NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The difference between one and four is hardly subtle, though it seems lost on the media when it comes to General Motors(GM) - Get Report.

Here's the deal: General Motors CEO Dan Akerson purchased just over $500,000 in stock in the open market this week. This is somewhat noteworthy, as CEOs more frequently receive stock as part of their compensation package, but Akerson spent cash -- and a decent amount -- to invest in the company he heads.

Here's the operative point, though: this is the -- count it -- fourth time Akerson has made a purchase of General Motors stock. Problem is, most of the media has a sense of history that only stretches back a week. That's why many, including

Forbes

in an article called "Top Buys by Directors: Akerson's $508.8K Bet on GM," only mentions this week's purchase.

But the fact that he's done it four times running now holds meaning. Sure, it guarantees nothing.

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

and

Honda

(HMC) - Get Report

, recovered from last year's disasters in Japan are giving GM fits again and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

is no slouch.

In the end, though, the fact that Akerson is a serial purchaser -- not a One-Time Charlie -- does prove that at least he is confident.

CNNMoney

did well to give us the details:

Akerson bought 25,000 shares of GM at a price of $20.35 each. It brought his holdings up to 272,828 shares. He bought just less than a third of those shares on the open market with his own funds.
He bought 10,000 shares for $25.05 each in August 2011, and 30,000 shares for $31.33 each in March of that year. On Nov. 18, 2010, the day of the GM IPO, he also bought 15,000 shares in the open market for an average of $33.54, just above the $33 IPO price.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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