Raising the minimum wage has become a hot-button issue in the U.S. recently, with President Obama having called for a raise in the federal minimum wage in his 2013 State of the Union address. Many U.S. states have followed suit with proposals of their own to raise their minimum wages, with nearly 20 states already having set wage levels above the $7.25 federal minimum.
When you look around the world, the U.S. ranks among the top countries for its minimum wage. But you can find several countries that pay workers a lot more. Let's look at five of the highest-paying countries for minimum-wage workers, with wages given in U.S. dollar terms using current currency-exchange rates.
Image source courtesy World Atlas.
New Zealand, $11.13 an hour
New Zealand workers are entitled to minimum wages of 13.75 New Zealand dollars an hour. The most recent rise came earlier this year, with a boost of NZ$0.25 coming in February. However, along with that rise came a controversial new "Starting Out" wage program for younger workers, under which those aged 16 to 19 can receive as little as 80% of the adult minimum. Proponents argue that with youth unemployment soaring over 30% in New Zealand, the measure will encourage greater job creation for young workers. Opponents, however, argue that the wage is discriminatory and that similar measures in the past to promote job growth have failed.
Top 10 Defense Stocks For 2015: iShares Cohen & Steers REIT ETF (ICF)
iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Cohen & Steers Realty Majors Index (the Index). The Index consists of selected real estate investment trusts (REITs). The objective of the Index is to represent relatively large and liquid REITs that may benefit from future consolidation and securitization of the United States real estate industry. The Index is modified capitalization-weighted with constituent companies having a maximum index weight of 8%.
The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. Barclays Global Fund Advisors is the investment advisor of the Fund.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matthew McCall]
The SPDR Utilities ETF (NYSE: XLU) is up 1.5 percent today and is breaking to a one-month high. The iShares Cohen & Steers Realty ETF (NYSE: ICF), which owns a basket of REITs, is up 1.1 percent, also looking for a one-month high.
5 Best Healthcare Technology Stocks To Own Right Now: Intuit Inc.(INTU)
Intuit Inc. provides business and financial management solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, consumers, accounting professionals, and financial institutions primarily in the United States, Canada, India, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The company offers QuickBooks financial and business management software and services, technical support, financial supplies, and Web site design and hosting services for small and medium-sized businesses; and payroll products and services, as well as merchant services comprising credit and debit card processing, electronic check conversion, and automated clearing house services for small businesses. It also provides TurboTax income tax preparation products and services for consumers and small business owners; Lacerte and ProSeries professional tax products and services; and QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition and the QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program for accounting professionals. In addition, the company offers outsourced online financial management solutions for banks and credit unions; Quicken personal finance products and services; Mint.com online personal finance services; and Intuit Health online patient-to-provider communication solutions. It sells its products and services through various sales and distribution channels, including Websites, promotions, retail channels, and call centers, as well as through alliance partners, principally consisting of banks, credit unions, and securities and investment firms. The company was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Monica Gerson]
Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU) issued downbeat forecast for the fourth quarter. Intuit posted a profit of $984 million, or $3.39 per share on revenue of $2.39 billion in fiscal third quarter. Intuit shares fell 3.88% to $73.86 in the after-hours trading session.
5 Best Healthcare Technology Stocks To Own Right Now: Golub Capital BDC Inc (GBDC)
Golub Capital BDC, Inc. (Golub Capital BDC), incorporated on November 9, 2009, is an externally managed, closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. The Company's investment objective is to generate current income and capital appreciation by investing primarily in senior secured, one stop, second lien, subordinated loans of, and warrants and minority equity securities in, United States middle market companies. The Company seeks to create a diverse portfolio that includes senior secured, one stop, second lien and subordinated loans and warrants and minority equity securities by primarily investing in the securities of United States middle market companies. The Company's investment activities are managed by the Company's investment adviser, GC Advisors LLC (GC Advisors).
The Company seeks to generate risk-adjusted net returns by assembling a diversified portfolio of investments across a broad range of industries and private equity investors. The Company seeks to create a diverse portfolio that includes senior secured, one stop, second lien and subordinated loans and warrants and minority equity securities by primarily investing on average, in the securities of United States middle market companies. The Company primarily targets United States middle markets companies controlled by private equity investors that require capital for growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations, refinancings and leveraged buyouts. The Company may also make opportunistic loans to independently owned and publicly held middle market companies. The Company focuses on senior secured loans and one stops investments, given the principal protection from the first lien security interest associated with such loans.
Senior Secured Loans
The Company structures these investments as senior secured loans. The Company obtains security interests in the assets of the portfolio company that serve as collateral in support of the repayment of such loans. This collateral may take the form of! first-priority liens on the assets of the portfolio company borrower. The Company's senior secured loans may provide for moderate loan amortization in the early years of the loan, with the majority of the amortization deferred until loan maturity.
One Stop Loans
The Company structures its one stop loans as senior secured loans. The Company obtains security interests in the assets of the portfolio company that serve as collateral in support of the repayment of these loans. This collateral may take the form of first-priority liens on the assets of the portfolio company. One stop loans typically provide for moderate loan amortization in the initial years of the facility, with the majority of the amortization deferred until loan maturity. One stop loans generally allow the borrower to make a lump sum payment of principal at the end of the loan term, and there is a risk of loss if the borrower is unable to pay the lump sum or refinance the amount owed at maturity.
Second Lien Loans
The Company structures these investments as junior, secured loans. The Company obtains security interests in the assets of the portfolio company that serve as collateral in support of the repayment of such loans. This collateral may take the form of second priority liens on the assets of a portfolio company. Second lien loans typically provide for moderate loan amortization in the initial years of the facility, with the majority of the amortization deferred until loan maturity.
1The Company structures these investments as unsecured, subordinated loans that provide for relatively high, fixed interests rates that provide the Company with interest income. These loans typically have interest-only payments (often representing a combination of cash pay and payment-in-kind, or PIK, interest) with amortization of principal deferred until loan maturity.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By GuruFocus]
SVP and CFO Michael D James bought 2,500 shares of GMAN stock on 12/17/2013 at the average price of 7.1. Michael D James owns at least 69,158 shares after this. The price of the stock has increased by 6.9% since.Golub Capital BDC, Inc. (GBDC): CEO, 10% Owner David Golub Bought 5,000 Shares
CEO, 10% Owner of Golub Capital BDC, Inc. (GBDC) David Golub bought 5,000 shares on 12/23/2013 at an average price of $18.71. Golub Capital BDC, Inc. was formed in November 2009. Golub Capital Bdc, Inc. has a market cap of $810.256 million; its shares were traded at around $18.71 with a P/E ratio of 13.90 and P/S ratio of 7.70. The dividend yield of Golub Capital Bdc, Inc. stocks is 6.84%.
- [By Jordan Wathen]
Alas, Eliasek's second comment about making sure the assets are qualifying rules out a senior secured lending program -- a strategy employed by competitors including Golub Capital� (NASDAQ: GBDC ) and Ares Capital� (NASDAQ: ARCC ) .
- [By Monica Gerson]
Golub Capital BDC (NASDAQ: GBDC) dipped 2.88% to $17.89 in pre-market trading after the company announced a public offering of 3.5 million shares of its common stock.
5 Best Healthcare Technology Stocks To Own Right Now: Renesola Ltd.(SOL)
ReneSola Ltd, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of solar wafers and solar power products. It offers virgin polysilicons, monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar wafers, and photovoltaic cells and modules. The company also provides cell and module processing services. Its products are used in a range of residential, commercial, industrial, and other solar power generation systems. The company sells its solar wafers primarily to solar cell and module manufacturers. It principally operates in Mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic, and the United States. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in Jiashan, the People?s Republic of China.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Paul Ausick]
Big earnings movers: Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) is up 12.5% at $49.11 and posted a new 52-week high of $49.94 today. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is down $15 at $19.74. Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) is up 12.8% at $55.18 after posting a new 52-week high of $55.83 earlier today. Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) is up 2.3% at $35.42. ReneSola Ltd. (NYSE: SOL) is up 8% at $4.75.