Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The World’s Top 10 Largest Companies in 2016

The FORBES Global 2000 ranking of largest companies bases the scoring from equal measures of revenue, profits, assets and market value. The companies that made the list for 2016 spread out over 63 countries and together total $35 trillion in revenue, $2.4 trillion in profit, $162 trillion of assets, and have a combined market value of $44 trillion. Let’s take a look at the top 10 below.

1.   Industrial and Commercial Bank of China                                   

Founded in 1984 in Beijing, China, this is the largest bank in the world by total assets and market value. It also holds the number one spot on The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks. As of 2014 there were 375,354 employees. They have branches in Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Barcelona, and in 2008 opened a branch in New York City. 

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

2.  China Construction Bank

The number two spot is held by China Construction Bank, founded in 1954, also in Beijing, China. They have 329,338 employees as of 2011. In 2005, Bank of America acquired 9% stake in this bank for US$3 billion. However, by the end of 2013, Bank of America had sold its entire stake in the bank. 

China Construction Bank

3.  The Agricultural Bank of China

Founded 65 years ago (1951), in Beijing, China, the Agricultural Bank of China is one of the “Big Four” banks in the People’s Republic of China, along with number 1 and 2 on this list. As of 2012 they employed 444,238 people at their nearly 24,000 branches.   

Agricultural Bank of China

4.  Berkshire Hathaway 

Number four on the list was founded in 1839, 177 years ago, in Cumberland, Rhode Island. The company is known for Warren Buffett, who is Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer. Berkshire Hathaway employees 331,000 people as of 2015. The company started as a textile manufacturing company in 1839, and then ventured into the insurance world by 1967 when Buffett was in control. The textile operations were finally shut down in 1985. Today, the company wholly owns man well-known brands. GEICO, Dairy Queen, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, and 26% of the Kraft Heinz Company, to name a few. They also have undisclosed percentages in Mars, Incorporated, American Express, Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo and IBM. 

Berkshire Hathaway Logo

5.  JPMorgan Chase

The largest bank in the United States, and the world’s sixth largest by total assets is a bank many of us bank with regularly. JPMorgan Chase was only founded 15 years ago in 2000. The number of people employed by the company in 2015 was 235,678. JPMorgan Chase is actually a combination of several other banks that you have probably heard of over the years, including Chase Manhattan Bank, JP Morgan and Co, Bank One, Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.  

JP Morgan Chase

6.  Bank of China

Founded in 1912 by the Republican government to replace the Imperial Bank of China, it is the second largest lender in China. The bank is owned by the government of China and employees 305,675 people. Bank of China has two locations in New York, one on Madison Avenue, and the other on East Broadway. 

Bank of China

7.  Wells Fargo

Founded in 1852 in New York City, Wells Fargo operates in 35 countries and has 8,700 branches. It is the largest bank in the world by market capitalization and the third largest in the US by assets. Henry Wells and William Fargo, also the founders of American Express, formed Wells Fargo & Company to provide banking services to California. William Fargo was also the Mayor of Buffalo, New York twice from 1862 to 1863 and again from 1864 to 1865. 

Wells Fargo

8.  Apple

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple has become the world’s largest technology company by total assets. Apple employs 115,000 employees as of 2015 and has 478 stores worldwide. The company had revenue of $233.715 billion in 2015. And, at the rate this company is going, they are sure to move up on next year’s list. 

Apple Logo

9.  ExxonMobil

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, ExxonMobil was formed November 30, 1999 by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Both of these companies, Exxon and Mobil, were directly related to Standard Oil who was established by John De. Rockefeller. In 1998, when the new company was formed by signing a $73.7 billion merger, they were the largest oil company and the third largest company in the world. Now they are the ninth largest company and still hold the title of largest oil company. 

Exxon Mobil

10.  Toyota Motor

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in Japan in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda. Toyota is the world’s leading manufacturer of hybrid electric cars. In 2015, the total revenue for Toyota was ¥29.79 trillion and 346,219 employees. Toyota is not only a car manufacturer. They also build robots and provide financial services through its Toyota Financial Services division. Today, Akio Toyoda is the CEO of Toyota Motor Company, a direct descendent of the founder Kiichiro.  

Toyota Logo

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

6 of the Most Unique AirBnB Listings from Around the World

We have all heard of Airbnb by now. And, if you haven’t, it’s time to get in the know. Airbnb is an online marketplace that allows you to find, list, and rent vacation homes all over the world. Airbnb has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. You are sure to find some unique homes around the world. Let’s take a look at six of the most unique listings that Airbnb has to offer.

Cube Houses - Netherlands                                           

cube houses
For $156 per night, you can stay in one of these yellow cube houses. All of them are two bedrooms and one bathroom, with three floors. Upon entering the house you have to take the stairs to the first floor where you will find the living room and kitchen. The bedroom is on the second floor. The top floor, as described by Airbnb, is a cosy chillroom with a 360 degree view.

These houses are right next to the train station and only a 50 minute train ride to Amsterdam. 

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Tokyo, Japan

Nakagin Capsule Tower

This is a very interesting place. You cannot sleep over at the Nakagin Capsule Tower. The place you sleep is a two minute walk to another apartment down the street for $151 per night. You would first meet the host at the apartment down the street and then they will take you to the Nakagin room and give you a tour and then tell you the rule of Nakagin. After that, you are welcome to visit Nakagin at any time during your stay. You just cannot sleep there.

This historical tower was built by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972 during the Japanese Metabolism, a post-WWII art movement. In 2012, only about 30 of the 130 capsules remained in use as apartments. The others are used for storage or office space and some are simply deteriorating or abandoned. I would love to see this place restored. 

The Seashell House – Ilsa Muejes, Mexico                               

seashell house
For $308 a night you can live out your dreams of being a mermaid for a night. With your own private pool and the ocean breeze, this is the place where vacations should happen. This unique house was designed by Edwardo and Raquel Ocampo, who also live right next door to their vision.

St. Pancras Clock Apartments - London

You can rent this apartment in the clock tower above St. Pancras International Train Station for $208 a night. The railway company had a competition back in 1866 and the winner was architect George Gilbert Scott. His design for the clock tower was the largest and most expensive. The railway company did revise his original plan by removing a floor completely to save money. George Gilbert Scott is famous for his style known as Victorian Gothic. 

Dairsie Castle – Scotland

dairsie castle
Who doesn’t dream of living (okay, maybe just visiting if we’re being realistic) in a castle? I sure have! Well, it sure is nice to know that I can gather some of my closest friends and/or family and we can all stay a few nights in a real life castle! For $681 a night our dreams can become a reality. And, from reading the reviews on Airbnb it sounds like this castle did not disappoint. There are six bedrooms and five bathrooms and can accommodate up to 13 people. This one is going on the bucket list! 

Mushroom Dome Cabin – Aptos, CA

mushroom dome cabin

For only $115 a night you can stay in Airbnb’s most popular rental. With five stars and at the top spot on the popular site, people keep coming back to stay in this sophisticated tree house. It’s not hard to see why. I’ve been looking for my next vacation spot and here it is!