Today’s Top 10 Biggest Companies

taxation_and_business_culture_in_the_USA

All of the world’s 10 biggest companies as measured by market capitalization are American. While these companies have their roots in the U.S. and are the embodiment of “all-American” qualities such as innovation and industry, their reach is worldwide and their marketplace global.

The disproportionate number of American companies in the ranks of global titans now can be attributed to a confluence of favorable factors in recent years.

Here are the world’s top 10 companies (the markets caps are as of Nov. 17 and are based on Google Finance):

  1. Apple (AAPL) – Market cap $634 billion. The world’s most valuable company continues to reap billions by selling millions of iPhones, iPads and other coveted gadgets.
  2. Alphabet (GOOGL) – Market cap $505 billion. New holding company Alphabet was created in August to separate Google’s main businesses such as search and advertising from a plethora of new projects that are riskier long shots. Those include such ventures as Life Sciences (whose projects include a glucose-sensing contact lens), Calico (focused on longevity), driverless cars and secretive lab Google X, plus investing units Google Capital and Google Ventures.
  3. Microsoft (MSFT) – Market cap $428 billion. Microsoft was the world’s biggest company at the turn of the millennium and continues to be a steady presence in the ranks of the giants.
  4. Exxon Mobil (XOM) – Market cap $334 billion. Exxon Mobil was the world’s largest company in October 2007, with a market cap of $510 billion, but a 30% decline since then has pushed it down to the No. 4 spot among the mega-caps.
  5. Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) – Market cap $328 billion. Warren Buffett’s holding company reported record net income of $9.43 billion in the third quarter, driven by a one-time investment gain in Kraft Heinz (HNC). Berkshire Hathaway became the largest shareholder in Kraft Heinz after Buffett helped finance the merger that created it.
  6. Amazon (AMZN) – Market cap $301 billion. Amazon’s shares reached a record high this month as the stock surged 112.5% for the year, the best performance of the top 10 mega-caps. The stock has had a meteoric rise in the current bull market, having surged more than six-fold since 2009.
  7. General Electric (GE) – Market cap $308 billion. GE reached a seven-year high in November after reporting third-quarter results that beat expectations. The company is returning to its manufacturing roots and moving away from its financing activities, by selling $200 billion in assets from its GE Capital division and completing the split-off of its consumer-finance business Synchrony Financial. Although GE was among the world’s biggest companies during previous bull cycles that peaked in the years 2000 and 2007, the stock now trades at less than half of its all-time high reached in August 2000.
  8. Facebook (FB) – Market cap $293 billion. Facebook has the distinction of becoming the fastest company to reach $250 billion in market cap, having done so in about three and a half years since its initial public offering in May 2012.
  9. Wells Fargo (WFC) – Market cap $281 billion. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo became the largest U.S. mortgage lender with its 2008 acquisition of Wachovia Corp in a $15 billion stock transaction. Wells Fargo traded at a record high in July, but has since retreated 5%.
  10. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) – Market cap $280 billion. J&J, the only health-care company in the top 10, reached a record high in November 2014, but has since pulled back about 7%.  J&J is one of only three U.S. industrial issuers that have a AAA rating from credit-rating firms Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

Why the Top 10 Are All American

The U.S. accounts for a disproportionate percentage of the world’s largest companies for possibly three reasons:

(a) the relative out-performance of U.S. equities in this bull market: Since March 2009, U.S. equity indexes have outperformed their global peers by a wide margin. The S&P 500 has gained 210% (from March 9, 2009 to Nov. 6, 2015), while the Dow Jones industrial average has advanced 173%. But even these impressive performances pale in comparison to the Nasdaq Composite’s 305% surge over this period, which is the biggest reason technology titans comprise half of the top 10 list.

(b) the strength of the U.S. dollar: Since the beginning of 2014, the dollar has gained against all 16 major currencies, and has advanced almost 22% versus the euro and 14% against the Japanese yen.

(c) the premium valuations accorded to U.S. mega-caps:  That means that a dollar of net income will probably fetch a higher market value for a U.S. mega-cap, compared with a European or Asian company.

The Bottom Line

The five biggest technology companies in the world are American. So are the world’s biggest bank, diversified conglomerate, energy company, health care product manufacturer and industrial firm. History shows that such dominance in the ranks of global titans does not last forever.

References: 

Read more: Why All of the World’s Top 10 Companies Are American http://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/111115/why-all-worlds-top-10-companies-are-american.asp#ixzz3tH3tOhE1

Image: http://www.internations.org/usa-expats/guide/working-in-the-usa-15497/taxation-and-business-culture-in-the-usa-3

Advertisements

10 Habits of Successful People

While attending the International Leadership Association Conference in Barcelona this year; one question kept coming up for me. What makes a person successful? Aside from the random element of luck, much of what makes some people successful involves the cultivating of certain habits. Learning what these habits are and how to employ them in your own life could be a worthwhile exercise.

Upon returning home, I surveyed the research and reflected on my observations at the conference. To that end, here are 10 of the most often cited habits of successful people.

1. Organization

One of the most frequently mentioned habits of those who are successful in life is organization. Organization includes planning as well as setting priorities and goals.

Joel Brown, founder of Addicted2Success.com, calls for a prioritized “To-Do List” every evening before going to bed to prepare for the next day.

According to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Sunday is an important day for organization and a time to “get ready for the rest of the week.”

2. Relaxation

It’s interesting to note that relaxing – by meditating or simply avoiding distractions – is another one of the most-often mentioned habits of successful people.

Of course, relaxation comes more easily to those who are organized, so perhaps for some it is more of a natural byproduct than a conscious decision.

It may also be that the act of “taking a breath” is the successful person’s way of preparing for the effort yet to come. In fact, one of the first steps toward achieving a meditative or relaxed state is to concentrate on your own breathing for three to five minutes.

3. Taking Action

Third on the list of habits of successful people is the inevitable “action” habit. It is important to organize, to plan and to set priorities, but without action, a plan is nothing more than potential.

Successful people act – quickly and often. In addition, although it may sound counter intuitive, according to James Clear, they act (start, anyway) before they feel ready.

According to James Clear, while others come up with reasons not to act, successful people take that all-important first step – even if it seems outlandish.

4. Personal Care

Personal care with regard to diet, exercise and hygiene comes next on the list of habits of those who are successful.

For some, personal care involves a complex regimen and a highly disciplined lifestyle. For others, not so much. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, (see Is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Economically Feasible?) put it succinctly when asked what daily habit has had the largest positive impact on his life. In a tweet, Musk said simply, “Showering.”

5. Positive Attitude

According to many successful people, having a positive attitude is not just a result of being successful – it’s one of the root causes of success.

Joel Brown refers to gratitude and positive self-talk as priorities in the lives of the ultra successful. Moreover, Brown says, it’s not enough to express gratitude and a positive attitude. You must also remind yourself why you are grateful in order to achieve a deeper effect.

 

6. Networking

Successful people know the value of exchanging ideas with others through networking. They also know the value of collaboration and teamwork – all of which are likely when you network.

According to author Thomas Corley, successful people know the importance of surrounding themselves with other successful people. Corley says 79% of wealthy (successful) people spend at least five hours a month networking. By contrast, only 16% of poor (unsuccessful) people network on a consistent basis. For more, see 10 Tips for Strategic Networking.

7. Frugality

Frugal is not the same as stingy. Frugality is a habit of being thrifty, with money and resources. It is also a habit of being economical. Learning to be economical comes through avoiding waste, which automatically results in efficiency.

Corley notes that wealthy, successful people avoid overspending. Instead they comparison-shop and negotiate. The result, according to Corley, is financial success through the simple act of saving more money than they spend.

8. Rising Early

The more time one can devote to being successful, the more likely success will result. Successful people are accustomed to rising early, and that habit appears repeatedly among those who do well in life.

While the “Early Riser’s Club” has a huge membership among successful people, a few notable members include Sir Richard Branson (see How did Richard Branson make his fortune?) of Virgin Group, Disney CEO Robert Iger and Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer.

9. Sharing

Whether through donating to charity or the sharing of ideas, successful people have a habit of giving. They know the value of sharing and most believe their success should result in something more than the accumulation of wealth for themselves.

Some of the most well-known successful philanthropists include Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg.

As Keep Inspiring Me points out, however, lack of wealth does not need to be a factor when it comes to sharing. Volunteering in your community or at a local school does not cost anything but could provide help where it is needed most (see Retirement Tips: Choose The Best Charity Annuity).

10. Reading

It’s important to note that successful people read. While they also read for pleasure, most use their reading habit as a means to gain knowledge or insight.

For anyone who needs inspiration about the value and importance of reading, look no further than the example of billionaire author, J.K. Rowling, who says she read “anything” as a child, and who advises, “Read as much as you possibly can. Nothing will help you as much as reading.”

The Bottom Line

Most people have habits – some are positive, some are not. Successful people tend to have more of the kinds of habits that contribute to their success.

The good news, for those who wish to be successful, is that cultivating positive habits takes no more effort than developing bad ones.

Some of the best habits of successful people involve only conscious effort – i.e., getting up early every day. Others, such as becoming organized, may take a little more skill and practice but ultimately result in the most desired outcome of all – success.

References: 

Image: http://muddaser.com/leadership/respond-success/

Investopedia.com

 

Reflections from Conscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of our Collective Realities

global

The International Leadership Association recently held its annual conference in San Diego, California. Titled Conscious Leading for Global Change: Emergence of our Collective Realities, I participated in this conference in several ways: presenting my dissertation at a poster presentation session and participating in the emerging scholars program. As part of the emerging scholars program, I was paired with Dr. Bill Gardner. His mentorship proved invaluable on my journey to finish my dissertation. The conference also led me to reflect about my own leadership capacity and my next steps as a practitioner.

In this post, I will focus on my reflections from a session and a lunch talk that I attended.

New Constructs: Leadership Development Efficacy

The New Constructs session discussed the importance of Leadership Development Efficacy and what it does for organizations, companies, and scholars. The concept of leader efficacy has received relatively little attention in the leadership literature (Hannah, Avolio, Luthans, & Harms, 2008). This is somewhat surprising given that effective leadership requires high levels of agency (i.e., deliberately or intentionally exerting positive influence), confidence, and self-efficacy.

Leader developmental efficacy is defined as someone’s confidence in their ability to develop as a leader. There’s an emphasis on development because it is conceptually different from someone’s confidence in their ability to perform as a leader/lead. Please also note that this construct are still in press with the Leadership Quartley, please contact me if you have questions. This is a wider idea than the speakers in the session are working on and the theory is in development from Dr. Avolio.

What does Leadership Development Efficacy do?

Simply put, it allows us to find out who in an organization would get the most out of leadership development. This new construct could help determine if leadership development activities lead to a person having more intentions of developing other leaders, thus self-engaging in leadership development. Overall, I see value in this construct and feel once the measure is fully developed it could be highly valuable to Leadership and Organizational Development practitioners.

Reflections on Mindful Leading as a CEO

On October 30th, three CEOs came together discuss Mindful Leading. These executives made the lunch audience aware that mindful leading is not a fad and that it can be applied and has value across industries. During the panel discussion, each CEO pointed out different ways that they mindfully lead at the workplace. Multiple CEO’s talked about family and the importance of re-focusing oneself by being grounded in one’s family, health, and by participating a sport or other form of regular physical activity. There was an apparent notion from the CEO’s that life was a part of work and it could not be separated.

Another topic they discussed was continual learning. One CEO explained that she asks for “re-do’s” for tasks that she did not do correctly. She literally asks to re-do things she does wrong. Her reasoning is that no one person can have all the answers. Another CEO stated that he saw turnover as good for innovation, as it brings new minds into the organization. Overall, these CEO’s made it evident that they believed culture could eat strategy for breakfast. The Reflections on Mindful Leading as a CEO lunch was a great opportunity to see how effective CEO’s are running their organizations and to hear their takes on being a leader.

References:

Hannah, S. T., Avolio, B. J., Luthans, F., & Harms, P. D. (2008). Leadership efficacy: Review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(6), 669-692.

Image: http://www.wtgteam.com/portfolio/global-change-cultural-development/