Landing on the Fortune 500 is a pie-in-the-sky dream of many business owners. The most profitable U.S. companies that make up the latest list collectively employ 27.9 million individuals across the world and represent $840 billion in profits and $12 trillion in revenues. Who are these business dynamos and where are many of them based?

The Top 10
In June 2016, Fortune magazine took a look at 2015’s top moneymakers, most of which are household names. The No. 1 spot goes to the Arkansas-based big-box retailer Wal-Mart, followed by oil and gas giant Exxon Mobil, tech innovator Apple, insurance and investment outfit Berkshire Hathaway, and pharmaceutical distributor McKesson. Health care companies, auto manufacturers and a communications company round out the top 10.

Hot Areas for Headquarters
Many Fortune 500 company headquarters are on the East Coast — from Comcast (No. 37) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; to JetBlue Airlines (No. 405) in Long Island City, New York; to General Electric (No. 11) in Fairfield, Connecticut.

The Midwest also houses several successful centers of operation, including Motorola Solutions (No. 451) in Schaumburg, Illinois; Harley-Davidson (No. 432) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Dow Chemical (No. 56) in Midland, Michigan.

How States Rank for Business
Knowing where a state ranks on business matters and understanding their differing approaches to incentives, tax rates and more may narrow down where to move next, even if a job isn’t waiting for you upon arrival. According to Chief Executive magazine’s “Best and Worst States for Business,” Texas is the most beneficial, pro-growth spot for business owners, while California ranks lowest.

As we begin a new year, one way of exploring the economic landscape ahead of us is to examine the biggest revenue generators in America and the impact they have on national and local scales.

The information provided in Eddleman’s Economic Insight is not intended to be used as investment advice; rather it is provided as general economic news and information for your awareness or for discussions with your investment professional. Please consult your investment professional or CPA for advice specific to your situation! Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Today’s post deals with a simple issue of terminology for investing, which you’ll see when it comes to investing is not so simple. In case you are interested, you can view a comprehensive Financial Vocabulary Booklet we’ve put together, which has many financial terms you might find helpful. Today, we’ll primarily be discussing international verses global and a few related terms. In your everyday non-financial discussions, these two terms are fairly interchangeable. But, not when it comes to investing.

Global – These are investments that are supposed to encompass investing in the entire world. However, keep in mind that often times these investments will exclude all or some emerging market countries. So you have to read prospectuses carefully. Sometimes finance people will refer to Global as being Domestic plus International, which brings us to our next two terms.

International – These are investments that are supposed to encompass the world other than the domestic United States. Sometimes these investments may be referred to as Ex-US, which is short for excluding the United States. Again, these investments will usually exclude emerging markets, so most often International really means developed markets that are non-US.

Developed markets are generally markets which are considered larger, more established, and with more liquidity. As of  2008 the Financial Times of London Stock Exchange (FTSE) classified the following countries as developed: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States. Everything else is considered emerging markets.

Emerging markets are non-developed markets. Generally markets in these countries are smaller, less established, and have less liquidity. Emerging markets are actually then subdivided into three categories, which are advanced, secondary, and frontier. I won’t go into those today.

Domestic – This is perhaps one of the more confusing financial terms because domestic should be relative, but most often for investment fund names it is not. What I mean by this is that if you are Australian and live in Australia, domestic should mean “in Australia”, but it doesn’t mean that with most investment fund nomenclature. Most often, but not always, when describing investment funds, the term domestic is synonymous with the United States, which is good for you if you are an American living in the United States. Just remember, domestic is still a relative term in other contexts, including other financial contexts. So, it never hurts to confirm that a domestic investment is referring to the US, particularly if you are looking at an investment that is less broadly traded, is managed in another country, or has some other reason to be dissociated with the United States.

The information provided in Eddleman’s Economic Insight is not intended to be used as investment advice; rather it is provided as general economic news and information for your awareness or for discussions with your investment professional. Please consult your investment professional or CPA for advice specific to your situation! Past performance is not indicative of future results.