These Investment Firms Own Almost Every Business

30 June 2021

Less than a handful of big corporations dominate every aspect of our lives.

From the breakfast we eat, to the mattress we sleep on, and everything we wear and consume in-between is largely dependent on these corporations.

Using a tool like Yahoo Finance, we can look up any brand and see who owns it.

For example, for the brand PepsiCo:

The above shows that 73% of stock is owned by no less than 3,373 institutions. "Institutions" refers to investment companies, investment funds, insurance companies, banks and in some cases, governments.

Looking at the top shareholders, they hold about 1/3 (29%) of the stock:

Let's take a look at the shareholders for PepsiCo's biggest competitor: Coca Cola.

The ones highlighted in yellow match the ones common with PepsiCo.

It seems they aren't competitors after all.

Some other big companies that own a large amount of brand names such as Mondelez and General Mills show the same big investors as owning a majority of their stocks.

Mondelez:

General Mills:

But this isn't limited to the food industry.

Let's look at the biggest technology companies.

  • Facebook (owns WhatsApp & Instagram)
  • Twitter
  • Alphabet (owns Google, YouTube and Android)
  • Apple
  • Microsoft

Let's look at the shareholders for these companies.

Facebook:

Twitter:

Alphabet:

Apple:

Microsoft:

How about the companies that are responsible for making tech hardware, such as IBM, HP and Intel.

IBM:

HP:

Intel:

One last industry to look at - the vacation industry.

Expedia:

Delta Airlines:

United Airlines:

Boeing:

Groupon:

The same or similar results can be found for just about every major brand.

The two major investment companies seen on almost any brand are:

  • The Vanguard Group, Inc.
  • Blackrock Inc.

They own a large part of stocks in nearly all big companies. Some financial institutions product Blackrock and Vanguard could own almost anything by 2028.

Blackrock Inc.

Blackrock is the only private agency that closely works with the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the U.S. government.

It not only lends money to the Federal Reserve, but it is also its financial advisor. Blackrock has even developed software that the Federal Reserve uses. Finally, Blackrock has a history of hiring many former government officials into senior roles.

Perhaps even more sinister, reports have come out that investment firms like Blackrock are capitalizing on the housing market crisis.

Let's take a look at the shareholders who own Blackrock.

Blackrock:

The biggest shareholder is Vanguard... but Vanguard is a private investment company with no public information on its shareholders

Private companies are not required to file disclosure statements with the SEC (the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). A private company can't dip into the public capital markets and must, therefore, turn to private funding. It has been said often that private companies seek to minimize the tax bite, while public companies seek to increase profits for shareholders.

The Vanguard Group, Inc.

The Vanguard Group, Inc. is an American registered investment advisor with about $7 trillion in global assets as of January 13, 2021.

Vanguard touts a unique ownership system. Vanguard is owned by the funds managed by the company and is therefore owned by its customers.

Who are Vanguard's customers?

  • Individuals (personal investors & retirement funds)
  • Institutional investors (pension funds, mutual funds, money managers, insurance copanies, investment banks, commercial trusts, endowment funds, hedge funds and private equity investors)
  • Financial advisors
  • Global investors

It took Vanguard 32 years to reach $1 trillion in assets, eight years to get to $2 trillion and three years to get to $3 trillion as of 2015. In 2021, their revenue grew to $7 trillion.

The Vanguard Group, Inc. (Growth Timeline)

  • Founded in 1975
  • Reached $1 trillion in 2006 (31 years in business)
  • Reached $3 trillion in 2015 (300% increase in 9 years)
  • Reached $7 trillion in 2021. (133% increase in 6 years).

I plan to continue looking into this, but it's not surprising that there's little information about what could possibly be the biggest corporation dominating our economy today.