Chillin' out till it needs to be funded
The number of people with at least $1 million in assets beyond their homes and household goods climbed 17 percent, according to a report on the world’s wealth by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, a Paris-based business consulting firm. Their total wealth approached the 2007 peak of $40.7 trillion, after a 20 percent plunge to $32.8 trillion in 2008.
Meanwhile the suffering very rich with assets of $30 bn and above, came back even stronger, growing their net worth 21% after it fell deeper in ’08.
The report did take note of the concentration of wealth among the very rich. At the end of 2009, it said, these “ultra-high net worth individuals” held 35.5 percent of the total $39 trillion of the world’s wealth, or an estimated $13.8 trillion, even though this group represented less than 1 percent of the 10 million people classified as being rich, or roughly 90,000 worldwide.
Based on the report’s numbers, rich people had wealth averaging about $3.9 million last year, while ultra-rich people had fortunes averaging about $150 million.
Meanwhile, Asia, with three million rich people, has as many millionaires as Europe for the first time. But Asia’s rich were slightly wealthier, controlling $9.7 trillion at the end of 2009, compared with $9.5 trillion held by their European counterparts.
Japan had the second-largest group of millionaires, totaling 1.65 million, while Germany came in third, with 861,000.
China came in fourth, with 477,000 millionaires, edging past Britain with 448,000.
Merrill Lynch and Capgemini said they based their report on a survey of investors in 71 countries that accounted for 98 percent of the world’s gross national income and 99 percent of the world’s stock market capitalization.
Commodities have not fully recovered with only 19% rise in 2009 after a 36% fall in ’08 while Gold was up 27%. Platinum is up 63%. The world’s largest Gold ETF, increased assets by nearly 50% to 1100 tonnes. World GDP growth is led by Asia growing at 9% and the HNW and UHNW investors returning to the market have also chosen to invest outside home. Asian HNWIs are investing more in Latin America and Africa.
The ML Wealth report also acknowledges the growth of the world’s unemployed to 211 million. While 60% of private consumption has been in North America and Europe, it is not likely to grow much. However the share of yachts, planes and luxury cars is growing to 30% of their total assets, Art down to 25%, Fine Art auctions reduced by half. China now accounts for 49% of all luxury goods growth globally, Brazil also being significant.
India has regained since 2008 with 126000 HNWIs against the low 84000 in 2008. [$1 million or INR 0.4 Crores], emerging markets holding the key to riches.