From Trader Joe’s to Cargill, many of America’s most popular and lucrative companies are not available for retail investors to purchase. What does it say about the stock market that the vast majority of companies in America are privately held? In this short article, Senior Investing Columnist Abby Copeland will explain why many top businesses are privately held and the advantages and disadvantages that non-public companies hold.
When asked to name a company dedicated to corporate social responsibility, almost everyone will immediately mention Patagonia. Patagonia, an upscale apparel retailer, for years was viewed as an anomaly by both investors and industry experts. The company preaches against consumerism with their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, where they actively exposed the environmental harm of one of their products. A company that discourages people from shopping could not possibly be successful in the long run. However, over the past decade, Patagonia has defied all odds by quadrupling in profit and reaching a valuation of $1 billion dollars.