The 10 Companies That Dominate the Global Arms Trade
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
The world puts $1.69 trillion towards military expenditures per year, and about $375 billion of that goes towards buying arms specifically.
Whether it is guns, tanks, jets, missiles, or ships that are on your shopping list, in the international arms community, there is a supplier for any weapon your country desires.
Arms dealers, by sales
Today’s chart organizes the world’s top arms companies by sales, location, and arms as a percentage of sales:
|Rank||Company||Country||Arms sales (2016)||Arms as % of sales|
|#8||BAE Systems (U.S.)||USA||$9.3B||93%|
Note: Airbus considers itself a European company. It’s registered in the Netherlands, and its main HQ is in France.
The above data comes courtesy of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks arms deals and companies extensively.
While it is common knowledge that the United States plays a big role in the global arms trade, the numbers are still quite astounding.
Of the top ten companies by sales, firms based in the U.S. make up seven of them. That includes the clear #1, Lockheed Martin, which had $40.8 billion in arms-related sales in 2016, as well as the remaining constituents of the top three: Boeing and Raytheon.
Further, on SIPRI’s wider top 100 list, a good proxy for total arms sales globally, U.S. defense companies accounted for a whopping 58% of total global arms sales. That adds up to $217.2 billion in 2016, a 4.0% rise over the previous year.
Rounding Out the Top 10
Only three companies make the top 10 leaderboard from outside of the United States.
That group includes Airbus, the massive European commercial airline manufacturer that gets 17% of its sales from arms-related deals, as well as BAE Systems (U.K.) and Leonardo (Italy).
As a final caveat, it’s worth mentioning that SIPRI notes that some Chinese companies would likely make its Top 100 list as well – but for now, the list excludes Chinese companies as the available data is not comparable or accurate.
Charted: What are Retail Investors Interested in Buying in 2023?
What key themes and strategies are retail investors looking at for the rest of 2023? Preview: AI is a popular choice.
Charted: Retail Investors’ Top Picks for 2023
U.S. retail investors, enticed by a brief pause in the interest rate cycle, came roaring back in the early summer. But what are their investment priorities for the second half of 2023?
We visualized the data from Public’s 2023 Retail Investor Report, which surveyed 1,005 retail investors on their platform, asking “which investment strategy or themes are you interested in as part of your overall investment strategy?”
Survey respondents ticked all the options that applied to them, thus their response percentages do not sum to 100%.
Where Are Retail Investors Putting Their Money?
By far the most popular strategy for retail investors is dividend investing with 50% of the respondents selecting it as something they’re interested in.
Dividends can help supplement incomes and come with tax benefits (especially for lower income investors or if the dividend is paid out into a tax-deferred account), and can be a popular choice during more inflationary times.
|Investment Strategy||Percent of Respondents|
|Total Stock Market Index||36%|
|Gold & Precious Metals||23%|
Meanwhile, the hype around AI hasn’t faded, with 36% of the respondents saying they’d be interested in investing in the theme—including juggernaut chipmaker Nvidia. This is tied for second place with Total Stock Market Index investing.
Treasury Bills (30%) represent the safety anchoring of the portfolio but the ongoing climate crisis is also on investors’ minds with Renewable Energy (33%) and EVs (27%) scoring fairly high on the interest list.
Commodities and Inflation-Protection stocks on the other hand have fallen out of favor.
Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party…
Another interesting takeaway pulled from the survey is how conversations about prevailing companies—or the buzz around them—are influencing trades. The platform found that public investors in Mattel increased 6.6 times after the success of the ‘Barbie’ movie.
Bud Light also saw a 1.5x increase in retail investors, despite receiving negative attention from their fans after the company did a beer promotion campaign with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Given the origin story of a large chunk of American retail investors revolves around GameStop and AMC, these insights aren’t new, but they do reveal a persisting trend.
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