Ultra-rich Getting Richer


    A bare 0.004 per cent of the world’s adult population controls nearly $30 trillion in assets or 13 per cent of the world’s total wealth, says a study by Swiss bank UBS and consultant Wealth-X. And perhaps unsurprisingly, the study says the concentration of money in the hands of the ultra-rich is growing. The report says 211,275 million people qualify as ultra-high net worth (UHNW) — those with assets above $30 million. Of these, 2,325 have more than $1 billion. Their numbers grew six per cent over the past year, but their wealth grew seven per cent as asset markets like stocks and property soared in many places around the world. The fastest growth, however, came in the ‘demi-billionaire’ group worth a half-billion to a billion dollars apiece. “Even amidst geopolitical conflicts, socio-economic strife, and volatile currency markets, the world’s equity markets displayed strong performances, thereby enabling UHNW individuals’ wealth to increase and their influence across industries and sectors to grow ‒ from their importance in wealth management to their consumption of luxury goods,” it says. “Such a large concentration of wealth in the hands of these few individuals means that they tend to have a large degree of influence, whether on global equity markets or specific industries.”