Independent investors who hope to survive in today's volatile securities marketplace must come to terms with the fact that insiders--mainly, corporate officers and directors--make profitable use of the privileged information to which they're privy. Or so says former Barren's editor Boland in this instructive and wryly entertaining guide. The increasing incidence of tender offers, leveraged buyouts, and the like, he notes, has also created virtually irresistible opportunities for insiders to reap handsome rewards via call options. What's more, the regulatory authorities are unable to secure a consensus definition of illegal insider trading (or even what constitutes a material fact). Among other false starts, Boland cites the use of an enterprising financial printer whose conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court on grounds he breached no fiduciary obligation in capitalizing on his advance knowledge of takeover targets. At any rate, going with the pros has proved generally gainful over the years. To guard against unwarranted optimism on the part of insiders who are on-balance buyers, Boland counsels staying close to their purchase prices and ensuring that acquisition candidates meet minimum analytic standards with regard to book value, cash flow, dividend yield, etc. He also advises that insiders may be tardy in submitting transaction forms to the SEC, and their sales (for a variety of personal reasons) are not as reliable an indicator of future price trends as purchases. Worth noting too, in Boland's opinion, are the activities of Wall Street's smart-money crowd, including the Bass brothers, Warren Buffett, Irwin Jacobs, David Murdock, Odyssey Partners, Victor Posner, the Pritzker family, and others whose efforts to obtain assets at a discount typically come to light via 13D filings (which detail positions exceeding 5 percent in publicly held concerns). Despite the titular hype, Boland makes no claim to having devised a surefire system; he simply--and effectively--examines the reasons why insider trades are worth monitoring.