of stock on the second Wednesday of every month. To avoid conflict, 10b5-1 plans must be established when the individual is unaware of any material non-public information.

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