Friday, June 29, 2007

Money goes to money

The Wall St Journal reports that World-wide, the number of wealthy individuals climbed to 9.5 million in 2006, an 8.3% increase from 2005 .
The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals -- those with at least $30 million in investible assets -- increased by 11.3% to 94,970 .

The combined wealth of high-net-worth individuals world-wide increased to $37.2 trillion, up 11.4% from 2005.

In 2006, the U.S. population of high-net-worth individuals -- those with at least $1 million in investible assets, excluding their primary residences -- rose 9.4% to 2.92 million.

The population of high net-worth individuals in Europe increased by 6.4% in 2006

The high-net-worth population in Canada, rose by 6.9% in 2006

China's population of high-net - worth individuals rose by 7.8%

Russia's increased 15.5%

The highest growth in high-net-worth populations took place in Singapore and India, where the increases over 2005 were 21.2% and 20.5%, respectively.

How was the money all made ? Hard work and toil ?

Robert McCann, president of Merrill Lynch Global Private Client Group attributed the increased pace of wealth generation to gains in economic output and continued growth in the world's stock markets . More money went to real estate at the expense of alternative investments, such as hedge funds and foreign currencies, says Mr. McCann.

The report also found that high-net-worth individuals' passion for luxury is growing. Using data from Forbes's Cost of Living Extremely Well Index, it found that the cost of luxury goods and services rose nearly twice as fast in 2006 as the cost of everyday consumer products, signaling that demand for luxury goods is outpacing demand for everyday consumer items. Among "investments of passion," high net-worth individuals allocated the most money to luxury collectibles, including automobiles, boats and airplanes. They allocated 26% of their "investments of passion" dollars to luxury collectibles in 2006, 20% to art and 18% to jewelry, the report said.

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