Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Paris, France (4E) – The rich are definitely getting richer while the richest of the rich are obscene in the amount of wealth they hold. The poor are poorer than ever before.
The World Wealth Report 2018, an annual study published by French multinational professional services and business consulting firm Capgemini SE, reveals the combined wealth of the world’s millionaires rose for a sixth straight year to a record $70.2 trillion for the first time ever.
This was an increase of 10.6 percent from 2016, and was due to the improving global economy and strong stock markets worldwide. The number of “High Net Worth Individuals” (HNWI) grew almost 10 percent, or by 1.6 million, to 18.1 million in 2017. Capgemini defines HNWIs as persons having investable assets of $1 million or more (excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables and consumer durables).
The report confirms that global HNWI wealth will exceed $100 trillion by 2025.
“High net worth individuals around the world enjoyed investment returns above 20 percent for the second year in a row,” said Anirban Bose, head of Capgemini’s financial services global strategic business unit, said in a statement.
The United States, Japan, Germany and China are the four largest locations for millionaires, accounting for 61 percent of the world’s high net worth individuals. New York City is the city of choice for the fabulously wealthy, said the report. The U.S. leads the millionaire’s list with 5.3 million HNWIs, a 10 percent increase from 2016.
The Asia-Pacific region, however, has the most HNWI millionaires overall. Japan saw a nine percent increase (to 3.2 million), China 11 percent (1.3 million) and India 20 percent (263,000).
The report surveyed more than 2,600 HNWIs across 19 countries. It also found that wealth is becoming even more concentrated as the ultra-wealthy (those with $30 million or more in investable assets) saw the greatest growth. The wealth of a mere one percent of HNWIs (or 174,800 individuals) grew 12 percent in 2017, and accounted for 35 percent of total HNWI wealth.
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