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Infographic: What is Stock Fraud?

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Infographic: What is Stock Fraud?

What is Stock Fraud?

Every investor out there is looking to get a nice return on their money.

That’s why claims about guaranteed returns or “can’t miss” opportunities can be extremely tempting when they appear. After all, many people have been grinding it out for years in the markets – and rightfully they may feel overdue for their big moment.

But as always, opportunities that are too good to be true must pass the smell test. And most of the time, if you do your homework, they fail with flying colors.

Defining Stock Fraud

Today’s infographic comes to us from StocksToTrade and it highlights stock fraud, which can be described as a violation of security law that occurs when a fraudster compels an investor to buy or sell based on false information.

Importantly, there are many different varieties of stock fraud to recognize, and they all have distinct characteristics that make them unique:

Corporate Fraud
Using “dummy” corporations to create the illusion of representing a corporation with a similar name. Investors are then misled to buy shares in the dummy corporation, rather than the real thing.

Boiler Rooms
High-pressure selling technique used to peddle shares in speculative or fraudulent securities on the phone.

Pump and Dump
False and/or fraudulent information spread to increase the price of a thinly traded stock. When the stock hits a target price, the dumper sells to rake in substantial profits. Those left holding the stock are stuck and must sell at a loss.

Insider Trading
When a security is illegally traded based on material, non-public information.

Short and Distort
Similar to a pump and dump, this involves the spread of rumors or false information to profit from short-selling a stock.

Ponzi Scheme
A type of pyramid scheme where money from new investors provides the return for old investors.

Prime Bank
These are scams where fraudsters claim that funds will be used to buy bank instruments that don’t exist.

Accounting Fraud
Management intentionally manipulates accounting policies or estimates to improve financial statements. It could involve overstating revenues, understating expenses, overstating corporate assets, or understating existing liabilities.

How to Avoid Stock Fraud

How can these potential scams be avoided?

For starters, make sure you take time to do your own independent research on any security you buy. If something seems like it is overly complex, rushed, or if important information seems to be omitted, there is likely a reason for this. In a similar vein, Warren Buffett wisely advocates that a business should be simple and easy to understand, or he won’t invest in it.

Further, it’s worth researching the salesperson touting the investment before making any decisions. Records from securities regulators are often one Google search away – and any disciplinary history should be known before proceeding with any transaction.

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The Top Retailers in the World, by Store Count

Here are the top retailers in the world by physical store presence, illustrating the dominance of convenience and drug store chains.

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This circle graphic shows the retailers with the highest number of locations worldwide.

The Top Retailers in the World, by Store Count

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Which retail chains have the highest global store counts?

Owing to their rapid speed of service in providing the basics to customers, convenience chains stand as the clear leaders. Going further, their smaller footprint allows them to expand their store counts at a greater scale.

This graphic shows the top retailers in the world by store count, based on data from the National Retailers Federation.

Japanese Retailers Dominate the Pack

Below, we show the global retailers with the most physical storefronts in 2023:

RankingRetailerTotal Stores WorldwideIndustryHeadquarters
1Seven & I40,454Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
2FamilyMart24,251Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
3Lawson21,902Convenience Store🇯🇵 Japan
4CP All16,042Convenience Store🇹🇭 Thailand
5AS Watson16,014Drug Store🇭🇰 Hong Kong
6Schwarz Group14,112Discount Grocery🇩🇪 Germany
7Carrefour14,014Supermarkets🇫🇷 France
8Couche-Tard13,505Convenience Store🇨🇦 Canada
9Aldi13,475Discount Grocery🇩🇪 Germany
10Walgreens Boots Alliance12,961Drug Store🇺🇸 U.S.

Leading by a wide margin is Japan’s Seven & I Holdings, with 40,454 store locations worldwide.

The retail giant includes the 7-Eleven franchise along with Ito-Yokado, its supermarket chain. While the world’s largest convenience chain traces its origins to Dallas, Texas, the remainder of the U.S-based company (27%) was acquired in 2005 in a $1.2 billion deal that took the company fully private. Today, the company operates in 10 markets globally.

Next in line are Japan’s FamilyMart and Lawson, each boasting over 20,000 locations. For perspective, Walmart, America’s largest retail company by revenues, operates 10,569 locations globally.

In Europe, Germany’s discount grocery chain Schwarz takes the lead, due to its extensive network of stores. Operating across 30 countries and with over 500,000 employees, the no-frills chain stands as a powerhouse. France’s supermarket giant, Carrefour, follows closely behind.

Ranking in eighth is Canadian retailer, Couche-Tard, with stores largely concentrated in North America and Europe. Since 2004, the company has made over 60 acquisitions, including 2,200 gas stations from French oil company TotalEnergies in 2023. The company is known for its Circle K brand, which operates in 24 countries globally.

Closing off the list is Walgreens Boots Alliance, the only American retailer in the rankings. The company owns the ubiquitous UK-based Boots brand, which was founded in 1849 in Nottingham. Yet as profits margins face increasing strains, it is looking to sell the subsidiary and instead focus more heavily on its U.S. pharmacy and healthcare businesses. With a presence in 13 countries, the pharmacy chain operates 12,961 stores worldwide.

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