The latest list of where the richest people in the world is out, and while the U.S. remains the country with by far the largest concentration of the financially elite, two countries stood out for the gains they made in 2014.
China and India were the only nations to show double-digit increases in percentage terms for the year. Still, they have a long way to go before they catch the U.S., capitalism’s standard-bearer. The U.S., China, Germany and Japan accounted for two-thirds of the high-net-worth population in 2014 according to the annual report from Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.
(The report can be dowloaded here for free, though registration is required.)
Over all, the World Wealth Report 2015 found that the number of high-net-worth individuals grew by 6.7% in 2014, compared to 14% the year before. That’s a big change from 2011 when the number counted in the exclusive club remained flat from the previous year. Their total wealth rose 7.2%.
The report, which defined high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) as those with investable assets of at least $1 million, looked at 71 countries. It found that how the wealthy invest those assets has changed, if only slightly. The report notes that “five years into a steady rise in global stock markets,” HNWIs in aggregate now allocate 26.8% of their holdings to equities, up two percentage points from 2013, while cash declined one percentage point to 25.6%. The report suggests that this “heavy focus on cash…should encourage wealth managers to discuss each client’s total wealth picture, including their cash needs.”
One other allocation of note: the average allocation to credit worldwide is 17.8%, with the wealthy in emerging markets borrowing at the highest levels. The report also ntoes that 60% of HNWIs consider credit a “key criterion in choosing a wealth management firm.”
Take a look at our countdown of the 12 Countries With Most Millionaires 2015: World Wealth Report.
Increase over 2013: 10%